entering the museum, the first exhibit is a recreation of the
Red Bay Hotel lobby, complete with original counter, key holder,
neon sign, room door with transom and staircase, all restored to
their original grandeur.
The next two exhibits to greet visitors
are examples of general merchandise or dry goods stores.
Included within these exhibits are cash registers, scales,
filing systems, calendars, cheese cutter, wrapping paper, paper
bags and many other items, too numerous to mention, that
would have been used in these type businesses.
| Directly across
the aisle you will discover an original soda fountain from an
early drug store. The solid slabs of Tennessee pink marble that
make up the soda fountain had been stored in a old building
until they were reassembled and placed with the original ice
cream tables and chairs.
Many smaller items used in the drug
store and soda fountain are displayed in one of the original
display cases from the drug store.
|The Bay Theater is depicted
next, showcasing the original ticket window glass,
ceiling light fixtures, theater seats and player piano, used
when the theater was first built for silent movies. This
display, as well as the soda fountain , features tin ceilings
saved from other old buildings that were located in Red Bay.
Red Bay depot, destroyed by fire in the early 1990s, is shown
next. Many items stored in other places are displayed here,
including one of the Red Bay signs that was on each end of the
depot building, ticket counter, benches, scales, several
telegraph instruments and many other items related to the depot
|| Located next to this exhibit is the display that
house many items from different churches in the Red Bay area.
Stained glass windows, pulpits, pulpit chairs, portal pump organ
and a piano fill this display that depict an important part of
many small towns, filling not only spiritual needs, but for many
years a major social tool for the town's people.
| One of , if not the
most, popular exhibits, is the original fixtures from Red Bay's
first bank, the Bank of Red Bay. Featured are the cashier
windows, vault door and ceiling lights. Discovered
only a year or so before the museum construction, the
windows, window gates and wrought iron grills were stripped and
restored much to their original appearance. Tennessee
pink marble adorns the base and window wells. The work counters behind the windows are also intact,
showing where the tellers worked.
Rounding out the down stairs
area of the museum is an accountants desk, possibly used in an
early mayor's office, telegraph pole with glass insulators, two
man chain saw, area maps and much more.
Working your way back up
to the front and following the hotel stairs upward, you will find rooms that were
rented out or used by the owners of what ever business was
located down stairs. The first room features original
furniture to the hotel dining room and another room has been
created to resemble an actual hotel room as it might have looked
in the early 1900s, again with original furniture.
of the newest exhibits is a room featuring items from many
of the older homes in Red Bay, including an oak mantle,
dresser, sewing machine, and other household items. Other
exhibits on the top floor include items from Red Bay
School, a jeweler's work desk, an early permanent machine for
hair and works from early artisans.
Old Red Bay School
A special preview opening was held,
at the museum, for Alabama First Lady Patsy Riley, who was in Red Bay to attend
a play by the town's community theater.
Alabama First Lady
Patsy Riley during her visit at the Museum
The Red Bay Civitan
has been fortunate to receive some private donations and a grant
from the Bureau of Tourism and Travel in Alabama, but a large
portion of the money raised for the upkeep of the museum has
come from "Clean Sweep" or rummage sales held throughout
the year by the club. The club also sells ornaments of different
land marks from Red Bay, as well as Red Bay afghans that depict
some of these same landmarks.
The museum is still seeking
additional items and plans are underway to make new exhibits in
upstairs rooms. One purpose of the
museum is to preserve a way of life no longer here for future
generations. Many items are display as they were used.
Without the foresight and
dedication of the Red Bay Civitan Club, many of these items
would have been lost or never put on display. The rug that you
first see when entering the museum proudly displays the Civitan
emblem, letting everyone know that the museum is part of a Civitan International
Efforts are now underway to
establish the museum as a separate organization from the Civitan
Club, to make it eligible for more government grants. Donations
of items relating to Red Bay continue to add to the already vast
collection and more will be welcome. Many people have either
donated items directly to the museum, while some have chosen to
loan their items so that others can enjoy viewing them. If you
have anything you would wish to donate or loan, please contact
the museum (firstname.lastname@example.org) through this website.