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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Vestavia Hills in Jefferson County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

A History Of Vestavia Hills

 
 
A History Of Vestavia Hills Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, August 20, 2007
1. A History Of Vestavia Hills Marker
Inscription. In 1924, George Ward, a former mayor of Birmingham, 1905-1909, 1913-1914, visited the City of Rome, Italy. He was so intrigued by the unique beauty of the Temple of the Vestal Virgins on a Roman hilltop that he vowed to build a replica of it on a chosen site near Birmingham. The site he selected was on a beautiful crest of Shades Mountain approximately two miles east of here. The temple was completed in 1925.
In Roman mythology, Vesta was the goddess of fire and of the family hearth, she was also the guardian angel of mankind. The temple was guarded by six Vestal virgins whose duties were to maintain the temple's eternal flame.
Mayor Ward called his temple Vestavia. The area surrounding the temple soon became a thriving suburban city. The name Vestavia Hills naturally evolved.
The structure above was the original summer house, The Temple of Sibyl The Prophetess. When the Vestavia Temple was destroyed, the Vestavia Hills Garden Club was responsible for moving the Temple of Sibyl to the present site. The rendering above is a replica of Mayor Ward's Vestavia Temple.
This plaque was presented to the City of Vestavia Hills by the Vestavia Bicentennial Commission, 1976.
Temple of Sibyl donated by Vestavia Hills Baptist Church
Listed in Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage - 1985
 
Erected
A History Of Vestavia Hills Marker and Temple of Sibyl image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, August 20, 2007
2. A History Of Vestavia Hills Marker and Temple of Sibyl
1976 by Vestavia Bicentennial Commission.
 
Location. 33° 27.33′ N, 86° 47.202′ W. Marker is in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, in Jefferson County. Marker is on Montgomery Highway (US Highway 31) 0 miles north of Shades Crest Road, on the right. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Birmingham AL 35216, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sibyl Temple (within shouting distance of this marker); Samford University (approx. 0.6 miles away); Edgewood Lake (Drained 1940's) Birmingham Motor & Country Club / Edgewood Country Club (approx. 0.6 miles away); Vestavia Hills Baptist Church / George Ward 1867-1940 (approx. one mile away); Hallman Hill (approx. 1.6 miles away); Hollywood / Hollywood Town Hall / Hollywood Country Club (approx. 1.7 miles away); “We Love Homewood” (approx. 1.7 miles away); Homewood (approx. 1.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Vestavia Hills.
 
More about this marker. To access the Temple of Sibyl grounds travel south on Highway 31 from Lakeshore Drive, the Temple stands at the crest of Shades Mountain on the right just before the traffic light at Shades Crest Road. The parking lot is one way in from Highway 31 South.
 
Also see . . .
Temple of Sibyl image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, August 20, 2007
3. Temple of Sibyl

1. Early Photo of Vestavia Temple. From Auburn University Digital Library (Submitted on December 10, 2009, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.) 

2. The Three Lives of Vestavia Temple: Home, Restaurant, Church. Images of Vestavia Temple by George Ritchey. (Submitted on December 10, 2009, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.) 

3. The Three Lives of Vestavia Temple: Home, Restaurant, Church. A story about the home of George Battey Ward by Frances Poor. (Submitted on December 10, 2009, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.) 

4. Vestavia Hills - The Early Days. By Sara Wuska (Submitted on December 10, 2009, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.) 
 
Categories. LandmarksSettlements & Settlers
 
The rendering above is a replica of Mayor Ward's Vestavia Temple. image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, August 20, 2007
4. The rendering above is a replica of Mayor Ward's Vestavia Temple.
Vestavia Hill Baptist Church built on the site of Vestavia Temple image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, March 10, 2008
5. Vestavia Hill Baptist Church built on the site of Vestavia Temple
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 2,216 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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