Albertville Museum The Albertville Museum in Albertville, Marshall County, celebrates the history and heritage of Albertville through the display of locally significant artifacts and art. The museum is housed in the former Little Branch Primitive Baptist Church on the location of the town’s first church and school and is overseen by the city of Albertville and the Albertville Museum Foundation.
The town’s museum had been located in a caboose next to the Albertville Depot from the early 1990s until 2001 when it was closed and the exhibits were put in storage. In 2007, city officials designated the local abandoned Little Branch Primitive Baptist Church as a future museum and cultural center in preparation for the city’s 150th anniversary celebration in 2010, marking the establishment of the town’s first post office. In 2011, the city council appointed a five-member board of directors to oversee the museum’s daily operations, writing grant applications, the acquisition and display of artifacts and memorabilia, and the conduct of educational and outreach events to residents. The museum opened in the former church in 2012.
The museum board set up the Albertville Museum Foundation, Inc. to serve as the fundraising arm of the museum and to receive artifacts and hold them in trust for the city. It also sells museum memberships and applies for grants to fund special events and exhibits at the museum. In addition, the museum foundation assists the museum board and its all-volunteer staff to operate the museum, oversee its inventory, and host special events.
The collections of the one-room museum include a voting booth from the 1988 municipal election (which included the most mayoral candidates ever), the first edition of the local newspaper The Sand Mountain Reporter from 1955, a rocking chair from the Little Branch Primitive Baptist Church, a Native American cradle board, a pair of original seats from the nearby Princess Theatre, and slats from the local McCord Elementary school.
The museum underwent an extensive renovation and reorganization of its exhibits in 2014. Previously, exhibits had been grouped by subject, but the museum board decided that the town’s history could be better portrayed by employing a chronological approach. The new permanent main exhibit traces local history using information and artifacts from Native Americans who lived in the area through the present day. Aside from the museum’s own collection, items on display include those donated by local area families such as period clothing, photos, scrapbooks, tools, and more. The museum also hosts art shows from local and international artists and rotating exhibits detailing local pottery, quilt-making, city industries, and more. More recently, the Albertville Museum has brought in more local and international pieces of art to expand upon the historical focus in its collections.
The museum is located at 610 West Main Street. It is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. Across the street is the Old Albertville Cemetery that dates from before the Civil War. Nearby are the Albertville Depot, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and the former U.S. Post Office building, which was listed on the Register in 1983 and now houses the city’s Board of Education.