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SELMA AND DALLAS COUNTY HISTORY Dallas County was born out of the rich black soil of the Alabama Territory in 1818. Two years later the city of Selma was created by a group headed by the 13th Vice President of the United States, William Rufus King. The county is named in honor of United States Secretary of the Treasury Alexander J. Dallas. The city draws its name from one of King’s favorite books “The Poems of Ossian.” Within the first year the county became prosperous when Cahawba, down river from Selma, was selected as the state’s first capital. Selma’s early beginning makes it the second oldest surviving city in Alabama and with over 1250 historic structures it has the states largest historic district. Visitors to Selma and Dallas County come to trace their ancestors, view architecture and relive history. The young city’s accessibility by rail and river made it a crossroads. The Alabama River was perfect for steamboats and at one time as many as 49 different railroads were in operation. Selma’s wealth of transportation allowed products and passengers to move in any direction. Soon the area became a destination for businesses, professionals and politicians. Selma and Dallas County flourished and cotton became king. In 1825 the area faced the possibility of a severe political and economical blow when persistent flooding and subsequent disease necessitated the relocation of the state’s capital to Tuscaloosa. The move, however, had little effect on Selma and Dallas County’s influence. The city’s wealth and political clout was undeniable; between 1897 and 1907 Alabama’s only two U.S. Senators were Selmians. The war for states rights in the 1860’s and the struggle for voting rights in the 1960’s, propelled Selma into the national and international spotlight. The War Between the States caused Selma to mobilize its industrial complex towards the

production of war materials and Selma was second only to Richmond in the production of munitions for the Confederacy. On April 2, 1865 Wilson’s Raiders won the Battle of Selma and began ravaging the city, looting and burning over 600 homes and businesses. By the wars end Selma was in shambles, but the city quickly rebounded and opportunities became plentiful. In March of 1871 Benjamin Sterling Turner, a former slave and livery stable owner, was elected Alabama’s first African-American U.S. Congressmen. Late in 1963 Selma served as the birth place for the Voting Rights movement which culminated in the March 7, 1965 attempted Selma to Montgomery March. As the group approached the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, state and local law enforcement ordered the crowd to disperse; before the marchers could react they were repelled back across the bridge with force. The ensuing melee would become a seminal moment in the attainment of Voting Rights. “Bloody Sunday” moved the President and Congress to ratify the U.S. Voting Rights Act. Beginning in the 1940's and continuing to the late 1970's, Selma and Dallas County’s Craig Air Force Base trained thousands of pilots for both the United States and our allies. The deactivation of the base in 1977 cost the area an estimated $35 million per year. As detrimental as the closing was, it paved the way for the establishment of one of Alabama’s most complete industrial parks. Today, Selma and Dallas County are a combination of history and opportunity. The area’s rich history and renowned architecture draw thousands, some seeking information on their ancestors, some looking for ghosts of the past and others just to marvel at it’s beauty.

Selma-Dallas County Tourism & Convention Bureau located at the Centre for Commerce 912 Selma Ave • Selma, AL 36701 1-800-45-SELMA • 334-875-7241


and Copyright

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Paid for in part by The City of Selma

Credits Photography: Madden & Associates, Inc. & Lauri Cothran Design & Layout: Madden & Associates, Inc. Copy & Editing: Elise S. Blackwell, Lauri S. Cothran & Patty G. Sexton

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w w w. S e l m a A l a b a m a . c o m




elcome to extraordinary Selma, Alabama!

before the Civil War or antebellum(s) up to 1865. Homes

We’re delighted you chose to visit our

or buildings constructed after 1865 but before 1910

community and its treasure of historical homes, buildings

feature a yellow shield. A green shield represents those

and landmarks. Before you begin, a little background

built after 1910 or that are at least 50 years old. In

information on the colored shields you’ll see on select

districts with large numbers of historic structures,

homes and buildings throughout Selma. They were created

street signs coordinating with the shields are being placed

through a project of the Selma-Dallas County Historic

to help determine the name and age of each district; blue

Preservation Society as an easy way to determine each

for Old Towne, yellow for Riverview, green for Ice House,

structures age. Blue shields represent structures built

and pink for Water Avenue.



At the same intersection, across the street and to your left at 210 Lauderdale Street is St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. This parish was organized in 1838. The original church building, located a block to the south, was burned by Wilson’s Raiders in 1865 during the Battle of Selma. The present structure was completed in 1875. The building is English Gothic with a slate roof, designed by the famous architectural firm of Richard Upjohn of New York. The church boasts several Our tour starts here at the Centre for Commerce

Tiffany stained glass windows designed by parishioner

located at 912 Selma Avenue. This building was

Clara Weaver Parrish, a noted Selma artist who

constructed in 1904 as a Carnegie Library. It later

worked for the Tiffany Company in New York.

housed the offices of the Dallas County School Board and now has been refurbished to house the offices of the

Turn left onto Lauderdale Street.

Selma-Dallas County Economic Development Authority, In the middle of the block and to the left is the

the Chamber of Commerce, the Tourism & Convention

Gamble House. It was constructed prior to 1878 and

Bureau as well as Leadership Selma-Dallas County.

is probably antebellum. Gamble House belongs to

At the intersection of Lauderdale Street and Selma

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and is used as Sunday

Avenue, look across the street and to your right. 1000


Selma Avenue is what was originally known as the Walton







pre-school, Little Friends.

Theater. Donated to the city by Larry Striplin, Jr., it and the adjacent buildings were refurbished to become the Larry D. Striplin, Jr. Performing Art Centre, which hosts many special events throughout the year.

325 Lauderdale Street (First Baptist Church)

At the next corner on your right at 325 Lauderdale Street is First Baptist Church of Selma, which is 210 Lauderdale Street (St. Paul’s Episcopal Church)




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French Gothic in style. Completed in 1904, the most

property and is one of the few Federalist cottages left in

fascinating features of this church are the gargoyles on

this area.

the top tower and the beautiful Tiffany stained glass

On your right at 412 Lauderdale Street is the Burns-

windows, also designed by Clara Weaver Parrish.

Bell House. Built prior to 1847 this antebellum home features a unique entrance hall and an unsupported,

Continue through the intersection of Lauderdale Street and Dallas Avenue.

wide stepped, spiral stairway with walnut railing. The Burns-Bell House was the first house purchased for

As you pass through the intersection, notice

preservation and resale by the Selma-Dallas County

First Presbyterian Church at 301 Broad Street on

Historic Preservation Society. The Society has been

your right. Organized in 1838, the congregation built

responsible for saving a number of historic structures,

the present church building in 1893. This is the third

the most notable being Grace Hall which you will see in

building to house this congregation and the second on

a minute.

this site. The clock in the tower is a Seth Thomas clock

Further up Lauderdale and to your right is 418

and belongs to the City of Selma, which is responsible

Lauderdale Street. Historians have established that

for its maintenance. The church property is the site of

part of the house was on the property prior to 1842.

the famous Banksiae Rose. The rose commonly known

It was extensively remodeled in the Victorian style in

as “Lady Banks,” according to legend, shed its petals as

1898. Notice the romantic turret and gingerbread trim

the minister’s body was brought from the Battle of

associated with this period’s architecture.

