Built in 1929-30 as a fire station, the Old City Hall Building is located at 100 East Peachtree Street. It is a two-story brick building with a cornice of angled headers. On the second story are four sash windows (6/6 lights) sheltered with a common soldier course heading and stone sills. The two entrances on ground floor were remodeled with common framing of fluted pilasters and wide, plain architrave. Fan lights are above the panel doors, and shuttered sash windows (6/6 lights) flank the entrance. The side of the building was altered to replace old fire station doors.

As the plate on the front of the building states, J. D. Snodgrass was mayor of Scottsboro in 1930 when this new building came into existence and became, with the Power and Water Board building directly behind city hall, the home of all city services, including offices for the mayor and city officers, support for city services, the fire department, and Scottsboro’s first library.

By the late 1950s, growth in all these functions required more space. In 1960, the city hall and police department moved to 916 South Broad. The fire department moved to 202 West Peachtree Street, across the street from the current main fire department. The Water, Sewer, and Gas Board moved to 404 East Willow. In 1964, the library moved to 1002 South Broad Street.

The old city jail building behind city hall and the old water and gas board building were torn down at the same time. Old city hall sat empty and for a time in the early 1960s. David Bradford remembers that his band, The Souls, used the upstairs as a practice space. The building at one point was so run down that local groups used as for a haunted house at Halloween and freely defaced the front and insides. By the time the building was renovated, it was in terrible condition, as the photos below show.

Lawyers Wallace Haralson and Morgan Weeks bought the building around 1980 and renovated it. They practiced law in this location until Morgan Weeks retired. Wallace Haralson continued to practice law in this building until April 1994, when he became circuit judge. During this period, Jeppa Moody had a real estate office upstairs and at some point, the district attorney’s child support unit was located upstairs here as well.

When Judge Wallace Haralson moved to the courthouse, lawyer John Graham moved into the back office in January 1994 and moved, four months later, to the front. He occupied this building until May 2004.

About 1996, Wallace Haralson sold this building to Jeppa Moody. The legislative delegation moved in in 2004 and are the current tenants.

Current view: Jackson County Legislative Delegation

City Hall and Fire Department in the 1930s

Notice the old county jail, the tall building in the center background.

1946 photo of the building as City Hall

This photo of the fire department in the old city hall building. Notice that the library is upstairs in the fire department building.

Left to Right, P. Riah Byrum, John Killian, Johnny King, Clifford Jacobs, Glen Derrick, Johnny Wilkerson, Grady Brandon, Wade Cobb, Kenzie Bobo, William “Bill” Shelton Sr., E. V. “Shorty” Bishop, Chief

Old City Hall Building in the late 1970s

During renovation

Apparently, city hall renovation and removal of the old jail took place in the same timeframe. These newspaper stories seem to have run at almost the same time, and renovation photos indicate that old city hall was gutted and renovated after the jail was removed. The old city jail was located immediately behind old city hall (the county jail was directly across Appletree Street and on the hill; the footprint of the building is still evident in the concrete pad behind the Jackson County Juvenile Probation office.) Here is the building at the start of renovation, with city jail immediately behind old city hall.

New City Hall Building, 1960

This photo of the 1960 city hall building is taken from the city directory for that year.

New City Hall Building, 2006

For more information about the new city hall building, see new city hall.

A brief overview of the city services that were housed in this building follows.

History of the Police Department

This overview of the police department in Scottsboro is based on information on their Web site: www.scottsboropd.org.

In the early days of the town of Scottsboro, law enforcement functions for the Community of Scottsboro were provided by the county sheriff. This arrangement continued until 1867 when our community acquired its first jail facility. This was accomplished by the act of 1867 when Scottsboro was selected as the county seat and a jail was provided for the county sheriff.

In February 1869 the governor of Alabama, William Smith, appointed the first mayor and four council men for the Town of Scottsboro. During the first meeting of the council, I. M. Cunningham was appointed as the Town Marshall of Scottsboro, making him Scottsboro's first official law enforcement officer. This marshall was empowered to hire and use police officers in the town as needed in his absence or to maintain the peace, creating the Town of Scottsboro Police Department. The Town of Scottsboro became the City of Scottsboro in 1932. By the time Scottsboro became a city the Police Department was well established with its own city jail. This city jail is shown below in the early 1970a when it was torn down:

The Police Department moved to 916 South Broad with City Hall in 1966 to this building. The city jail was and continues to be part of this facility.

When the new city hall was built at 316 South Broad in 2007, city services and agencies moved into the new building. The old city hall building at 916 South Broad was remodeled to serve exclusively at the police department:

Here is a photo of the 1961 Police Department, found in city hall.

L to R, Front Row: Howard Lewis, Ernest Swaim, Assistant Chief Vernon Thomas, Chief Dewey Bryant
Back Row: Maurice Nichol, Ralph Roberts, Bert Pickett

Scottsboro Fire Department

From its humble beginnings in the old city hall building, the Scottsboro Fire and Rescue is a thirty-seven-member emergency response department. The department consists of thirty-six full time fire fighters and one civilian who cover approximately 58 square miles. Their resources include three fire stations, five engines, a one-hundred foot aerial truck, a brush truck, and one service truck. Here is the flagship fire station, located at 222 West Appletree Street.

Information about this group is from the Power and Water Board.

History of the Scottsboro Public Library

The old city hall building was also the first location of the Scottsboro Public Library. This article about the founding of the library is found in the 1929 Jackson County Sentinel:

This sketch of the history of the library is from The History of Jackson County:

”The Scottsboro Public Library is the realization of a dream conceived by the members of the Young Women’s Book Club, who launched it in 1929, and made true by their planning, work, and consistent cooperation.

The Young Women’s Book Club was organized in 1927 by Laura Haynes, Supervisor of Education for Jackson County. The club realized that there was not a lending library closer than Huntsville or Chattanooga, so in order for children to become better rounded and more useful citizens and for the purposes of recreation and information for adults, the library was founded. In the winter of 1828, a Book Shower at the home of Mrs. J. B. Hackworth netted them about 75 books.

In February 1929, the library’s first location was in the west jury room of the courthouse, and was opened on Saturday afternoons. Later that year, Eliza Hackworth volunteered to be the librarian. In 1932, the City of Scottsboro gave the library an unfinished suite of rooms in the City Hall. Io 1934, the library was opened for two afternoons each week.

In 1951, Miss Hackworth resigned and Idita Blanks was employed as the librarian. In 1963, the Caldwell family donated land for a new library, the Cecil Word family gave furniture, D. K. Caldwell gave $1,000 for landscaping, and the new library was opened May 26, 1964 at 1002 South Broad.” Here is the library as it looked when it first opened:

Miss Daisy Caldwell, in 1970, gave money for the addition of two rooms to the front of the library.

Mrs. Blanks retired in January 1977 and Peggy McCutcheon…was appointed. Additional gifts from the Caldwell family, Bob Jones, in memory of his wife Christine, and an Endowment Fund helps keep the library operational. Additional funds are supplied by Friends of the Library, which was established in 1989.” The library as it appears today is shown below:

For more information about the library, look at their Facebook page.