Category: History

Ruth Eaton Cummings Bolden

“Readers are leaders.” That was her motto. She helped found a library in West Tuscaloosa and worked for the civil rights movement. She passed away at the age of 94, but left a great impression on our community. In 1948, she got county money to start a library in the local community center.

Steam Dummy

Streetcar service began in the Druid City in 1883 with the arrival of the first horsecar trolley. Operated by the Tuscaloosa Street Railway, mules and mustangs pulled the streetcars on rails throughout the city. This “contraption” was in use for over a decade before the tracks were taken up by city order in 1896.

Robert N. Almon Sr., 1933-2014

Robert N. Almon Sr. was the founder and longtime head of the engineering firm Almon & Associates. Almon planned the widening of 15th Street from a two-lane street to a six-lane thoroughfare, and the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk.

Benjamin H. Barnes, 1887 – 1971

Barnes was educated under Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee. He took Washington’s message to heart and returned to his native Tuscaloosa and became an essential leader in the African American community, and even helped design the First African Baptist Church.

Queen City Park Swimming Pool

The pool and bath house were designed by Don Buel Schuyler, an apprentice to architect Frank Lloyd Wright. They were constructed as a WPA project during the Great Depression.

First African Baptist Church

Built in 1907 by the men of the church, the First African Baptist Church stood at the center of important civil rights activities in the 1960s. Added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 28, 1988, it reflects important lessons and struggles in our shared history.

Rev. Thomas Gilmore, 1941 – 2015

The Very Reverend Thomas Gilmore was a leading figure in the civil rights movement in Alabama and the first elected African American sheriff in Greene County. Known as the “Sheriff Without a Gun,” Gilmore served his community for 12 years before retiring in 1983 to become a pastor.