Selma to the church.

Continue north on Lauderdale. To your right at 436 Lauderdale Street is the Lucien Burns House. Built between 1879 and 1890, the house is filled with heart-pine lumber and 12-inch baseboards. Lucien Burns was Selma’s mayor for 17 years. The Burns occupied this house until it was sold in 1972 by Anna Burns, Mayor Burns’ widow. Notice the three modern structures on your left and the office building on your right. Four large and impressive 401 Lauderdale Street

Victorian houses were demolished and replaced with

To your left and on the corner at 401 Lauderdale

these commercial buildings before Selma began

Street is said to be one of the oldest houses in Selma.

preservation efforts to protect it’s historic resources.

Constructed in 1825, it is believed to be original to the

Ironically, the central building on the left was the Chamber of Commerce until 2003.




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On this corner, 615 Lauderdale Street, is the Weaver-Hooper House. This house, Gothic in design is said to be a copy of a castle on the Rhine. William Weaver, a prominent landowner and son of one of Selma’s founders, built it in 1868. Located in what was once known as Weaver’s Grove, the home’s sand bricks were made on-site in a kiln built just for that purpose. The interior woodwork and parquet flooring are from pine, walnut and oak trees cut from the grove. The house remained in the Weaver family until 1934.

506 Lauderdale Street (Grace Hall)

On your right at 506 Lauderdale Street is Grace

Turn left on McLeod Avenue traveling one block, then left onto Church Street.

Hall. This Italianate house was built in 1857 and was saved from demolition by the Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society. In 1865 Wilson’s Raiders spared the house out of respect to Selma’s Mayor M. J. Williams. For many years it was a prominent bed & breakfast where former first lady Lady Bird Johnson stayed on several occasions. You may like to pause and read the historic marker.

Go through the next intersection and continue one block until you reach McLeod Avenue. 627 Church Street (Ashford)

On the right at 627 Church Street is Ashford, a Victorian house of Neo-Classical design built in 1903. The home features a double parlor with parquet floors and beautiful fireplaces. Notice the lead glass windows, soaring columns and intricate capitals on the wraparound porch. Next door at 619 Church Street is one of many cottages moved to Selma from Cahawba, the first permanent capital of Alabama. This antebellum house and its original dependencies were moved again to make room for Ashford when it was built.

615 Lauderdale Street (Weaver-Hooper House)




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The house across the street at 612 Church Street was also moved from Cahawba. Moved to Selma in 1859 by oxcart in sections, this house was the Cahawba home of Senator John Tyler Morgan. We know Senator Morgan’s family lived in the house in Cahawba because his son, John H. Morgan, scratched his initials on a windowpane using his mother’s diamond ring. This windowpane has been removed from the window and framed to hang on a wall in the house. 423 Church Street (Bushleigh)

513 Church Street is a beautifully restored Victorian home. This stately and impressive Queen

Across the street at 423 Church Street is Bushleigh.

Anne house was for many years the home of the Beers

Note the leaded glass windows. Intricate mantels and

family of Selma.

unusual woodwork enhance its beauty. It was built in 1906 by Ernest Lamar as a wedding gift for his daughter. The concrete wall has been preserved and is typical of walls commonly found throughout the historic district around the turn-of-the-century. Also on your right at 411 Church Street is an elegant example of Colonial Revival built in the early 1900’s. The wraparound porch is supported by Ionic columns and the third floor consists of a large ballroom. The well maintained wrought iron fence was manufactured by a local foundry and is an example of fences that used

432 Church Street (Kingston)

to be common in Victorian Selma. At the intersection of Church Street and Abbott Avenue at 432 Church Street is Kingston. Built in 1867 of Italianate design, the house was once owned by Confederate Captain Joseph Forney Johnston who served as Governor of Alabama from 1896 to 1900 and as United States Senator from 1907 to 1913. This was also the home of Dr. Goldsby King. Note the fretwork and beautiful etched ruby glass windows on the front porch. The fretwork was manufactured in Selma in 1867. 401 Church Street (Lee-Bender-Butler House)




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On your right, 401


Street, is the

next to Churchview you will see a unique playhouse. It

Lee-Bender-Butler House built in 1840. Thomas Helm

is a turret that was originally on the house that stood

Lee, a cousin of Robert E. Lee, designed and built this

where the gardens are now located.

lovely Greek Revival home. Mr. Lee was also the architect

To your left at 308 Church Street is the Dubose

for Sturdivant Hall, which you will see later on this

House. This house was part of the Dubose Estate and

tour. Take time to read the historic marker in front.

was deeded to three of the local churches (Methodist,

On your left at 406 Church Street is a fine vernacular

Episcopalian, and Presbyterian). Miss Lucile Dubose

Victorian “L” shaped cottage. Next door at 400 Church

had specified in her will that the house was not to be

Street is the “parent” house, built for the Breslin family.

torn down. In her fear that the Baptists would purchase

The building behind this house was the stable for horses

and tear the house down to use the lot for parking, she

belonging to the Shearon Breslin family.

deeded the house to the three neighboring churches hoping it would be left intact. The churches decided to

To your right on the corner opposite from the

auction off the house and it was purchased by a couple

Lee-Bender-Butler House at 331 Church Street is the

drawn to Selma by their interest in Selma’s “Sleeping

Lanford-Portis House built in 1892. Actress Jessica

Prophet,” Edgar Cayce.

Lange lived in this Queen Anne house during the filming of the movie “Blue Sky,” for which she won an Academy

Turn right onto Dallas Avenue. Stay in the right lane, as you will be turning right again at the next light onto Mabry Street.

Award for “Best Actress.”

Notice the many Victorian houses on this block of Dallas Avenue. On your right at 725 Dallas Avenue is the Walker-Plant House. It was built in 1915 and was the setting for many scenes in the movie “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” starring Alan Arkin. This house is one of the few examples of Georgian Architecture in Selma.

Turn right on Mabry Street, formerly known as Donation Street.

327 Church Street (Churchview)

Next door at 327 Church Street is a two and a half

On the right at 326 Mabry Street is the Waller-

story Queen Anne with Neo-Classical influences.

McLeod House. This cottage and the adjacent cottage

Named Churchview by its present owners, the house

at 330 Mabry Street built by the family of Miss Ruth

was constructed in 1893 by Ernest Lamar. Notice the

May, a beloved Selma teacher in years past, are examples

wraparound porch supported by urn shaped columns

of beautifully restored Victorian Cottages built around

with Ionic capitals. In the back corner of the garden

1870. The addition to the second cottage exemplifies the




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possibilities of modernization and enlargement of an older home while maintaining the architectural lines of the period. Notice the raised cottage on your left before you turn the corner. We will discuss it later on the tour.

