The Baldwin County Heritage Museum Association, Inc. was organized in April 1981 by
a group of area residents
who wished to gather artifacts, tools, machinery, the histories and ethnic cultures of the men and women who
settled in the county about the turn of the century.
I have heard of this museum for some time and had planned several visits that never came about until this trip. This museum is filled with fantastic local area history. I have never been this surprised at the quality of a local museum than this museum. I had my visions set on what I would see, but it just blew me away. Fantastic!
The museum is located on US Highway 98 east of Elberta, Alabama. It features exhibits devoted to the development of Baldwin County, Alabama. The 20,000 sq ft museum, with six large display rooms on five acres of land, includes a large amount of farm equipment and exhibits of life in farm homes. The old St. Mark's Lutheran Church building was moved to the grounds and restored.
The design for the grounds was done by the Landscape Architecture Program of Auburn University. There are over a hundred species of native flora and fauna growing on the grounds.
Construction on the first building began in 1984 and was opened to the public Oct. 31, 1987. It resembles a turn of the century barn with a working windmill in front. The windmill was donated by John & Ruby Haupt in memory of their parents Paul & Marie Haupt and Henry C. & Frances Vikers. The original building contained three public rooms – an all-purpose classroom for lectures and meetings, an exhibit room and a large storage area for donated artifacts.
The second building is called the Haupt Building in honor of the couple who donated the land. It was completed in late 1987 and dedicated on February 28, 1998. It houses vintage farm equipment, tools and machinery. Also housed in this building is a 1911 Titan Tractor.
The third edition was a working blacksmiths shop though it was not developed into a full exhibit because of the unexpected addition of the fourth building, a 1908 church moved to its new home on the museum grounds in 1998. This building is now under the care of an area Blacksmith Club that is completing the structure and working their trade on the museum grounds to preserve the important history of this great skill.
In 2005 the Board of Directors voted to begin an extensive renovation of the original storage wing of the museum. This will house the Baldwin County History Walk, The Heritage Theater, and an Exhibit Hall. The History Walk opened June 8, 2008, the Exhibit Hall Aug. 31, 2008, and the Heritage Theater in January of 2009.
The fifth building is a gift from the town of Loxley. In 2006, they created a miniature Potato Shed on the grounds of the museum. During the Winter of 2007 the trunks of trees felled by Hurricane Ivan were sawed into planks and used to build seating. The structure has become a small outdoor theater which hosts special events.
2007 also brought the old Miflin School House to the Museum grounds. This sixth building is a Snook Foundation Project.
Wed - Sat 10am to 5pm
Baldwin County Heritage Museum
25521 U.S. Hwy. 98E