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National Park Service lists Historic Huntsville Museum to prestigious Reconstruction Era National Network

Published on October 27, 2023

The Historic Huntsville Foundation’s newly debuted Historic Huntsville Museum has already garnered national attention for its exhibitions and programs recognizing the history of Huntsville’s Reconstruction leaders.

In a news release dated Sept. 26, 2023, the National Park Service announced that the Historic Huntsville Museum and Harrison Brothers building are now listed to the highly prestigious Reconstruction Era National Historic Network.

The Historic Huntsville Museum is dedicated space in Harrison Brothers Hardware that showcases Huntsville history. The Historic Huntsville Foundation owns and operates Harrison Brothers.

Managed by the National Park Service, the Network connects sites across the nation that provide education, interpretation and research related to the period of Reconstruction, when 4 million formerly enslaved Americans could first exercise their rights as citizens following the abolition of slavery.

The Harrison Brothers Building and Historic Huntsville Museum qualify for listing to the Network for two reasons. First, the Foundation’s history exhibition, “Brick by Brick: The Legacy of Henderson and Daniel Brandon,” documents the Brandon family, who were noted Reconstruction era leaders. Second, Daniel Brandon’s masonry firm constructed the Harrison Brothers building in 1902, a place that is one of Huntsville’s most beloved historic places.

According to HHF Executive Director Donna Castellano, this is the first of many steps needed to recognize the freed men and women whose commitment to family, education and equality transformed our city, state and nation.

“Securing a spot on the Network also connects the Historic Huntsville Museum, Harrison Brothers Hardware and the City of Huntsville to a federally funded program that promotes heritage tourism across the United States,” she said. “There are 101 historic sites listed to the Network.  The Historic Huntsville Museum is only the second site in Alabama listed to the Reconstruction Era Network and the first historic site in North Alabama to be affiliated with the National Park Service.”

The Historic Huntsville Museum is located in Harrison Brothers Hardware, 124 Southside Square, Huntsville, AL 35801. Hours of Operation are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.