Turn right onto Parkman Avenue. Follow Parkman Avenue for one block, pausing a moment before turning left onto Tremont Street. 413 Tremont Street

On your left at 413 Tremont Street is a Victorian house built in the 1880s by the Woolseys. This house features stained glass windows and a square cupola.

721 Parkman Avenue (Parkman House)

On the corner of Tremont and Parkman at 721 Parkman Avenue is the Greek Revival Parkman House. Elias Parkman, one of Selma’s early businessmen 430 Tremont Street

who opened the fifth business in Selma, built it prior to 1839. It is considered to be one of Selma’s oldest homes.

430 Tremont Street on your right is a small

To the left of the house is a small building known as

Victorian cottage, which had been much altered and

Miss Kitty Young’s School. “Miss Kitty” and her two

added onto over the years. It was purchased by the

sisters purchased the house in 1887 and operated the

Strothers who removed the additions and restored the

school for nearly fifty years. A unique feature of the

original cottage.

school was it’s hand drawn diplomas, which were made

On your left at 509 Tremont Street is Kelso Cottage.

on real sheepskin.

This Italianate raised cottage was built in 1868. The outbuildings include a smokehouse and servant’s

Turn left onto Tremont Street.



quarters restored into apartments.


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The Queen Anne house at 510 Tremont Street was

On your left is Meriwether at 609 Tremont Street.

built in 1903 for Henry Martin Smith, a brick company

This house is of Neo-Classical design and was built in

owner. Built of solid brick, the house features interior

the 1880's by Dr. Thomas Gary, who moved to Selma

walls over a foot thick. The house was converted into


apartments until a local family purchased it for use as

grocery and cotton business. The house was inherited

a single family home.

by his son. His daughters built homes directly behind







and beside it (the vacant lot to the south). Dr. Gary's granddaughter, Eleanor Gary Meriwether, sold the house and it has been beautifully restored.

Tremont School

Across the street at the next corner is Tremont School. Once the high school for the city, it was later a

629 Tremont Street (Mabry-Jones House)

neighborhood elementary school and is still used by the Selma City School Board for storage. It is in great need

The next house on your left, 629 Tremont

of maintenance and restoration.

Street, is the historic antebellum Mabry-Jones House built by Dr. A. G. Mabry, one of Selma's leading

Notice the brick sidewalks across the street. At one

citizens and one of the founders of the Alabama Medical

time the City of Selma offered to replace the concrete

Association. The house was built in three sections, each

sidewalks in Old Town with brick walks if the

at a different time and is Greek Revival in style. The

homeowners would buy the bricks. These three houses

stepdaughter of Dr. Mabry married Captain Catesby

were the only ones to take advantage of the offer.

ap R. Jones, a Confederate Naval Officer who was sent Continuing on Tremont, please notice on your right

to Selma to take charge of the foundry. (At that time,

522, 530 and 600 Tremont Street are all examples of

Selma was the second most important munitions center

pre-Civil War homes with strong Victorian and

in the Confederacy.) Captain Jones was one of the

Neo-Classical influences. Both 530 and 600 Tremont

designers of the ironclad known as the Merrimac

Street are constructed of portions of houses moved here

(so named after the Confederate ship Virginia was

from Cahawba.

covered with iron). He was also the Commander of the Merrimac during the battle of the Merrimac and the O



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Monitor. Throughout this tour you will see large

The house to your left at 709 Tremont Street was

carriage stones and hitching posts in front of many

built in the early 1900's and is Classical Revival in style.

historic houses. Most are original to the home, like the

Notice the intricate leaded glass entry.

one seen here in front of the Mabry home. Descendents of the Jones family still occupy this house. To your left, 703 Tremont Street, is a house of Italianate influence believed to have been moved to Selma from Cahawba where it was said to have been the Governor's House. This house is also said to have been the model for the White House of the Confederacy located in Montgomery.

719 Tremont Street (John Tyler Morgan House)

The next house to your left, 719 Tremont Street, is the Selma home of John Tyler Morgan. It was named for Morgan, its second owner, who was a Confederate General and a U.S. Senator for over thirty years. It is Greek Revival in style and was built in 1869 by Thomas Whetmore. 700 Tremont Street (Converse House)

At the intersection of Tremont Street and Jeff Davis Avenue, turn left and remain in the left lane, as you will only be on Jeff Davis Avenue for one block.

On your right, 700 Tremont Street, is the Converse House. The house originally occupying this lot was that of Confederate Col. and Mrs. N.H.R. Dawson. Col. Dawson was once the U.S. Commissioner of Education

While on Jeff Davis, you will notice to your right at

and his third wife, Elodie B. Todd, was the half-sister

627 Jeff Davis Avenue the Knox Reformed Presbyterian

of Mary Todd Lincoln. The beautiful doors of this home

Church, founded in 1870. It is a classically Southern

were originally used on the Dawson home. The

church style, which was raised for air circulation. It was

Converses were related to Capt. Catesby ap C. Jones

formed to serve and educate part of the African-American

and a mural of the battle of the Monitor and Merrimac

community in Selma and was an outgrowth of several

is painted on the dining room wall.

small missions in the city and outlying areas and of Knox Academy, a school.




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Turn left onto Mabry Street.

and physician's office and moved to this spot from a plantation near Uniontown.

Notice on your right at 911 Mabry Street the Blake-Gantt House. This antebellum home was built between 1861 and 1864. During the War Between the States, ladies were in this home preparing bandages when a cannon ball pierced the roof. Fortunately, no photo by: Cunningham Group

one was injured.

713 Mabry Street (Sturdivant Hall Museum)

The house on the corner at 713 Mabry Street is known as Sturdivant Hall Museum. It is said to be one of the finest examples of Neo-Classical-Greek Revival architecture in the South. Please pull over to the right and take a moment to read the historic marker in front of

811 Mabry Street (White-Force Cottage)

Sturdivant Hall. Sturdivant Hall and its museum gift shop On your left you will notice several examples of

are open for tours daily except Sundays and Mondays.

Victorian houses. White-Force Cottage is the white frame house on your right at 811 Mabry Street.

Cross McLeod Avenue, pulling over to your right at the corner.

