About The Jackson County Historical Association

The Jackson County Historical Association (JCHA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations and memberships are tax deductible. Membership dues are $15 per year for those over 65, $20 for those under 65 and institutions, and $150 for lifetime memberships. Mail memberships to JCHA, PO Box 1494, Scottsboro, AL 35768.

The Jackson County Historical Association (JCHA) was founded on October 26, 1974 with and has remained active in the years since that time. The first officers were: Ann Chambless, President; Walter Hammer, 1st VP; Hazel Matthews, 2nd VP; Jim Eiford, Treasurer; and Alice Ruth Page, Secretary and the organization had 48 members. Today’s officers are: Lennie Cisco, President; Blake Wilhelm, Program Chairman; Tammy Bradford, Secretary; and Bunny Mountain, Treasurer, with board members Patrick Stewart, John Graham, and Annette Bradford. There are about 344 members. Here are some of the organization’s landmark accomplishments.

The JCHA worked with Scottsboro's mayor to save the Scottsboro Freight Depot when the Norfolk-Southern Railway announced its intention to raze the building. After Norfolk-Southern deeded the building to the City of Scottsboro, the building was given to the JCHA. JCHA members restored the building to the 1860-1880 time period when the depot was the center of all activity in Scottsboro. John Neely served as the first restoration chairman; Kelly Goodowens assumed that role in 2007. Local citizens have been very generous in helping the JCHA fill the depot museum with artifacts. JCHA member Lewis Robinson served as design architect for the Scottsboro Depot Museum preservation and restoration.

When the JCHA members who lived in Stevenson began working to save and refurbish the Stevenson Railroad Depot, the JCHA furnished manpower and gave the museum board $15,000.00 for depot improvements.

In 1981, the JCHA worked with a broad coalition of committed community members to convince the City of Scottsboro to purchase the Brown-Proctor House (built in 1881) for use as a museum and family history center., Scottsboro-Jackson Heritage Center.

The Jackson County Historical Association received the Alabama Historical Association's James Ray Kuykendall Award for the State's outstanding local historical association in Alabama in 2004.

JCHA members Barry Pickett, Ralph Mackey, Beth Presley, Annette Bradford, Carol Ballard, and others have prepared county-wide cemetery inventories that have been shared with libraries and through the www.findagrave.com web site.

JCHA members provide programs for local civic organizations as requested. We contribute a regular history column “Jackson Tales” to the Sentinel and conduct walks around the square.

The JCHA served as the supporting organization and umbrella for the Paint Rock Valley History Project coordinated by JCHA member Judy Prince.

At the request of a JCHA member, the late David Loyd, the founding president of the JCHA consulted with Bridgeport citizens and helped them develop a plan for establishing the Bridgeport Area Historical Association.

The JCHA and JCHA member Dr. Ronald Dykes partnered in publishing four of Dr. Dykes' books: Growing Up Hard in Jackson County, Fighting the Just War, They Wouldn't Let Us Win, and Building Bridges and Roads in the Korean Conflict.

The JCHA continues to procure historic markers to identify and recognize Jackson County landmarks and events. There are presently 27 markers put in place by the JCHA, including:
Bridgeport – Trail of Tears and Historic Downtown Bridgeport; plaque on wall at Rocky Springs Church
Stevenson: Fort Harker, Stevenson Depot and Hotel, Union Army Headquarters at Little Brick, Averyville, and Crow Town
Hollywood: Old Baptist Cemetery
Bellefonte: Bellefonte Cemetery and the Town of Bellefonte
Skyline: Skyline School, History of Skyline Farms
Decatur County
Paint Rock: History of Paint Rock and Arrest of Scottsboro Boys in Paint Rock
Scottsboro: Andrew Jackson plaque on statue on courthouse grounds; Scottsboro Railroad Depot; Union Encampment in Scottsboro; College Hill Historic District; Robert T. Scott on Courthouse lawn; Jackson County Courthouse and Scottsboro Boys; the Robert T. Scott Family Cemetery, and the Jones House (birthplace of the U.S. Congressman Robert E. Jones); Cumberland Mountain Road Langston, Section, and Dutton received historic markers during the Alabama Tourism Department's “The Year of the Small Town.”
Flat Rock: Flat Rock School
Bryant: Ebenezer Baptist Church

The JCHA provided some financial assistance and manpower to Fackler citizens for restoration of the McGuffey's Store as a community center.

The JCHA hosted the Alabama Historical Association 2014 Spring Conference in Scottsboro and Jackson County in April 2014. JCHA members developed a photo-poster collection of 27 county landmarks using old photographs that date from 1870 to early 1940s.

The JCHA scanned all 43 years of The Chronicles and more than 160 county yearbooks using optical character recognition (OCR) technology so that all of our county’s history can be pulled up in a Google search and made them available on the JCHA web site (www.jchaweb.org). This site was deployed along with the Walk Around the Square and the Scottsboro Depot Museum site. This site won Best Historical Web Site Small Project for the state in 2019.

Ann Chambless’ extensive map collection contributed significantly to the collection assembled by Greg Tyler and Jeff Arnold in the Revenue Commissioners’ Office in the courthouse.

The JCHA drove the county’s World War I centennial commemoration. Our depot hosted the state traveling World War I exhibit and staged an exhibit of local World War I artifacts and created virtual cemeteries of county WWI dead.

Following a Chronicles article about county milliners, the JCHA and Heritage Center staged a six-week long ladies hat exhibit that drew over 200 visitors.

Working with Northeast Alabama Community College and the Alabama Bicentennial Community, the JCHA staged the first Cedar Hill Cemetery Stroll in October 2018 where 16 costumed characters recreated famous figures from Jackson County History and repeated the stroll with a different cast of characters in 2019.