Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Rose Window at Church Street

Church Street United Methodist Church celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, and the Rose Window at the rear of its sanctuary memorializes eight of its founders. The church recently participated in the Historic Selma Pilgrimage as the church on tour, and in April it will host an anniversary celebration.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lady in the Ladder-back Chair

Here is one of my favorite photos in the Rosenburg Collection at The Old Depot Museum, an elderly woman seated in a ladder-back chair, and no one has been able to identify her so far.

Most likely, this photo was taken back in the 1920s, so even young children of that era would now be very old, and her identity may just remain a mystery.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Joy in the Morning

Joy in the Morning was the theme of this table at the Elkdale Baptist Ladies' Banquet Saturday night. Each table uses a Bible verse, and this one was Psalm 143:8.

"Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You."

See the slide show on the sidebar to view more banquet photos or see larger pictures in the album.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Elkdale Ladies' Banquet 2010

Music, dinner, tablescapes and an inspirational message were highlights of the annual Elkdale Baptist Ladies' Banquet Saturday night.

Here, the worship leader sings hymns and praises prior to guest speaker Page Hughes' hilarious yet spiritual perspective on "Cleaning Your House."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vintage Easter Bonnet

Vintage is IN, and I wonder if this hat might once have been someone's Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it!

This bonnet was for sale at Pilgrimage's vintage shop last weekend.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Skywatch Friday (Fair with Flowers)

Skies were fair during the first part of last weekend as Selma put on some of its finest attire to welcome Pilgrimage guests.

This historic marker for the former swing-span bridge and lamppost in Lafayette Park wear a rosy pink as the Bridge Tender's Cottage nearby opened for tours. The Pettus Bridge is in the background.

View more skies at

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bus to Montgomery

Need a ride to Montgomery from Selma? Then, step aboard the bus!

This photograph from The Rosenburg Collection of old Selma pictures was among many on display last weekend at The Old Depot Museum. The bus is parked in front of the First Presbyterian Church.

Anyone remember riding in buses like this, or was it just too long ago?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Golden Pose

Okay, this Golden Retriever is no Southern Belle standing in front of Sturdivant Hall, but he or she certainly knows how to pose. What a beauty!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Selma, Ala., Daily Photo's 3rd Anniversary

Here's a big bouquet of flowers to you, my readers, in Selma's finest house, Sturdivant Hall Museum. Today is the Selma, Ala., Daily Photo Blog's third anniversary, and I really can't believe I've posted a picture a day for that long!

Heading into the fourth year, I hope to continue meeting the challenge of finding something interesting, something positive and something representative of this famous little town in the heart of Alabama.

Thank you for your visits, your comments and suggestions, and come see Selma for yourself!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Church Street Methodist Tour

A circuit riding preacher (Roger Butler), left, helped tell the history of Church Street United Methodist Church during Pilgrimage Weekend. At right, Robert Gamble, architectural historian with the Alabama Historical Commission, came to Selma for the tours and enjoys talking with members of the church. The church was founded 175 years ago and will host its anniversary celebration in April. Built in the early 1900s, the current sanctuary is its third.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Arrives at the Art Guild

Saturday was the first day of spring, and it arrived in full bloom at the Selma Art Guild. The early spring blooms seem more prolific than usual, and perhaps we can thank all the rain for that!

After Pilgrimage tours closed at 5 p.m., the Art Guild remained open for a two-hour "Wet Paint" sale, freshly painted art of Selma sites by the Alabama Plein Air Artists. They painted the town "en plein air" all day Friday and Saturday, stationed at homes on tour and other historic sites.

Pilgrimage continues today with Ashford, Churchview and the Kenan House open as well as the Selma Art Guild, Arts Revive, Sturdivant Hall, Church Street United Methodist Church, Vaughan-Smitherman Museum, Old Depot Museum and Kenan's Mill.

To view more Pilgrimage pictures, please click on the Pilgrimage 2010 link on the sidebar.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The PEW House

Welcome to church!