It was the home of Martha Todd White, a half-sister to Mary Todd Lincoln. Her husband was not a military

On your right is Heritage Village, a project of our

man so the couple was able to visit Washington D.C.

local Historic Society. Located on this site are

during the War Between the States. They were given

the Gillis house (the larger house facing Mabry), the

escorts through the Federal lines and were able to smug-

McKinnon-Riggs doctor's office and the Calhoun law

gle medical supplies back to the South. It was also the

office. The small green building in the back is known as

home of Miss M.M. Force, Selma's first postmistress.

the Siegel servant's quarters. The gray structure to

White-Force Cottage is used for special catered events.

the left and in front of the Siegel building is a turn-ofThe small white building next to White-Force Cottage

the-century pigeon cote. These houses have been fully

is the Fitts plantation pharmacy building constructed

renovated and are used for special events like the

between 1830 and 1840. It was used as a pharmacy

Historic Selma Pilgrimage & Antique Show. Behind the village area is a quaint aqua cottage known as Miss




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Minnie Sue's Cottage. This residence was constructed in 1830 and was moved from the lot that is now Heritage Village to its present lot. We suggest that you get out and walk around Heritage Village. All of these small buildings were moved to this site to preserve them from demolition by their owners. Please notice the generous wraparound porch at 621 Mabry Street. This variation on colonial architecture and typical Southern building style is designed to provide shade to the interior and offer an opportunity

430 Mabry Street

for the occupants to visit with neighbors. The wide

gardens are reminiscent of New Orleans style and the

proportions and columns are inviting and beautiful.

chimney pots give a distinct European flavor.

Continue southward on Mabry Street. On your left,

The next residence to your left, 410 Mabry Street, is

620 Mabry Street, is the home used for filming the movie

the Swift-Gamble House which is Greek Revival in style.

"The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," starring Alan Arkin.

This house is believed to have been moved from Cahawba. The four homes on your right are examples of

Follow Mabry Street, crossing the intersection of Furniss Avenue.

Victorian cottages built in the early 1900's.

Go straight, crossing the intersection of Mabry Street and Parkman Avenue.

The houses to the left are at least 100 years old and have been altered through the years but have retained their notable charms. Note the exquisite leaded glass entrance of the home at 520 Mabry Street. On your right at 515 Mabry Street is the old King Memorial Hospital. The main structure was built in 1850 as Dr. Goldsby King’s home and clinic. It was later known as King Memorial Hospital and serves as Dunn Nursing Home, from 1950 until it was relocated in 2003. Continuing on Mabry Street you will notice on your left at 430 Mabry Street an Italianate Cottage with French Colonial influence. Built in 1854, its features

329 Mabry Street (Phillips-Hobbs-Joyce House)

include brick walls layered three bricks deep covered To your right and on the corner at 329 Mabry Street

with stucco on the outside and plaster inside. The

is the Phillips-Hobbs-Joyce House, which was built in O



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1837 by a son of one of the original founders of the

Nunnelee, editor and publisher of the "Selma Morning

Selma Land Company. This Greek Revival home was

Times." Mr. Nunnelee deeded the property to his wife in

purchased by S.F. Hobbs, a native of Maine. Mr. Hobbs

1896. The Queen Anne style house boasts a turreted

purchased a local jewelry store from an advertisement

wraparound porch with lathe turned columns.

in a Maine newspaper; he later moved to Selma and fell in love with a Southern lady. When federal troops attacked Selma in 1864, Mr. Hobbs was serving in the Confederate Army against his six Yankee brothers. This home was damaged by a cannon ball but the silver from the jewelry store, which was hidden in the weatherboarding at the rear of the house, was not harmed. Pieces of jewelry were saved by Mrs. Hobbs who sewed them into her petticoat. 329 Union Street (Jordan House)

Continue on Mabry Street to the traffic light marking Dallas Avenue. Turn right onto Dallas Avenue, stay in the right lane.

Pause at the intersection of Parkman Avenue and Union Street. To your left at 329 Union Street is the

On your right are many examples of Greek Revival

Italianate style Jordan House constructed around 1860.

and Victorian cottages distinctive to the late 1890's and

Ralph “Shug” Jordan, Auburn University’s long-time and

early 1900's. Notice in particular “Catherine Heather,”

much revered head coach, was originally from Selma.

619 Dallas Avenue, which combines Victorian,

Shug could often be found playing at this house as a child.

Georgian and Italianate styles.

Cross Parkman Avenue and continue on Union Street.

On the left corner at 601 Dallas Avenue is the Colonial Revival Bloch House. Mr. Bloch was the owner of Selma’s early baseball team, The Cloverleafs. The gable front portico with arched entry is supported by Doric columns and brick columns providing entry to an uncovered wraparound porch.

Turn right onto Union Street. The house on your right at 322 Union Street was constructed between 1895 and 1896 by James




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Please notice the leaded glass in the Tudor style house at 415 Union Street. This house, built in 1918, has fine examples of stained glass, though they are not visible from the street. On your left at 431 Union Street is the RobbinsMoseley Home which was built around 1864 by John Robbins, the owner of Dallas Iron Works. The front porch posts are slender cast iron columns made at the Iron Works. The Italianate style house was purchased

photo by: Mike Clemmer

and renovated in 1938 by Dr. and Mrs. Samuel O. Moseley, Sr. The original detached kitchen is now

responsible for breathing new life into a decaying

attached to the house by a breezeway. The artesian well

neighborhood including the revival of Byrd Elementry

on the property was capped in the 1950’s.

School as a neighborhood school. The eye-catching rainbow of colors has rejuvenated these early 1900’s

Next on your right at 500 Union Street is a Colonial


Revival house with vented dormers and Doric columns. Note the distinctive etched ruby glass in the transom above the front door. Notice the house at 602 Furniss Avenue, on the corner of Furniss Avenue and Union Street, now used as offices of an accounting firm. This is a good example of adaptive reuse keeping the historic districts alive. Many professionals have been allowed to establish offices in historic buildings throughout the districts, enabling historic structures to be preserved and maintained.

607 Union Street (Henderson House)

Cross Furniss Avenue and continue along Union Street.

To your left at 607 Union Street is the former King-Siddons-Welch House. This Greek

The intersection of Union Street and Furniss Avenue

Revival mansion was refurbished by Circle “S”

begins the Fairoaks Square neighborhood, which was a

Industries for its corporate headquarters and renamed

renovation project consisting of one square block of 13

Henderson House by Larry Striplin, Jr. in honor of his

homes refurbished by Circle "S" Industries of Selma.

mother. The house was occupied by Union forces

These cottages typify the houses built in southern cities

during the Battle of Selma. The Siddon’s family who

around the turn-of-the-century. This project was

owned the house at this time occupied two of the




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upstairs rooms while the Union troops used the rest of

from the days when horse-drawn carriages rumbled

the house as a hospital. The house was built for William

down the wide city streets.

B. King in 1853, purchased by Judge Franklin W.

Cross the intersection and continue going south on Lapsley Street.

Siddons in 1862 and in 1887 was purchased by the Welch family who occupied it for nearly 100 years. Beautiful gardens, a swimming pool and tennis courts

On your right at 509 Lapsley Street is a house built

lie behind the brick wall that encompasses the property.

in 1901. This house is unique with its leaded and

You may wish to stop and read the historic marker.

stained glass windows. There are twelve Corinthian columns on the front porch.

