America’s story finds a home

A dream came true on Saturday. Our area and the children of this state will benefit from its fruition for generations to come.

The dream was to share the history of America with children through highly detailed miniatures. It’s not any ordinary dream but one which will have a lasting impact on Shelby County.

The story behind how this museum came to be is almost as compelling as the history it tells.

Pettus Randall Jr. envisioned a museum that would travel throughout the United States, taking our nation’s history to its children.

More than 150,000 hours of research and craftsmanship went into the museum’s premiere in 1963.

The museum traveled to 25 states during the next several years, accomplishing Randall Jr.’s goal.

Regrettably, the museum failed to sustain itself financially so the decision was made to place the collection in storage.

Boxed up and covered in dust, the dream did not die.

Forty years after its original debut, Randall Jr.’s son, Pettus Randall III, his family and Randall Publishing Company have taken the original dream and found a way not only to fulfill Randall Jr.’s initial vision but also to honor the man who dreamed it &045; all this while making a significant investment in our area and the children of this state.

This collection certainly reflects the time and investment required to create the amazing detail found in each of the 72 miniatures including American presidents, first ladies and depictions of 35 critical points in our history.

Careful attention to every feature ensures that each miniature is historically accurate and vivid in its artistry. This not only makes the collection a fine example of craftsmanship but perhaps more importantly brings life to our American heritage.

Pettus Randall III, his family and Randall Publishing Company donated both the building and museum to The American Village as a tribute to Randall III’s father. The actual museum is expected to be complete by September and will permanently house the collection.

Until that time, area residents and children can view the collection at The American Village’s Oval Office, located in a re-creation of the White House East Room.

Ground was broken for the Pettus Randall Miniature Museum of American History at The American Village in Montevallo this past Saturday.

The unparalleled detail of the museum’s collection and the history it tells make the Pettus Randall Miniature Museum one more fine reason to visit The American Village.

The generosity of the gift and the spirit of its intentions remind each of us that part of the American dream is the opportunity to give back to our community. Pettus Randall III learned that lesson