Well, this is a residence, but a Lutheran congregation used to worship in the reception hall (background) and the living room (foreground) until its members built a church in west Selma.

The PEW House (notice the church pew in front of the window) is on tour this afternoon during the Selma Pilgrimage. The early 1900's Victorian is also the former home of Dr. Walter Ellwanger, who became president of Alabama Lutheran (now Concordia College) in1945. During the tour from 1-5 p.m., visitors will learn about some of the home's famous guests and see collections of international nativity sets, plus much more!

Friday, March 19, 2010

(Skywatch Friday) Blue Skies over Pilgrimage

Blue skies are predicted over Selma just in time for the first full day of the Historic Pilgrimage.

Among homes on tour today is Churchview, a brick Victorian with beautiful parquet floors, stained-glass windows, beaded woodwork and extensive art collections.

This downtown home is open from 1 til 5 p.m. It will re-open for the Sunday afternoon tours, also 1-5 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the individual houses or at Ticket Headquarters (Vaughan-Smitherman Museum, 109 Union St.)

To see more skies on the weekly Skywatch tour, please visit

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bradford Pear

The cluster blossoms of Bradford Pears will grace Pilgrimage Weekend, which begins tonight at Brownstone Manor. Just in time, the sun returns on Friday to warm the day into the 70s.

Visit the Pilgrimage Website to check the schedule or to download the brochure.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

For the Love of Elodie

The love story of Elodie Todd and Nathaniel Dawson will be a highlight of the Old Live Oak Cemetery tour on Friday and Saturday evenings during Pilgrimage.

Elodie was a half-sister of Mary Todd Lincoln, President Lincoln's wife; and she fell in love with Dawson on a visit to relatives in Selma. Col. Dawson, who had an extensive record of public service in both the state and nation, will join Elodie at their gravesite.

The pretty brunette who plays Elodie is a high school student, and her poise and eloquence create a perfect southern belle in the emerald green dress.

You can read more about the Dawsons and other Pilgrimage events in today's Montgomery Advertiser.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


One of my favorite parts of Pilgrimage is viewing all the columns, pillars and posts up close. These Ionic columns at Ashford recently received a new coat of paint. Ashford is on tour this Friday from 9 til 1 and Sunday from 1 til 5.

Monday, March 15, 2010

For Antique Lovers

Antique lovers will appreciate some of the exquisite antiques in Selma's Pilgrimage home tours this weekend, and the carving on this lovely wardrobe is just one example!

For more information about the 35th Historic Selma Pilgrimage homes, click HERE.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Japanese Magnolia in Bloom

Japanese Magnolias, one of the first signs of spring, are flourishing all over Selma. These goblet-shaped blooms have had plenty of rain to coax them awake just after the first warm day.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Flood Stage

The railroad bridge doesn't look so high anymore!

Our river is way up and reached flood stage this morning. It's expected to rise another foot or so and crest on Monday.

Not to worry! Downtown Selma is high and dry, but some minor lowland flooding can be expected.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Skywatch Friday (Another Gray Day)

This "Gray Day" photo was taken last week, but it could just as well be this morning. We've had three inches of rain the past couple of days, and warm temps are bringing our Japanese Magnolias into full bloom.

To see more Skywatch photos, go to

Thanks to guest photographer Jacque Johnson for submitting this photo.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mantels, Mirrors and Chandeliers

Attention to detail in Selma's historic homes is evident in the mantels, mirrors and chandeliers. Architectural styles this year vary from Antebellum to Victorian, English Tudor, Raised Cottage, Craftsman's Bungalow, Free Classic and even a two-story bridge tender's house by the river.

Pilgrimage begins the evening of March 18 and continues through Sunday afternoon, March 21.

