Baldwin County Heritage Museum, Elberta

4.8
#6 of 7 in Things to do in Elberta
History

The Baldwin County Heritage Museum Association, Inc. was organized in April 1981 by a group of area residents who wished to gather artifacts, tools, machinery, the histories and ethnic cultures of the men and women who settled in the county about the turn of the century. They commited to design and build a museum in which to showcase their collections.

Understanding the importance of this project for Baldwin County, museum orignal founders and board members, John and Ruby Haupt donated five acres of land as a home for the museum. In June, 1983, the land was dedicated in a ground breaking ceremony. The site, named “Frieden Im Wald” or Peace in the Forest, provided a rural setting that realistically represented the land as it had been at the turn of the century. The conservation of this environment plays an important role in the preservation plans and activities of the museum.

The design for the grounds was done by the Landscape Architecture Program of Auburn University. There are over a hundred species of native flora and fauna growing on the grounds.

Construction on the first building began in 1984 and was opened to the public Oct. 31, 1987. It resembles a turn of the century barn with a working windmill in front. The windmill was donated by John & Ruby Haupt in memory of their parents Paul & Marie Haupt and Henry C. & Frances Vikers. The original building contained three public rooms – an all purpose classroom for lectures and meetings, an exhibit room and a large storage area for donated artifacts.

The second building is called the Haupt Building in honor of the couple who donated the land. It was completed in late 1987 and dedicated on February 28, 1998. It houses vintage farm equipment, tools and machinery. Also housed in this building is a 1911 Titan Tractor. (see Milestones)

The third edition was a working blacksmiths shop though it was not developed into a full exhibit because of the unexpected addition of the fourth building, a 1908 church moved to its new home on the museum grounds in 1998. (see Milestones) This building is now under the care of an area Blacksmith Club that is completing the structure and working their trade on the museum grounds to preserve the important history of this great skill.

In 2005 the Board of Directors voted to begin an extensive renovation of the original storage wing of the museum. This will house the Baldwin County History Walk, The Heritage Theater, and an Exhibit Hall. The History Walk opened June 8, 2008, the Exhibit Hall Aug. 31, 2008, and the Heritage Theater in January of 2009.

The fifth building is a gift from the town of Loxley. In 2006, they created a miniature Potato Shed on the grounds of the museum. During the Winter of 2007 the trunks of trees felled by Hurricane Ivan were sawed into planks and used to build seating. The structure has become a small outdoor theater that hosts an Ol’ Time Radio Show on the fourth Sunday of each month from September thru May, as well as various Boy Scout events and area school programs.

2007 also brought the old Miflin School House to the Museum grounds. This sixth building is a Snook Foundation Project. They have remodeled the exterior. The interior restoration has been added to the five year plan of the museum.

Three pole barns constructed with donated telephone poles from EMC were added around the meadow in 2008.
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Baldwin County Heritage Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
10 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Absolutly amazing how artifacts in closed in such a small town. They have things from the past which most have not seen unless they are from this area.  more »
  • This is a must visit. It's a trip into the past just chuck full of memorabilia. Worth the trip into the middle of nowhere. Wear good shoes do you can visit all the out buildings.  more »
Google
  • Very interesting exhibits inside, plus a country store, schoolhouse, church, and more out back. They have old tractors, a blackmith, still, and even an outhouse out back as well! 😊
  • Great History Here. Many Great Items on Display.

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