At the intersection of McLeod Avenue and Union Street, please turn left and follow McLeod Avenue for one block. Turn left onto Lapsley Street. On your left is a continuation of the Fairoaks Square neighborhood. It was named “Fairoaks” for the many trees surrounding the cottages. On your right at 625 Lapsley Street is Byrd Elementary School, built in 1919. This is the oldest elementary school still being used in Selma. It was

439 Lapsley Street (Smith-Quarles House)

named for Judge Byrd who donated the land on which his house stood for the school. Judge Byrd was killed in

439 Lapsley Street is the Smith-Quarles

a train crash and was buried under his wife’s bedroom

House. This antebellum home was built by

window. Of course he was removed to the local

Colonel Washington McMurray Smith in 1859. During

cemetery when the school was built.

the Battle of Selma the first floor of the home was used

On your right, 605 Lapsley Street at the corner of

as a hospital for Union troops while the Smith women

Lapsley and Furniss is the Carlisle-Cawthon House.

and children were allowed to reside upstairs. Colonel

The notable features of this home are the wraparound

Smith was the president of the Selma Bank. Prior to the

porch with Corinthian columns, the stained glass in the

Union invasion of Selma, Colonel Smith hid the bank's

second story window and the iron fence surrounding

gold inside the left column on the front porch. The

the back of the home. This fence was moved to this

Union troops never found the gold. When they left, a

location from the old county jail. This house was built

hole was cut into the bottom of the column and the gold

by the Carlisle family around 1875. It is one of the few

was taken back to the bank. This is one of the few

private homes in Selma that has an elevator.

antebellum homes in Selma still occupied by descendants

The horse-shaped hitching post at the sidewalk remains

of the original founding families.




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Cross the intersection of Parkman Avenue and Lapsley Street.

Turn left onto Dallas Avenue and travel in the right lane.

330 Lapsley Street (Brownstone Manor)

500 Dallas Avenue

Notice to your left, 330 Lapsley Street, the

On your right at 500 Dallas Avenue is an Italian

sandstone building known as Brownstone Manor. This

Renaissance Revival house built around 1917. This

house was built in 1904 and was visited frequently by

craftsman house with distinctive brick and tiles

F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald when it was owned by

features a Palladian window, sunken fireplace and a

Lamar Hooper. In 1983 the third floor burned while

private elevator.

being restored. Since then, it has been renovated to its original beauty. It remains a private home, but also hosts special events, weddings and a variety of parties. Notice 311 Lapsley Street, a Tudor Revival house designed in an “L” form with a recessed entry at the junction of the “L.” Built around 1920, the house is distinctive with its English influence and its wrought iron balconette above the entry. The Italianate house to your right, 309 Lapsley Street, was built for Mrs. T. B. Roy, the daughter of

509 Dallas Avenue

General Hardee whose house is next door. To your left is a fine example of Italianate architecture Next, 307 Lapsley Street, was the home of

at 509 Dallas Avenue. It was built in the late 1880's by

General William Hardee, author of the book

Edward G. Gregory. It was sold in 1894 to the Sommers

"Infantry, Rifle and Tactics" used by both sides during the

family and remained in the same family until it was

War Between the States. The home was constructed in 1865

purchased and renovated in 1986.

and has undergone extensive remodeling since that time. O



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On the same side of the street, 519 Dallas Avenue,

are some fine examples of etched and pressed glass.

is another fine house. Built in 1880, the house was

Other features of the house are lincrusta (a tooled

recently renovated as a restaurant. Vinyl siding was

leather wall covering) and Victorian influences such as

added at the time, which created some dissension

parquet floors, added in the late 1800's.

among preservation purists in Selma. Note the leaded

Behind the Baker House sits the Baker carriage

glass entrance from the original structure.

apartment. The carriage house was constructed at the

At the corner on your right at 520 Dallas Avenue is

same time as the main house by George Baker, a mining

the Perkins-Baker House built prior to 1861.

engineer. In back of the property there is an original

It remained in the same family until 1989, when it was

well used by the family and servants. Today, this well is

purchased by a local architect. The home is an

covered by a latticed arbor.

outstanding example of high Victorian Italianate

Next on your right at 618 Dallas Avenue is an

architecture. During the auction prior to the sale of the

Italianate house built between 1872 and 1873. Note the

house, people came from all over the world to purchase

gorgeous doors.

Baker family heirlooms. To the right at 710 Dallas Avenue is the Victorian Callaway House. This residence was built in 1884 after the original home that was located on this lot burned. Mrs. Callaway, the homeowner, was able to retrieve her cigar box that contained her savings of $2,500 which she used to build this house.

600 Dallas Avenue (George Baker House)

Next is the George Baker House at 600 Dallas Avenue, which was also built prior to 1861. The grounds of this home were the scene of a skirmish during the fall of Selma in the War Between the States. A wounded Union soldier crawled under the staircase and

730 Dallas Avenue (Koenigstahl House)

died following the battle. A fire in 1953 destroyed the Locally known as the Koenigstahl House, 730 Dallas

top floor of the home. In an effort to salvage the home,

Avenue, has been said to be the finest example of Queen

a roof and a cupola were added. The ceilings on the

Anne architecture in the Southeast. It epitomizes the

ground floor are gold leaf. Not visible from the street O



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elegance and grace of this period. Notice the variety of

On your right, notice the Vaughan-Plant-Patterson

architectural details to be found on this house.

House at 209 Church Street. Built between 1891 and

Now restored, the house was once condemned by the

1895 by P.T. Vaughan, it was purchased by William

City of Selma and barely visible due to the overgrown

Henry Plant in 1913. In 1981 it was purchased by his


granddaughter and renovated, retaining the charm and grace of earlier days with the conveniences of today.

Continue traveling on Dallas Avenue towards the Church steeples. Turn right onto Church Street.

Turn right onto Selma Avenue. On your left, as you turn you will see 816 Selma Avenue, a large red brick building known as Dallas Academy. It originally housed a school, funded by the Ladies Educational Society of Selma. Begun as a private school, to educate the sons and daughters of Selma's wealthy citizens, Dallas Academy later became Selma’s first public school. Selma’s public school system is the second oldest in Alabama. The many hardships Dallas Academy endured resulted in its closing in the early 1960’s. It is currently the center for programs of the Arts and Humanities and other civic groups.

Church Street United Methodist Church

Next to the Old Dallas Academy is The Little Red

To your left, notice Church Street United Methodist

Schoolhouse at 812 Selma Avenue. This Gothic

Church built in 1901. The architecture is Romanesque

Revival building served as additional schoolrooms for

Revival. This is the only church still located on the

Dallas Academy in the early 20th Century and now

original plot of ground given by the Selma Town and

houses offices of the American Red Cross.

Land Company to the major church denominations in

On your right at 713 Selma Avenue is a two story

1819. As the congregation has grown, several additions

house that has a scored stucco exterior. A practice

have been made which include the adult Sunday School

commonly used to replicate stone.

building, a fellowship hall and cafeteria. The brick

Next door at 707 Selma Avenue is a 1930’s two story

parsonage is now used as classrooms and the youth

craftsman foursquare stone block and stucco house.

center. The stained glass windows are one of its many notable features.




