County celebrates 196th anniversary

Published 11:29 am Tuesday, January 21, 2014

In less than two weeks, Shelby County will celebrate its 196th anniversary.

The annual event was begun five years ago by the Shelby County Historical Society to highlight the county’s history and the Shelby County Museum and Archives, which is housed in the 1854 Old Courthouse in Columbiana.

Shelby County was founded in 1818, one year before Alabama became a state. The county was named for Isaac Shelby, a Revolutionary War hero who was also governor of Kentucky.

Today, much of Shelby County’s history is preserved in the Shelby County Museum and Archives, including photographs, Creek Indian artifacts and items associated with railroads and mining.

The 196th celebration, which will be held Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. at the museum, offers a chance for residents to learn more about the history of Shelby County and Alabama.

Since 2012, the Shelby County anniversary programs have focused on three major periods in Alabama history. In 2012-2013, the program focused on the Creek War. In 2014-2015, it will focus on the Civil War, and in 2016-2017 the Civil Rights Movement. The 2018 program will celebrate the county’s bicentennial.

This year, Dollar Bill Lawson, a Birmingham-based radio host, will serve as master of ceremonies. David Tyrone Crowley will portray President Jefferson Davis of the Confederate States of America during his inaugural speech in Montgomery Feb. 18, 1861.

Over the last 196 years, Shelby County has seen tremendous growth. It began as a rural area with an economy based in agriculture, but has transformed into a dynamic and diverse county with an unparalleled quality of life.

Many of the county’s approximately 200,000 residents are relative newcomers. Shelby County’s anniversary celebration offers residents a chance to learn more about their community and its history, as well as meet their neighbors.

We would like to thank the members of the Shelby County Historical Society for taking such pride in Shelby County and planning an informative and entertaining anniversary celebration each year.


The editorial is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.