Hoover Historical Society205.822.9392 I info@hooverhistoricalsociety.org


Friday, January 12, 2018

HHS Founders and Mayor Skinner

Posted by: Arnold Singer on Friday, January 12, 2018 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Dear friends,

I first met Frank Skinner at an Aldridge Gardens dedication and invited him to speak at The Friends of Hoover in December 2012. At that meeting, George Farmer and Eloise Martin, both of whom are founding members of the Hoover Library Board were honored as Volunteers of the Year for their 30 years of service.

The Hoover Library began through the fundraising and lobbying efforts of the Friends of the Hoover Public Library. This 1982 effort took place even before there was an actual library. Mayor Skinner challenged the five-member board to have a library opened within 9 months; they did.

Many of the facilities and services that we take for granted are provided by its talented and dedicated employees; courtesy of the insight of Frank Skinner. Frank is a true salesman and visionary.

Frank Skinner moved to Hoover in 1963 and has been active ever since as a volunteer Fireman, member of the Planning Board, Councilman, Mayor, and member of the Aldridge Gardens Board of Directors—all while working and managing the Hoover office of Patterson Pope with his wife, Mary!

On January 16th, Mayor Skinner will be the program at the Hoover Historical Society meeting in the Shakespeare and Fitzgerald rooms of the Hoover Public Library. Come join us for refreshments at 1 PM and the program at 1:30 PM.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hoover's History

Posted by: Arnold Singer on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Learning history can generate emotions ranging from horror to laughter. Hoover’s history tends to generate smiles and wonder.

Tom Bailey, Chair of the Hoover Historical Society archives committee, is a retired Managing Editor of the Birmingham News and a book publisher. Tom has researched and generated 50 Fun Facts about Hoover. The 2,542 words can be found on a 20” x 30” poster display that was created for Hoover’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Debbie Burtnett, Editor of our newsletter and Facebook page Administrator, recognized that Hoover certainly has more than 50 Fun Facts as her postings reflect. Check out our Facebook page several times a month for Fun Facts about Hoover. Our newsletters are posted on our website: hooverhistoricalsociety.org.

Most people do not realize that the Hoover Historical Society owns a log cabin built in the early 1840s by the Stinson family. It was disassembled in Shelby County and moved to Hoover in 1997. Last school year, almost 600 people, mostly elementary school students, visited the Folklore Center that features the Stinson Ole Place. If you are interested in a tour of the Folklore Center please e-mail me at arnoldasinger@gmail.com. When I receive enough responses, I will contact everyone to schedule one or two tours.

The HHS is celebrating Hoover's 50th anniversary with speakers who are active in making Hoover a safe and vibrant city. Chief Nick Derzis (above, right) is our guest speaker on November 21st at the Hoover Public Library. Refreshments served at 1 PM with the program at 1:30 PM. Please join us.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Friends of Hoover + Open House = Success!

Posted by: Carolyn Kolar on Monday, March 13, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Dear Members:

In January, the Friends of Hoover met at Capers and heard Mayor Brocato give his State of the City speech. There was a record turnout and many joined us afterward for our Open House that included tours of our Archive and the Folklore Center. People were impressed with the newly arranged and decorated archives and enjoyed learning about activities at the Folklore Center. We gained five new members as a result of the open house. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make this a successful day!

Charles Hickman has completed a history of the Hoover School System. It is the result of many hours of interviews and research. We are working with him to insert photos and prepare the manuscript for publishing.

Archives Chairman Tom Bailey, Arnold Singer, and I visited two businesses and the McWane Science Center to examine professional display panels. We witnessed the manufacturing process at Expo Displays in Trussville. We are purchasing panels that allow for easy setup and flexibility in our displays.

Twelve Hoover public safety officers were recognized at the February Chamber of Commerce Luncheon. HHS presented each officer with a copy of our Hoover history book. Congratulations to Paul Huckeba of CB&S bank (one of our corporate sponsors) who was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Hoover Chamber of Commerce for 2017-2019.

The Society will elect new officers for 2017-2018 at our March meeting. Nominees are: President-Arnold Singer, 1st VP, Programs-Anita Dillon, 2nd VP, Membership-Carolyn Kolar, Treasurer-Jim Lyons, Assist. Treasurer-Inez McCollum, Recording Secretary-Pam Thompson and Corresponding Secretary-Jean Butterworth.

Jim Langley has organized a wonderful Spring Trip for us on April 6th. Members and friends are invited. Payment must be received by our March 21st meeting. See trip details elsewhere in the newsletter.