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Just past the intersection of Selma Avenue and Mabry Street, on the left at 626 Selma Avenue, is the Platt-Lewis House. Italianate in design, it was built around 1849 and purchased by Charles Lewis in 1856. According to history, the home was saved from burning and looting during the Battle of Selma because Mr. Lewis was a Mason; it was saved by a fellow Mason, a Yankee lieutenant.

610 Selma Avenue

movie "Body Snatchers III" lived here during the filming in the winter and spring of 1992. Directly across the street at 607 Selma Avenue is a Craftsman foursquare built around 1892. Interestingly, the current residents have reason to believe, as did other owners before them, that the house has a “presence.” They hesitate to use the word "ghost.” Research has disclosed that a young man who resided in the house

623 Selma Avenue (Parke House)

died in 1941. His funeral was held in the dining room of Notice to your right at 623 Selma Avenue the Parke

the house and many sightings and other occurrences

House. This Greek Revival home was constructed in

have left little doubt in the owners’ minds that something

the late 1850's as a wedding present from Mr. and Mrs.

or someone shares their home.

John Swift to their daughter Lucinda Parke. Dr. Parke practiced medicine in Selma until his death in 1886. The house remained in the Parke family until 1982. On your right at 613 Selma Avenue is a pre-Civil War structure that is said to have had the brick portions of the home moved here from Cahawba prior to 1850. Mr. Middleton and his two sisters moved to Selma from Cahawba and brought their house with them. 602 Selma Avenue (Hunter House)

On your left at 610 Selma Avenue you will see a beautiful Colonial Revival house built around 1907.

On your left at the next intersection, 602 Selma

Please notice the leaded windows around the front door.

Avenue, is the Hunter House. Also Colonial Revival,

The house also has lovely woodwork. The director of the O



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this house was built in 1895 by Charles D. Hunter.

To your left is an area known as the Riverview

Through the years the original roofline and porch have

Historic District, one of Selma’s four historic districts.

been altered.

Many of the homes in this area are currently undergoing restoration.

To your right at 601 Selma Avenue is the MilhouseJones House built between 1858 and 1861. The house

Turn right into Old Live Oak Cemetery.

was originally a one-story stucco structure until 1902 when Mrs. Milhouse inherited $2,500 and proceeded to alter the house. Her money soon ran out forcing her to finish the second story with shingles.

Old Live Oak Cemetery

After you pass through the large iron gates of this beautiful old cemetery, please notice on the right the Featherstone Monument which features an

513 Selma Avenue (Baker Schoolhouse)

elaborate and unique figure typical of the Victorian In the next block and to your right at 513 Selma

period. On your left you can see the mausoleum of

Avenue is a small 1840’s building in the rear of the lot,

William Rufus King, former Vice-President of the

that served as the schoolhouse for the Baker children.

United States and the monument to Senator John Tyler

The Bakers at one time owned the entire block.

Morgan. Many of Selma's most prominent citizens are buried here. (A separate self-guided tour of the cemetery

At 511 Selma Avenue notice the California

may be obtained at the Centre for Commerce.)

Craftsman house built around 1900. The intricate iron fence was most likely manufactured in Selma.

Turn right on Dallas Avenue. Go two blocks to Lapsley Street. Turn right again.

Continue on Selma Avenue for two blocks. The Old Live Oak Cemetery block wall will come into view on the right. This is the older section of the Cemetery and has a number of beautiful monuments.




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On your right at 219 Lapsley Street is a stately

George F. Barber & Company’s Art in Architecture.

Queen Anne period home. It was formerly a dress shop

Built by the Eliasberg family, it was for many years

owned by singer/actress Anita Bryant.

occupied by Dallas County’s long serving Probate Judge Bernard Reynolds.

Turn right onto Union Street and go one-half block.

213 Lapsley Street (The House Next Door)

The yellow cottage at 213 Lapsley Street is the Haralson-Carmichael House, once known as “The House Next Door” because its owner lived next door at

Vaughan-Smitherman Museum

203 Lapsley Street. Circa 1869, this residence

To your right, the large red brick and white

once housed a children's gift and antique shop. It is an

columned building is now known as the

exquisite, one-story Italianate “L” shaped house with

Vaughan-Smitherman Museum. Since its original

frescoed ceilings and walls.

construction by the masonic order to house a school,

Next door at 203 Lapsley Street is a house that

the building has been used as a Confederate hospital,

exemplifies the Arts and Crafts movement at the

courthouse and a regional hospital. The building is now

turn-of-the-century. Stucco columns beginning at

owned by the city and named after Selma's long time

ground level support a full width shed porch.

mayor, Joseph T. Smitherman and Dr. Samuel Watkins Vaughan, founder of the Vaughan Hospital. The museum

Turn left onto Selma Avenue.

is also used for weddings, receptions, meetings and other social functions.

The Selma Art Guild Gallery is located on your right at 508 Selma Avenue. This 1925 Craftsman bungalow

Turn left onto Alabama Avenue (the street directly in front of the Vaughan-Smitherman Museum).

houses works of art by local artists and artisans. Also on your right on the next corner is a stucco house at 520 Selma Avenue. Built around 1900, this Queen Anne “plastered” house is a variation from O



T o



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Look to your left, on the corner of Alabama Avenue and Union Street at 603 Union Street is the Philpot House. Constructed in 1852, Mrs. Philpot demonstrated early women's liberation by having the home constructed by slave labor while her husband was away on business. Years later, during the Battle (and burning) of Selma, Mrs. Philpot saved her home from burning by organizing a bucket brigade brought water from the

711 Alabama Avenue (Keith House)

nearby river. The home is a lovely example of the raised

In the next block, to your left, at 711 Alabama

cottage style prominent in New Orleans and Mobile.

Avenue is the Keith House. Built in 1880, the house was

On your left, 627 Alabama Avenue was at one time the

purchased by Marshall A. Keith in 1884 and has remained in the same family since. It is presently used

home of Mr. Leslie Devotie, a Baptist minister, who

as insurance and law offices. It is a textbook example of

drowned in Mobile Bay while boarding a Confederate

a Carpenter Gothic design and is unusual for this section

vessel and became the first casualty of the War Between

of the country.

the States. It is said that the first Confederate flag was used to drape his coffin. Mr. Devotie was one of the founders of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. The house is presently used as offices for a local accounting firm. Notice to your right at 630 Alabama Avenue the lovely raised cottage recently renovated into apartments using tax incentives for income producing property. The area behind the cottage and the next block over to your right is known as Arsenal Place because the

Many Victorian cottages in this block are still used as businesses and homes.

