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

Historic Harpersville

Historic Harpersville Marker, front image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David J Gaines, December 6, 2012
1. Historic Harpersville Marker, front
Inscription.  Harpersville is one of Shelby County’s oldest communities. Its existence precedes that of Shelby County and the State of Alabama. Big Springs, as Harpersville was originally called, was settled around 1815 by the Harper and Kidd families. Prime farmland, the abundance of creeks, springs and branches are what attracted the first families. Soon after the first settlers, others from North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia took up residency here. They established a store, blacksmith shop, a steam-driven cotton gin and a variety of other businesses. Mail delivery followed and community prosperity soon led to a regular stage coach stop. Early settlers made one-room schools characteristic of the area. These led to the construction of Elmhill Academy which attracted both out-of-town and out-of-state students who boarded in the community. Harpersville soon became well known for its educational facilities and cultural activities.

One of its native sons, Henry B. Walthal, was a stage and silent film actor and a pioneer in Hollywood. “The Florida Short Route” or Highway 280 has brought many opportunities to Harpersville.
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In 1945, Harpersville officially incorporated. Shortly after incorporation, the town purchased the old Harpersville School and converted it into the Town Hall and municipal complex. Harpersville has produced two NBA stars, George McGinnis (Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers) and Warren Kidd of the Philadelphia 76ers. The Tulane brothers were also prominent residents of Harpersville for a short time and there are two Revolutionary War Heroes buried here. Some of Harpersville’s historic sites and structures are: Civil War Fort Ruins, Wallace-Klein Plantation, Chancellor Home, Newman Ruck House, Borum-Darby House, Old Baker Farm, Scott-Bradford Estate and Harpersville Garden of Memories, in which Chief Boz Sheppard, the last chief of the Kewohatchie Indians and his family are buried.
Erected 2010 by Alabama Tourism Department and the Town of Harpersville.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1815.
Location. 33° 20.57′ N, 86° 26.161′ W. Marker is in Harpersville, Alabama, in Shelby County. Marker is on U.S. 280, on the right when traveling east. Located in a small "park" on the west side of US Hwy 280. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harpersville AL 35078, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the
Historic Harpersville Marker, back image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David J Gaines, December 6, 2012
2. Historic Harpersville Marker, back
crow flies. Harpersville Garden of Memories (approx. half a mile away); Town of Vincent (approx. 3.2 miles away); Town of Westover (approx. 4.9 miles away); Coosa (approx. 5.3 miles away); Mount Tabor United Methodist Church Cemetery (approx. 5.9 miles away); The De Soto Trail / Chief Coosa And His Dominion (approx. 6.3 miles away); De Soto's Visit (approx. 6.3 miles away); History Of Childersburg (approx. 6½ miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 6, 2012, by David J Gaines of Pinson, Alabama. This page has been viewed 951 times since then and 93 times this year. Last updated on December 16, 2012, by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 6, 2012, by David J Gaines of Pinson, Alabama. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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May. 23, 2024