Pioneer Museum names interim director

Published 3:00 am Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Pioneer Museum of Alabama is moving forward with Pike County native Barbara Tatom as its interim director.

Jeff Kervin, museum board chair, said the board is excited to have Tatom on board.

“The museum hosted the Sacred Harp Singing on Saturday and Barbara was there and involved,” he said. “She is excited about the opportunities and challenges that come with the position and is looking forward to being a part of the museum’s promising future.”

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Kervin said the museum is on a strong foundation with successful programs throughout the year and has the potential for additional growth in all areas in the near future.

Tatom had the opportunity Friday to lead a group of home-school students from Dothan on a tour of the Pioneer Museum of Alabama. And, she felt right at home.

“I love history, especially Alabama and Pike County history,” she said. “I grew up in Pike County and graduated from Charles Henderson High School. I was in Mrs. Ellen Roling’s history class.

“And I was at the Pike Pioneer Museum as a member of Junior Girl Scout Troop 394 on November 6, 1971, when the museum opened. So being here is very familiar.”

Tatom’s mother, Flake Tatom, taught Alabama history to fourth-graders for 30 years so her daughter’s fascination with Alabama history was both inherited and acquired.

In the museum’s early days, Tatom’s great-granddaddy donated equipment to the museum and her dad donated a plow.

“Alabama and American history were my favorite classes in school and it’s exciting that the museum will soon be celebrating 50 years,” she said. “I am exited to be a part of preserving Alabama’s pioneer history for the next generations as we move toward another 50 years of preserving the history of Alabama’s pioneers.”

Tatom said, while being the museum’s interim director is exciting, it’s also a bit overwhelming.

“I’ve met Julia Farmer Scruggs, the daughter of museum founder Curren Farmer,” Tatom said. “She is easy to talk to and to work with, as are the other board members. I’m looking forward to working with the board during this time of transition.”

Tatom said the museum’s spring planting event is next on the calendar.

“We will continue with the programs that have been successful,” she said. “And we are excited to continue Curren Farmer’s dream of passing our pioneers’ history down from generation to generation. I’m honored to be here and looking forward to the days ahead.”

Tatom and the museum’s board of directors invite the community to be actively involved in the activities and events of the Pioneer Museum of Alabama through membership and as volunteers. For more information or to volunteer, call 334-566-3597 or visit the museum during regular hours.

The winter hours are from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 adults, $9 seniors and $8 students. Children under the age of five are admitted free.