Confederate arsenal was located here during the War Between the States. The large arsenal and foundry

Further up on your right at 816 Alabama Avenue

employed some 10,000 people and was part of the reason

you’ll notice a unique brick home that is reminiscent of

for the Battle of Selma during the war.

early town houses. The Riggs-Morgan House was built in 1843 and was purchased by Mr. Louis S. Riggs 20 years later. This home has been occupied by descendants of the same family since that time.




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Winston Pettus, who had the distinction of serving in the U.S. Senate at the same time and were from the same city.

Turn right onto Lauderdale Street. On your left at 30 Lauderdale Street is an excellent example of adaptive reuse. A real estate office now occupies a 1924 Standard Oil service station.

Turn left onto Water Avenue. 900 Alabama Avenue (Berry House)

After crossing Church Street, notice 900 Alabama Avenue also on your right. Built by Dr. John A. McKinnon sometime after 1877 it takes its name from the Berry family who was a long time resident. The grillwork on this house is exceptional and was made in Selma's foundry. Beautiful frescoes adorn the interior walls.

Bienville Monument

This begins our historic Water Avenue district. The Bienville Monument on your right commemorates D’anville’s mapping of this area in the 1700’s naming Selma “Ecor de Bienville.” Selma was later named “High Soapstone Bluff,” then “Moore’s Bluff” and finally “Selma,” which means high seat or throne. The Harmony Club at 1007 Water Avenue is a

910 Alabama Avenue (Federal Building)

Renaissance Revival three-story commercial building Next door at 910 Alabama Avenue is the U.S.

with a cast iron storefront. The Harmony Club was

Courthouse and Federal Building, which was built in

built in 1909 as a social club by Selma’s Jewish

1909 and has been placed on the National Register of

community. Its present owner is restoring the building

Historic American Places. The arch in front of the

for commercial use on the ground floor and is using the

building is in honor of Selma's two great senators,

upper floors as his private residence.

General John Tyler Morgan and General Edmund W








n 22










photo by: Cunningham Group

photo by: Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel

At 1012 Wa t e r Avenue


National Rights


Voting Museum





memorabilia honors participants in the Voting Movement.





Edmund Winston Pettus Bridge


led to the U.S. Voting Rights Act of 1965. The bridge was erected in 1939 and named after U.S. Senator Edmund Winston Pettus. You should pause and read


the historic marker at the foot of the bridge.

“Bloody Sunday” and the prejudices of 1012 Water Avenue (National Voting Rights Museum)



attain the right to

storefront building typical of the early 1870's. This

The “Songs of Selma” park was created by the City from a vacant lot where the Baker building once stood. The Baker building housed a general merchandise store, a hardware store and at the time of it’s burning a fine restaurant. The park’s name came from the book “The Poems of Ossian” containing the poem “Songs of Selma” from which Selma was named.

newspaper has been published continually since 1828.

Songs of Selma Park




Voting Rights Act of 1965 is their victory. Visit the “Footsteps to Freedom” room, the “I Was There Wall” and more. At 1018 Water Avenue is The Selma Times-Journal, the local newspaper, housed in an Italianate Victorian

Earlier uses of this building include a wholesale grocery

To your left on the corner of Broad Street and

business and an agricultural implement business.

Water Avenue is the future site of the Regional Visitors Information Center for the Selma to

Look to your right as you cross Broad Street.

Montgomery National Historic Trail. The project is and will be operated in conjunction with the National Park Service. The four buildings fronting Broad Street

The Edmund Winston Pettus Bridge, to your

will be included in this development. This future tourist

right, was the scene of the Selma to Montgomery

attraction will trace the history of the Voting Rights

March in 1965. The demonstrations that occurred here









Movement in the United States.

n 23










Traveling down Water Avenue you can see typical

In 1865 the Union Army seized the city and set up its

commercial riverfront buildings as you approach

headquarters in the hotel. After the War, the hotel

Lafayette Park (the brick area located next to the

flourished until the completion of the magnificent Hotel

St. James Hotel), which commemorates Lafayette’s visit

Albert, (under construction prior to the War Between the

to Selma. At the foot of the Park is the Bridge Tender’s

States) which caused the St. James Hotel to close. Later

House that was used by the bridge tender when Selma’s

other businesses occupied this site until its renovation.

turn bridge was in operation. The house now serves as

An interesting fact is that the outlaws Jesse and Frank

a popular Bed and Breakfast. Take time to read the

James were visitors to the St. James hotel. As the register

historic marker in front of the house and enjoy the

reflects, the hotel continues to host famous guests from

scenic overlook.

around the world. You’ll feel you’ve stepped back in time when you step through the doors of this historic landmark. Across the street in the area now known as St. James Place, the antebellum buildings housed Union troops during the War. Businesses now occupy these buildings. As you proceed down Water Avenue, the buildings on the right side are early historic structures that have had multiple uses over the years. Cotton warehouses and hotels have become tin shops, antiques stores and nightclubs but have retained much of their architectural integrity.

1200 Water Avenue (St. James Hotel)

Turn right on Mulberry Road (you will be facing the Old Depot Museum).

The impressive 1837 building on the corner at 1200 Water Avenue is the St. James Hotel, the only existing antebellum riverfront hotel in the

Cross the railroad tracks and enter the

Southeast. Renovation of the hotel startes in 1994 and

Foundry area. At this site, you may wish to stop

completed in 1997 as a public-private partnership. The

to read the signage and/or get out and walk around.

hotel boasts a restaurant, drinking room, ballrooms and great views. The common areas are furnished with period

Reverse your direction and turn left on Mulberry Road, headed towards the Old Depot Museum.

antiques and the guestrooms with period reproductions. Absent during the War Between the States the hotel’s owner, Dr. James Gee, entrusted Benjamin Sterling Turner, his former slave to run the St. James Hotel. Mr. Turner, who owned a livery stable, was the first African-American elected in the United States Congress.









n 24










photo by: Cunningham Group

Johnson Brothers Wholesale Grocery. It is now occupied by Holley Farm and Garden.

Travel on Martin Luther King, Jr. Street, drive two blocks to Selma Avenue.

Old Depot Museum

On your right, you will see the Old Depot Museum, an interpretive history museum that houses mementos of the men and women who

As you cross Selma Avenue, you enter the area where

helped make Selma the "Queen City of the

the Civil Rights leaders and demonstrators camped in

Blackbelt.” A tour of the Old Depot Museum runs the

the street in protest in 1965. The history of the events

gamut from Civil War to Civil Rights - from William

in Selma has been researched and the City of Selma

Rufus King, one of Selma's founders in 1819, to Martin

funded the wayside exhibits placed on Martin Luther

Luther King, Jr., the Nobel Peace Prize winner who led

King, Jr. Street as a self-guided walking tour.

voting rights demonstrations here in 1965. Note the

The Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March of 1965

marker on the corner of Water Avenue and Martin

is considered one of the most significant protest

Luther King, Jr. Street. This was the site of the Greater

demonstrations of the modern Civil Rights Movement.

