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Columbia Historical Site

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They say history repeats itself, but this is one place, several people would not want to visit over and over again.

"Inside this building there were two jail cells that were removed several years ago, " says David Hunter, historian of the Columbia Historical Society.

The old Columbia Jail is one of many historic sites in Columbia.

"There were two 10 x 15 jail cells. One of them was on this side and the other one was on this side and there was sort of a hallway down the middle".

According historians the jail was built in the early 1860's during the Civil War. It's one of the oldest wooden jails still standing in Alabama. It's a piece of history the community wants to protect.

"There are never going to be old buildings again. You can't tear them down. We've tried to preserve what we can here," Lanny Lancaster Mayor of Columbia.

This old jail turned museum holds a lot of history. In fact, it also holds some pretty interesting stories.

"There was a young Columbia lawyer who had written a bad check and charges were pressed against him. Well before he could be arrested he fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution," says Hunter.

That lawyer's girlfriend stuck by him the whole time, so much so, when he was arrested and brought back to Columbia, they had a jail house wedding.

"Immediately following the ceremony they put him back in jail ".

With a new museum in the works to showcase the artifacts that are now housed in the old jail, the future for Columbia's history looks bright.

"Bringing to light to the community again, what is here and the resources that we have here and the historical society is really trying to bring to light Columbia," says Lancaster.

The Historical Society is in the process of renovating a new space, with hopes to bring more tourist to the city.


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