We are working with Erin Colbaugh to develop plans for Hoover’s 50th Anniversary. We were asked to provide a list of Top 10 Things That Have Impacted the Growth and Development of Hoover. Tom Bailey compiled the list. The plan is to have Mayor Brocato include this information as he speaks to various groups throughout the year. We were also asked for a list of 50 Things You Didn’t Know About Hoover.

We hope to see you at the General Meeting on March 21st!

Monday, January 9, 2017

2017 will be an exciting year for the Hoover Historical Society!

Posted by: Carolyn Kolar on Monday, January 9, 2017 at 8:00:00 am Comments (0)

2017 will be an exciting year for the Hoover Historical Society!

On January 23rd, newly elected Mayor Frank Brocato will give the annual State of the City address to the Friends of Hoover at Capers on Park Avenue.

We will host an Open House at our Archive/Office as well as the Folklore Center following the meeting.

This is a rare chance for the public to view these spaces and learn more about the Hoover Historical Society. Our new Curator, Liz Wells, will help us spruce up the archives for the Open House and will assist us in developing a collection plan and institute ways to protect our materials in the Archive over the coming months. The public is welcome to the Friends of Hoover luncheon and joining in the tours.

We are happy to announce that a ramp has been installed at the Folklore Center to make it accessible to all.

Over 25 notecard sets and/or history books were purchased for use as Christmas gifts. Remember these are available year-round. The Spring Trip committee met and Jimmy Langley will finalize our plans for an exciting trip in April.

Tom Bailey and I met with Erin Colbaugh, Hoover’s Event Coordinator, to suggest activities for Hoover's 50th Anniversary. Hospitality Chairman, Sue Knopf, has secured the historic Hoover-Randle house for our Membership Tea this year.

We will be asking for your help in making projects for Hoover's 50th Anniversary. Mark these important dates on your calendar:

  • January 17, HHS General Meeting at the Hoover Library;
  • January 23, Friends of Hoover and HHS Open House starting at 11 AM;
  • April 6 Spring Trip;
  • April 29 Celebrate Hoover! Day and 50th Anniversary Celebration; and
  • May 21 HHS Membership Tea 2-4PM at the Hoover-Randle Home.

See you in 2017!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

President's Message - Winter 2016

Posted by: Carolyn Kolar on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Dear Members:

Thanks to the City of Hoover (and a suggestion by Pam Thompson and Jim Lyons), we now have three signs pointing the way to the Folklore Center!

Members created new packaging for our notecards, which now includes 11 designs. Fay Anderson generously donated the plastic bags for the cards. We have had, in the Archive, cassette tapes of oral interviews done for our History book in 1992. Currently, Bob Kolar is digitizing these so they will be available online soon.

Members have a great opportunity to volunteer and have fun at the same time by volunteering to work at our booth during the Moss Rock Festival, November 5th and 6th. We especially need several men to help dismantle the tent and display on on Sunday afternoon.

We have two new members who joined after visiting our Archive–Jim Langley and Sandy Atchison. Jim is on the board of Hoover New Horizons and was a speaker on Oak Hill Cemetery in 2016. He is scheduled to present Alabama Idioms in March 2017. Sandy is interested in historical research and has already donated a photo of the 1921 class of Summit School.

Three of our members (Sue Knopf, Peggy Patton, and Jim Langley) recently participated in the ‘Crafty Creations Bazaar’ at the Hoover Senior Center.

Please let a board member know if you would like to help do research, artwork, or make displays for Hoover’s 50th Anniversary. I am working on updating a display on the Tyler family. Suggestions include such topics as schools, businesses, and churches—another chance to volunteer!

Our Archive is seeking donations of Berry High School, Hoover High School, and Spain Park High School yearbooks and memorabilia. Please join us November 15th for our program on Holiday Traditions at Arlington Antebellum House and Gardens. Library renovations should be complete and we will meet downstairs.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Carolyn Kolar

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Spring 2016 Updates

Posted by: Carolyn Kolar on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Our March meeting will be March 15th at the Hoover Library. We begin with refreshments at 2 PM and program at 2:30. Julie Williams will present her program about the Wright Brothers’ flight school in Montgomery. You may remember her great program on the Titanic family a few years ago. (Please note the special starting time!)

The business portion of the meeting includes the election of officers for next year. The Nominating Committee presents the following slate of officers:

  • President, Carolyn Kolar
  • 1st VP Programs, Delores Wilkinson
  • 2nd VP Membership, Pam Thompson
  • Recording Secretary, Inez McCollum
  • Corresponding Secty., Betty Bagby
  • Treasurer, Ed Burnett
  • Asst. Treasurer, Anita Dillon

Nominations will be accepted from the floor but be sure you have the person’s permission first! We conclude our year with the Annual May meeting.

