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

African American Heritage in Old Town Decatur, Alabama

 
 
African American Heritage in Old Town Decatur, Alabama Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, August 2, 2020
1. African American Heritage in Old Town Decatur, Alabama Marker
Inscription.  Old Town played a vital part in the city's history. The first lot sold in 1821 before the city incorporated in 1826. During Reconstruction, the neighborhood emerged politically, economically and educationally. Many prominent African American citizens resided here; including Burrell Lemons, the first man of color elected as City Alderman in 1880, and renowned physician and surgeon, Dr. Willis E. Sterrs. The few remaining homes represent various architectural styles. Vine Street, located near the Old Train Depot, was the heart of Old Town's commercial district and contained a vibrant collection of shops, restaurants, churches, and professional service venues. Significant to the landmark Scottsboro Boys Trial, many of the black residents' names were submitted as eligible to serve on the 1933 jury. Home to the only accredited high school for blacks, Decatur Negro High School [later named Lakeside] once hosted Dr. George Washington Carver, revered scientist of Tuskegee Institute. Local congregations functioned as centers for active outreach ministries, civic, social, and political interests for its proud citizens.

Listed on the National
African American Heritage in Old Town Decatur, Alabama Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, August 2, 2020
2. African American Heritage in Old Town Decatur, Alabama Marker
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Register of Historic Places in 2012 and included on the State of Alabama Registry of Landmarks and Heritage.
 
Erected by Old Town Committee.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArchitectureIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1821.
 
Location. 34° 36.831′ N, 86° 59.241′ W. Marker is in Decatur, Alabama, in Morgan County. Marker is at the intersection of Vine Street Northwest and Sycamore Street Northwest, on the right when traveling north on Vine Street Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 782 Sycamore Street Northwest, Decatur AL 35601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Town Historic District (a few steps from this marker); Old Decatur Historic District / Historic Depot (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Railroad (about 300 feet away); First Missionary Baptist Church (about 400 feet away); “An Affair Most Important to Us” - The Federal Right, October 27-28, 1864 (about 500 feet away); Dancy-Polk House (circa 1829) (about 700 feet away); “A Hard Nut To Crack” - Federal Defenses at Decatur (about 800 feet away); Historic Downtown/Founders Park (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Decatur.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 4, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 4, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 66 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 4, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 9, 2021