Pioneer Museum celebrates 50 years Sunday

Published 9:44 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The Pioneer Museum of Alabama will celebrate its 50th anniversary from 2 until 4 p.m. Sunday November 7. Everyone is invited to attend.

Barbara Tatom, museum director, said the museum was founded by Curren Farmer as the Pike Pioneer Museum of Alabama and dedicated on November 6, 1971.

“The story is that, to officially open the Pike Pioneer Museum, Mr. Farmer cut a plow line rather than a ribbon, to signify the blending of the horse and buggy days with modern machinery,” Tatom said.

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That day of celebration got underway at 9:30 a.m. with remarks from a flatbed trailer with a whole hog on the spit and camp stew cooking in the pot while the Sound of the South played.

Tatom, laughingly, said the 50th anniversary will be justly celebrated but not so lavishly.

“We want everyone to come and tour the museum to see just have far the Pioneer Museum of Alabama has come in 50 years,” she said. “That seems like a long time but, when we consider how far the museum has come in that relatively short length of time, it is remarkable.”

The museum began with the donation of items that are now artifacts and dollars and cents from those who thought a museum of pioneer history to be important.

“Donations, memberships and admissions have helped sustain the Pioneer Museum of Alabama,” Tatom said. “We are fortunate to have a museum of this importance here in Pike County. Many changes have been made over the years. Those who have not visited the Pioneer Museum of Alabama recently will be surprised how it has changed and continues to change to more visibly tell the stories of those who pioneered Pike County and Alabama.”

On opening day, November 6, 1971, former U.S. Congressman Jim Martin, said that, often times, the future is thought of as growth and looked at in terms of numbers. “I think in Pike County, you are thinking of the quality of life,” Martin said.

He noted that statistics show changes in population patterns and agricultural production. He said he saw Pike County changing to meet the challenges and the challenge here is the quality of life for the people who live in “this great county.”

Martin said the quality of life depends on the people.

“We have a sturdy foundation of our forefathers’ people who believe in some basics,” he said. “They believe in the hard work it takes to till the soil and build buildings. I always say they had an ax in one hand and a Bible in the other.”