Our group is busy gathering information for our History Book II. We have two chapters from the author and continue to conduct interviews with city officials, past and present. I interviewed Elsie Braddock (widow of former Mayor O. E. Braddock) who donated a framed copy of the 1967 incorporation papers for Hoover to our archives. Also, Arnold Singer and I recently interviewed Allen Pate.

The Scholarship Committee sent letters to our two high schools. We are grateful to donors who provided funding for the 2016 scholarships—Carlo and Dianne Joseph for Hoover High School and Henry King of King Acura for Spain Park.

Pam Thompson, Carolyn Kolar, Debbie Burtnett and others attend the monthly Chamber of Commerce luncheons. The Society donates copies of the first Hoover History book as door prizes. A recent winner, the Birmingham Islamic Center, joined us as a corporate sponsor. Our members also attend Friends of Hoover meetings hosted by our own Arnold Singer.

Debbie and I attended a Hoover Service Club meeting held at the Hoover-Randle house. Helen Holmes, daughter of Mr. Hoover, attended. Barbara Randle discussed her art and decorating ideas for her lovely and colorful home.

Our Time Cabinets will relocate to the Hoover Public Safety Center (courtesy of the City of Hoover) at a future date. The collections will be more visible there.

Invite your friends to attend our annual Membership Tea on April 10th from 2-4 PM at the Overseer’s House, 393 Park Avenue, Hoover, AL 35226. We plan to have shuttle buses running from Shades Crest Baptist Church to the Tea.

See you there!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Posted by: Carolyn Kolar on Friday, January 1, 2016 at 8:00:00 am Comments (0)

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with friends and family. We have much to be thankful for as we start a new year at HHS.

We thank the Mayor and our City Council for their $5,000 contribution to our Society for 2016-17. The city is also replacing the damaged historic marker at the Overseer’s House.

Our future History Book II was featured in the December issue of the Hoover Sun. We will publish the book next year in time for Hoover’s 50th Anniversary.

Part of our mission as a historical society is “To stimulate the preservation and protection of objects of historical interest and to make it available for research.” We have honored this as our archive has been busy with visitors and requests for information in 2015. We recently helped patrons with information on the Patton family, the Troop 21 Boy Scout Troop, homeowners in the Park Avenue Historic District, and a genealogy search.

We have also received several donations to the Archives. A lovely pipe organ was donated by Joan Davis and now resides at The Folklore Center. Glenn Murer donated a section of a newspaper commemorating Hoover’s 10th Anniversary. In that paper, Bill Hoover discussed his father’s dream for the Green Valley

Country Club and the development of Hoover. Another page featured William Hoover’s plans for a regional shopping center that never materialized.

Rhonna and Jonathan Phillips donated items related to Berry High School and Dr. Billy Phillips, owner of the Hoover Beauty Center and Chiropractic South. A photo from Green Valley Elementary School was featured on our Facebook Page and reached over 1200 people! We continue to generate interest in our organization thanks to Facebook.

We welcome CB&S Bank as our newest Corporate Sponsor and our first donor at the Silver Level toward the publication of our book. We appreciate Paul & Vickie Huckeba’s interest in the HHS and hope other businesses will join him. Be sure to thank him when you see him! More on the levels of sponsorship can be found in this edition .

Visit us on January 19th for our General Meeting with the program on Birmingham’s Premocar by J.D. Weeks. I guarantee you will learn something new! Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Favorite Time Of The Year....and a thanks to Our Volunteers

Posted by: Carolyn Kolar on Sunday, November 1, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

This is my favorite time of the year. We all can enjoy the cool weather and beautiful colors of the Fall leaves.

Our volunteers have been busy. Thanks to Alec and Sharon Jones who visited the Archives and made adjustments to stabilize the shelves that hold our large scrapbooks.

Betty Bagby was honored with our first HHS Hero award in recognition of her past and current contributions as a Charter Member, Officer and Volunteer. She volunteers almost weekly in the Archives.

For the second year in a row, the Folklore Center was open during the Bluff Park Art Show. Volunteers included Bob Kolar, Debbie Burtnett, Jean Butterworth, Doug Harkness, Inez McCollum, Brenda Pritchett, and Carolyn Kolar. A steady drizzle kept the crowds away but a few small groups showed up and some children enjoyed the scavenger hunt. John Tingley paid a long visit (and liked what he saw at the cabin — as a former owner of Homestead Hollow, John has knowledge of pioneer ways!)

We have a great opportunity to volunteer and spread the word about our organization at the annual Moss Rock Festival on November 7 and 8th. Please donate a couple of hours at our booth!

Thanks to Pam Thompson for her efforts in gaining sponsors for our Hoover History book Vol. II. An initial group of 78 businesses are being contacted.

The family of Barbara Clark has made a memorial donation to our society in her name.

