Museums of Fort Payne, Lookout Mountain, and the Surrounding Area
Museums of Fort Payne, Lookout Mountain, and the Surrounding Area Offer Something for All Interests
By Emily Kirby
If learning about the history of our area is high on your list, Dekalb County’s museums will not disappoint. And this time of year, when everyone is looking for indoor activities, plan a weekend for engaging in this community’s rich past and present. According to the Museum Association, visiting museums has a great positive impact on both people and their communities, including:
– Improving quality of life, physical, and mental health
– Creating better places to live and work
– Inspiring engagement, debate, and reflection
So bundle up and get ready to discover!
ALABAMA Fan Club & Museum
The ALABAMA Fan Club & Museum pays homage to Fort Payne’s hometown boys and the band’s founding members, Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, and Jeff Cook. The newly remodeled museum holds more than 50 years of music memorabilia from the trio’s early days in Myrtle Beach, S.C., to the Country Music Hall of Fame, including personal items, photos, awards, and more.
101 Glenn Blvd. SW, Fort Payne, AL 35967
Open Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: $10 per person
Fort Payne Depot Museum
Built in 1891 at the height of the town’s industrial boom, the depot served as a passenger train station until August 1970, a gateway for thousands of travelers. Today, visitors can’t miss the majestic sandstone Romanesque structures, converted to a museum in 1986. Treat yourself to permanent and rotating exhibits, including a collection of 19th century Native American artifacts, historic dioramas, wartime exhibits, and a former Norfolk Southern caboose. On the National Register of Historic Places, the depot museum will educate and enthrall generations to come.
105 5th St. NE, Fort Payne, AL 35967
Open Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission is free
Fort Payne Hosiery Museum
The hosiery museum, housed in one of the area’s coolest historic buildings, features exhibits of the industry’s beginnings through its zenith when Fort Payne was “The Sock Capital of the World.” Visitors can step back in time to appreciate the role the hosiery mills played in the local economy and life of the city. Exhibits include machinery, photos, and other memorabilia.
514 Gault Ave N, Fort Payne, AL 35967
Tours available Thursday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Call 256-845-6888 to schedule a tour.)
Admission is free.
DeSoto State Park CCC Museum
The Civilian Conservation Corps Museum tells the story of the Depression-era program that developed DeSoto State Park through preservation, improvement of fish and wildlife habitats, and reforestation. A part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the CCC taught valuable skills to young workers and provided America with trained, skilled labor when they left the program. The hard work of the Civilian Conservation Corps is still visible in many places throughout DeSoto State Park and the local community today.
51 Desoto Pkwy., Fort Payne, AL 35967
Open Saturday, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. March – November (December – February open by appointment only. Call 256-845-0051 to arrange a visit.)
Admission is free.
Museum of Collinsville History
Located directly across the street from the historic Cricket Theatre, the Collinsville museum keeps fascinating record of the town’s heritage through thousands of items, including photographs, newspapers, a printing press, and military artifacts. Visitors learn how the area developed through exhibits about the bank and post office, railroad, schools, churches, music, and more.
113 W. Main St., Collinsville, AL, 35961
Open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment other days