Hartford museum preserves history of the city

Katherine Gilmore and her brother founded the museum in the Johnny Hughes Community Center.
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 8:13 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The Hartford Art and History Museum holds artifacts donated by members of the community.

Katherine Gilmore and her brother founded the museum in the Johnny Hughes Community Center. Their initial intention for the museum was to serve as a place to showcase their father, Julian Smith’s, artwork. Smith was a folk artist in the 50′s and 60′s who used tissue paper and paint to create wood work landscape paintings.

Gilmore’s daughter, Gloria Graddy, currently helps run the museum.

The rest of the museum’s collection contains artifacts donated by members of the Hartford community. The intention is simple, people want to do their part in preserving their town’s history. Volunteer Connie Walker said that, “Sometimes I’ll come up here and they’ll be a box someone’s donated, when someone passes in a family and they want an item to be where the whole community can enjoy it.”

The museum also displays uniforms, trophies, toys, and possibly the oldest item in the collection, a diploma from 1912.

Graddy is thankful that her mother decided to take on the task of founding the museum and preventing history from being lost.

Volunteers are constantly working to maintain the collection and refurbish pieces that have been damaged over the years. To help with those maintenance costs, the museum workers wrote a book called, “The History and Stories of Hartford” that is available for sale. They are also always in need of more volunteers.

The museum is open on Tuesday’s from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or by appointment.

To learn more about the Hartford Museum click HERE.

Copyright 2022 WTVY. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to our News 4 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning. Get instant notifications on top stories from News 4 by downloading our mobile apps.