Updated: Sep 9, 2021
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The George and Eliza Taylor Grave Monument Project
The Taylors were formerly enslaved people who made their way to Birmingham in the middle 1800s to become the first African-American property owners in town. They died in 1901 and 1902 and were buried in Greenwood Cemetery without a marker. Recent research by George Getschman of the Friends of the Birmingham Museum and museum assistant Donna Casaceli uncovered their story, and an effort was soon underway to raise funds to erect a grave marker. Almost $16,000--four times what was needed--was contributed by people all over the U.S. Excess funds will be used for preservation of historic Greenwood Cemetery.
This project, co-sponsored by the Friends of the Birmingham Museum and the Piety Hill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, will be concluded after the risk of the COVID pandemic is over and a public celebration can be planned, hopefully in the spring of 2022. Call us at the museum at 248-530-1928 if you have any questions. If you would still like to make a contribution, you can do so at https://bhamgov.wufoo.com/forms/zw2oa9v05w8vrb/, or make your check payable to the Friends of the Birmingham Museum (a 501c3 non-profit organization) .
Re-installing the Barnum School Storybook Fireplace
When the Barnum School was demolished, the Flint Faience and Tile Company's historic storybook fireplace was rescued and stored. In 2011, the museum worked with the Friends of the Birmingham Museum to raise over $15,000 in funds to create a faithful permanent display of the unique work of art. Individual donors and the Birmingham Rotary joined efforts to provide funding, and it was installed where the public could appreciate it--right inside the Allen House! A tile restoration specialist was engaged to mount the tile on a backing to safely attach it to the perfect location: in the north porch of the house, where other period tiling can be seen on the floor.
|Major Donor||Birmingham Rotary Club|
|Storybook Tile Donors||
Pam and Carroll DeWeese
Friends of the Birmingham Museum
|Animal Tile Donors||
|Green and Brown Faience Tile Donors||Rackeline Hoff, in honor of Pat Andrews
Andy and Dorothy Huebner and Family
On October 1, 2016, the Hill School bell was ceremonially rung in to the next phase of its story by Randy Forester, son of George Forester, childhood bell ringer at the Hill School early in the twentieth century. The Foresters are a native Birmingham family with a special connection to the bell's history. Read more about George Forester and the bell. Download a .wav file to hear the bell or add to your ringtones!
At a dedication event featuring speakers from many of the constituent groups that have come together to make the project a success, Mayor Rackeline Hoff summarized it well. Read more about the dedication event.