Confederate National Ordnance Works, the Civil War photo by: Cunningham Group

foundry in operation from 1860 until 1865, where the Brooke Cannon was manufactured.

Pass through the intersection of Water Avenue. Mulberry Road’s name changes to Martin Luther King, Jr. Street. Formerly known as Sylvan Street, it was renamed for the Civil Rights activist’s role in the Voting Rights Movement. On your right you will see 1601 Water Avenue, a two story building built in 1919, which formerly housed

410 Martin Luther King, Jr. Street (Brown Chapel A.M.E Church.)

W a t e r

A v e n u e

D i s r i c t


N a t i o n a l 25

H i s t o r i c

T r a i l

At 410 Martin Luther King, Jr. Street is

On your left at 706 Broad Street is the Siegel Art

Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church from where Dr.

Gallery. Built in 1840, it once housed the Jerry Siegel

Martin Luther King, Jr. led the 1965 demonstrations.

collection of art. Works from both national and local

This site was the base for many mass meetings. It was

artists were featured here.

also the first A.M.E. (African Methodist-Episcopal)

Along Broad Street you can see many examples

Church in Alabama. It was here that state conventions

of adaptive reuse. Former residences are now being

were organized. The congregation of this church first

used to house businesses but are still maintained

met in 1866 and this building was built in 1906. It is an

historically. Examples are Henderson Chiropractic

impressive Romanesque structure with Byzantine and

and the Fuller House.

Mission-style influence and has particularly beautiful rose windows. The Public Housing Project surrounding the church was built in the mid-1950’s and was named for famous African-American George Washington Carver. In 1965, demonstrators stayed with occupants of the project and camped out in tents on the grounds.

Continue north on Martin Luther King, Jr. Street to the corner of Jeff Davis Avenue. On your left you will find the First Baptist Church at 709 Martin Luther King, Jr. Street. 506 Broad Street (Temple Mishkan Israel)

It was the financial headquarters of the Voting Rights movement. Several years ago, a tornado ripped

On your right at 506 Broad Street is the Jewish

through the center of the church. Since then the church

Synagogue, Temple Mishkan Israel. Prominent Jewish

has been beautifully renovated. The Martin Luther

merchants contributed to the growth and development

King, Jr. Historic Walking Tour begins here as a

of Selma until the middle 1950’s. The dwindling Jewish

self-guided tour and serves as a lasting tribute to the

congregation has left this impressive building with few

local African-American people who so courageously gave


of themselves to insure voting rights for all citizens. As you continue on Broad Street through the

(A separate self-guided walking tour may be obtained at

intersection of Dallas Avenue, you will again see the

the Centre for Commerce.)

First Presbyterian Church on your right and get a view

Turn left onto Jeff Davis Avenue. Travel five blocks and turn left onto Broad Street. N a t i o n a l

H i s t o r i c

of the clock tower which houses the Seth Thomas clock owned by the City of Selma. The tower height

T r a i l 26


O l d

T o w n e

D i s r i c t

The majority of Selma’s commercial downtown consists of two story buildings with Italianate details built mainly by Selma’s prominent Jewish retail population prior to the turn-of-the-century. The block on your right across from City Hall is anchored by the oldest YMCA building still standing in Alabama. The building at 217 Broad Street is considered to be one of the most important commercial buildings in Selma. The three-story building retains characteristics of the second Empire period and is pivotal to the Selma

First Presbyterian Church (Seth Thomas Clock)


was raised in 1894 to contain the city clock with a 6’ diameter dial. Folks jokingly say that “Selma runs

Go to the next light crossing Selma Avenue.

on Presbyterian Time!”

On your right at 201 Broad Street is an original 1890 Woolworth building built in the handsome Romanesque Revival style.

Brooke Cannon

On your left at 200 Broad Street is the municipal complex. Located on the former site of the Hotel Albert is 121 Broad Street (Kress Building)

City Hall, the Selma-Dallas County Public Library and the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center. It was completed

At 121 Broad Street is the 1930’s Kress Building.

in 1976. Notice the large cannon beside City Hall. The

The decorative Art Deco style structure prominently

Brooke Cannon was originally made in Selma’s foundry,

features the Kress name accented by four-color terra

which was destroyed during the War Between the States.

cotta tiles. Now occupied by Butler-Truax Jewelers, the

The cannon, made in Selma for the ironclad Confederate

building has been given a new lease on life.

ship Tennessee, was located in Washington D.C. and returned to Selma in the early 1980’s. O



T o



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Turn right onto Alabama Avenue at the next traffic signal. Go one block to Lauderdale Street. Turn right again.

marble in 1959 and in 1999 a stucco-like material was added. In 1965 protesters from Brown Chapel A.M.E Church marched down Alabama Avenue to the Dallas County Courthouse in an effort to register to vote.

At the end of this block on your left is the Centre for Commerce building where your tour began. As you have seen, Selma is one of the few towns in the United States with such an impressive architectural variety in a concentrated area. Most of the over 1,200 houses have some architectural significance in addition to the history of the families who built or lived in them.

105 Lauderdale Street (Dallas County Courthouse)

On your left at 105 Lauderdale Street is the Dallas County Courthouse, originally a neo-classic building built in 1910. In 1957, the clock tower collapsed and necessitated the reworking of the façade. The exterior was covered with a synthetic

“The appearance of a town reflects the history of the culture that created it.”

photo by: Cunningham Group

Nicholas Holmes, Renowned Mobile Architect




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Other Self - Guided Tours available through Selma - Dallas County Tourism & Convention Bureau located in the Centre for Commerce. Selma Ghost Tour Old Live Oak Cemetery Tour Martin Luther King, Jr. Street Historic Walking Tour

Museums of Selma

OLD DEPOT MUSEUM Features an interpretive history of Selma and Dallas County, from the Civil War through Civil Rights.

VAUGHAN-SMITHERMAN MUSEUM View the antebellum structure restored to its original beauty. See the Art Lewis Collection of Civil War memorabilia.

STURDIVANT HALL MUSEUM Visit one of the South’s outstanding Greek Revival antebellum homes. Tour includes the house, detached kitchen, gift shop and formal garden.

NATIONAL VOTING RIGHTS MUSEUM Houses memorabilia honoring the Voting Rights Movement. See the “I was There Wall,” “Footsteps to Freedom” room and more.

Admission Charged 4 Martin Luther King, Jr. Street (334) 874-2197

Admission Charged 109 Union Street (334) 874-2174

Admission Charged 713 Mabry Street (334) 872-5626

Admission Charged 1012 Water Avenue (334) 418-0800

Group Tours... because oohs and aahs sound better in unison. Let the Selma-Dallas County Tourism & Convention Bureau help plan your group tour. We'll customize your itinerary from Civil War Memorials to Voting Rights Monuments. The largest historic district in Alabama is waiting for your group. For assistance call 1-800-45-SELMA, 334-875-7241 or contact us at

10/05 M2500

Achitecture of Selma  

Achictecture of Selma

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