Smithsonian exhibit opens Tuesday

Published 2:32 pm Friday, April 3, 2015

Pieces of furniture from Rosenbush Furniture are part of the Smithsonian’s “The Way We Worked” exhibit that will be open April 6 through May 6 at the Marengo County History and Archives Museum.

Pieces of furniture from Rosenbush Furniture are part of the Smithsonian’s “The Way We Worked” exhibit that will be open April 6 through May 6 at the Marengo County History and Archives Museum.

Tuesday will kick off a busy April for Demopolis and Marengo County with the opening of the Smithsonian’s The Way We Worked Marengo exhibit.

The Marengo County History and Archives Museum will house the exhibit, and it will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until May 6.

Kirk Brooker with the Marengo County Historical Society said Mary Jones-Fitts sent a letter to the Humanities Foundation requesting for Marengo County to be considered for the event.

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The grand opening for the event will be held Thursday, April 9, at 6 p.m. at the museum to officially kick off the event.

“The Smithsonian sends items for the whole United States, and we added things that are exclusive to Marengo County,” Brooker said. “We’ve added a lot of things with the help of the community specific to our history here.”

He added that there will be five four-by-eight panels that highlight the main individuals and the work of the Native Americans, the French settlers, the white settlers, African Americans and the Jewish settlers in the museum.

“There will also be other stations that highlight different businesses and jobs that were here and some that are still here,” he added “We have photos, written histories and artifacts.”

Brooker said there will be someone at the museum each day during operating hours for tours of the different stations in the exhibit.

“We encourage group tours, but we ask that large groups call ahead to give us a chance to get enough people here to lead the tour,” he said. “The exhibit is geared for fourth-grade and older, since that is when they begin learning Alabama history, but we do welcome younger students as well.”

He said there have been things gathered not just from Demopolis, but also Linden, Myrtlewood, Jefferson and all of Marengo County. The Center for the Study of the Black Belt at UWA also helped gather photos and artifacts.

Throughout the month, there will be several events for people to attend.

On Saturday, April 11, the Historical Society will put on the Spring Pilgrimage, which is held every two years. There will be six homes in Demopolis on display this year. Tickets for the pilgrimage are $20, and will give you access to all six homes on Saturday or Sunday. For ticket information, call (334) 289-9644.

There will also be an agriculture exhibit on display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the railroad tracks on Walnut Avenue. Also, at 1 p.m. at Lyon Hall, Christopher Lang will put on a free Antique Alabama Furniture presentation. Lang depicts the rich and diverse traditions of Alabama cabinetmaking trade during his presentation. There will also be a display table with show and tell items including antique woodworking tools, samples of woods and cabinetmaker’s design books.

The Pilgrimage will continue on Sunday, April 12 from 2-5 p.m.

On Friday, April 17, a discussion on the book Addie Pray will be held at noon at the Demopolis Public Library with speaker Bert Hitchcock.

That evening at the Demopolis High School auditorium, the Alabama Readers Theatre with Don Noble will read excerpts from the book at 6:30 p.m., then at 7:30 p.m., there will be a free showing of Paper Moon.

On Sunday, April 19, at Morning Star Baptist Church, a presentation and talk with Richard Bailey will discuss the role of African American ministers in Marengo County, and Eddie Griffith will discuss the role of the Jewish Rabbi in Marengo County.

From April 24-27, the Canebrake Players will present The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams at the Old School on Main Avenue. The shows will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Monday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students.

On May 1, Mark Abrams along with Carolyn and Rusty Goldsmith will hold a presentation and talk entitled “Place In Art and Design.” They will discuss influences from home.

“I feel like it’s very fitting for this to talk place in the former Merchants Grocery building and the final place of Rosenbush Furniture,” Brooker said. “It’s a perfect location to celebrate the way we worked.”