You'll enjoy browsing through the Pilgrimage website and if you're a Facebook subscriber, check outthe Selma's Historic Pilgrimage fan page.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

River's Up at the Marina

The Alabama River spreads out at the City Marina as weekly rains prevent the water from falling much. Yesterday and last night brought another 1.5 inches with more expected today and tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Marching from Nashville

People come to Bridge Crossing Jubilee from all over the U.S., and this group came by bus from Nashville, Tennessee. They visited Montgomery on Saturday and arrived in Selma in time for the rally at Brown Chapel. Then they joined the mile-long march from the church to beyond the Pettus Bridge.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Jubilee Rally

Controversial civil rights leader Jesse Jackson leaves the Bridge Crossing Jubilee rally at Brown Chapel AME Church on Sunday afternoon.

Photograph by Christine Weerts

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Another View of the Bridge

Forty-five years ago today, the Edmund Pettus Bridge became the site of a violent voting rights confrontation known as "Bloody Sunday."

Local news media reported that Martin Luther King Jr. planned to lead several hundred people on a march that day from Selma to Montgomery. The march protested the death of a young black man who died of infection after being shot during a night march and confrontation with state troopers in nearby Marion. Although King did not arrive in Selma, the march, which did not have a parade permit, was led by other black leaders.

Selma's Public Safety Director Wilson Baker argued that the marchers should be arrested rather than gassed and beaten if they failed to obey state and county officers to disperse. However, when the marchers stopped but did not withdraw, a trooper major ordered the troopers forward with nightsticks and tear gas grenades. A sheriff's posse mounted on horses chased the demonstrators all the way back to Brown Chapel AME Church. Although none of the marchers died in the melee, some received serious injuries, including John Lewis, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Brown Chapel Circa 1908

Brown Chapel AME Church is best known as the headquarters of the Voting Rights Movement in Selma. This 1908 Romanesque structure became the starting point of the March 7, 1965 (Bloody Sunday) march across the Pettus Bridge and the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march two weeks later. It is also the site where numerous mass meetings were held. The church is a focal point this weekend during the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Skywatch Friday (Partly Cloudy but Spring is Coming!)

It's time to look at the skies again, and I finally found a spring shrub in bloom at Old Live Oak Cemetery on a cold, windy, partly cloudy day.

Take a look at more skies at

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Selma's New Sign

Welcome to Historic Selma!

Selma has a new sign at the foot of the Pettus Bridge, and I think it's a beauty. Compare to the previous sign which I posted back in June 2007.

While this sign establishes Selma in 1800, the settlement was known as High Soapstone Bluff around that time. Later, it became Moore's Bluff and was chartered in December 1820 as Selma.

The wooden structure you see in the background is an entrance to the Bridge to Freedom Memorial Park. The Pettus Bridge stretches beyond.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ready for Spring Now!

As far as the meterological winter goes (from December 1 to March 1), this is the third coldest winter ever, and since it's also one of the wettest winters ever in Central Alabama, Kate is tired of mud up to her knees! The good news? Temperatures in the 70s this weekend!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Welcome to the Jubilee

If you're heading to Selma this weekend for the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, stop by the Selma Welcome Center on Broad Street for maps, brochures, directions and a big, warm welcome.

The new center is decorated with many local products, art and historic items. Pictured is the Civil Rights Wall display.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Theme Day (Passageway)

How many people have passed this way and trod these steps?

This early 1900's "Free Classic" Victorian home has been owned by several different families, including the Walter Ellwangers. Ellwanger arrived in Selma in 1945 with his wife and three sons. He came to minister to the African-American community and become president of the former Alabama Lutheran Academy and College (now Concordia.) During that time, the family supplemented its income by renting rooms at the top of the stairs to teachers at Albert G. Parrish High School (now Selma High.) Later, Ellwanger was asked by other local ministers to provide shelter for a young Episcopal seminarian, Jonathan Daniels. The rest of that story is included in civil rights history books.

The PEW House is among nine homes that will be on tour during Selma's 35th Historic Pilgrimage.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants