Choctaw County Historical Museum The Choctaw County Historical Museum in Gilbertown, Choctaw County, is an interpretative museum with a primary mission to preserve and exhibit the artifacts and history of Choctaw County. The museum includes a variety of exhibits and artifacts that highly the county’s ancient, Native American, frontier, agricultural, and commercial history. The museum was founded in 1987 and is located beside Town Park in downtown Gilbertown.
In 1987, a group of volunteers sought a way to preserve artifacts related to Choctaw County history. On September 4, 1987, articles of incorporation for the Choctaw County Historical Museum were submitted while volunteers searched for either an existing building or a new location for construction. In February 1990, the Alabama Farmer’s Co-Op building in Gilbertown became available and was purchased by the museum’s founders.
The Choctaw County Historical Museum consists of four major buildings. The main museum building includes artifacts that range from prehistory to the nineteenth into the twentieth centuries. The building behind the main museum building houses larger artifacts, including farm equipment. Nearby stands an old country store that was relocated to the site of the museum as well as a one-room log cabin constructed from logs salvaged from Choctaw County’s first courthouse in Barrytown in the early 1840s. The county seat was relocated to Butler in 1848. Next door to the museum is Town Park, which hosts an old caboose and a Hunt Oil Company rig that is similar to the rig at Gilbertown that became the first to strike oil in Alabama in 1944.
The museum’s vast array of artifacts includes items reflective of daily life in Choctaw County over the past 200 years, including housewares, farm implements, agricultural machinery and implements, industrial tools, mercantile artifacts, weapons from the Civil War and War of 1812, Native American artifacts, military uniforms, a spinning wheel, and more. The museum also includes an exhibit on ancient Choctaw County that includes dinosaur bones and vertebrae from a giant whale that once swam in the seas that covered the county, a mastodon tooth found near Silas, and much more. Visitors may also see bottles of oil extracted from Alabama’s first oil well at Gilbertown and a complete Linotype “hot lead” letterpress newspaper print shop that produced The Choctaw Advocate in the early twentieth century, and more. The museum hosts a variety of community events including auto shows, artifacts shows, yard sales, and arts and crafts shows.
The museum is located in Gilbertown at 40 Melvin Road at the intersection of Highway 17. It is open Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Nearby are the Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge and Bladon Springs State Park.