Just as our historical markers were refurbished, one was destroyed at the Overseer’s house. It was car vs. marker and the car won!

Jerry York presented a great program in September and said he was very impressed with our newsletter. He took a copy to show his civic groups in Oxford, AL. We are glad Debbie Burtnett's hard work has been recognized.

We are pleased that new members have joined us over the summer and since our last meeting. Please welcome Linda Barwick, Carol McIntyre, Peter Northcott, Lori Salter-Schommer, David Veasey, and Wayne Wood.

We continue to conduct interviews and copy newspaper articles to assist Pamela King in writing our new book. Carolyn and Pam recently interviewed former Mayor John Hodnett. Contact any board member if you can assist us in this project.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Goals for the upcoming 2015-2016 Year

Posted by: Carolyn Kolar on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

For our 2015-16 club year at the HHS, we have two main goals. One is to help Pam King write the History of Hoover II to be published for Hoover’s 50th Anniversary in 2017. Our members are conducting oral histories and collecting newspaper articles to aid in her research. The other is to increase fund-raising efforts to pay for the publication of the book. We will push to gain corporate sponsors soon.

Ed Burtnett and the finance committee met to create a budget that will slash costs to meet our financial commitments associated with the book. We thank the City of Hoover for repairing one A/C and replacing another when they failed early this summer. Our Archives’ volunteers appreciated their swift response. Thanks to Russell Kilgore who arranged for the city to refurbish our historic markers and to Doug Harkness for his tireless efforts in making the Folklore Center such a great success.

Thanks to Debbie Burtnett for creating a Folklore Center scrapbook and posting items to our Facebook page.

Please save the date of October 3rd. We will invite Hoover residents to visit our Folklore Center while attending the Bluff Park Art Show. Pam Thompson will have our new Membership Guide ready for our September meeting. Look for your copy in your e- mail. Plan to attend our wonderful programs in the renovated Hoover Library. Our first meeting will be September 22nd.

Our organization depends on volunteers. We need members who can conduct interviews, transcribe, work in the archives or help with the newsletter. We are in particular need of skilled craftsmen at the Folklore Center and a person to schedule them. Contact any officer for more information.

I am looking forward to a busy and productive year!

Carolyn Kolar

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Year in Review

Posted by: Pam Thompson on Friday, May 1, 2015 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Nowadays we use computers a lot, and some words have changed meanings. Lowell Streiker in A Treasury of Humor, shares The Vermonter’s Guide to Computer Lingo, most of which applied to Alabama:

Modem: What you did to the hayfields

Windows: What you closed when it was below 30 degrees

Log On: Making the wood stove hotter Hard Drive: Getting home during the muddy season

Microchips: What is left in the bag when the big chips are gone.

Download: Getting the firewood off the truck Megahertz: What you get if you are not careful downloading.

Times have changed but most of us like to talk about the good old days. That is a good reason to join the Historical Society.

Several of us have been busy interviewing a variety of Hoover residents for the history book. Betty Bagby has been busy going through newspaper clippings, copying and filing them by topic. She could use some help on Wednesdays. We have had a few items donated to the archives. Please let us know if you have something interesting tucked away in a box at your house.

This month has been a busy one. Although we did not have a meeting, a group of 20 enjoyed a lovely day in Sylacauga at the Marble Festival, thanks to Mayor Ivey providing the transportation.

Then on Sunday the 19th, we had a wonderful membership tea at the Hoover-Randle House, meeting old friends and new. A few of us traveled to Mobile for the annual Alabama Historical Association meeting where we heard some interesting speakers, toured the sites, and dined on some delicious seafood.

Our last meeting for this term will be May 19 at the Hoover Library. We will be installing the new officers elected at the last meeting. I will be turning the leadership duties over to Carolyn Kolar. It has been an exciting year with many accomplishments, thanks to a great group of members who are willing to work together to get things done. I really appreciate the opportunities I have had to get to know many of you. It has been a pleasure to serve as your President.

Pam Thompson

Friday, February 20, 2015

More Updates....

Posted by: Pam Thompson on Friday, February 20, 2015 at 8:00:00 am Comments (0)
INTERVIEW WORKSHOP:  HHS Member Dr. Marlene Rikard has agreed to lead a workshop "How to Conduct Oral History Interviews"  on Wednesday March 11, 10-12 at the Archives.
Please let us know if you plan to attend so we can have materials ready.  We will need a number of people to complete the interviews of Hoover Residents for the history book.  Also, Peggy Patton will be assisting so that we can involve the Elementary schools in letting children interview family members about their experience living in Hoover.  If you know someone who might want to do this, invite them and we can ask them to JOIN the Society!

Please note: The CLEANUP at the Archives scheduled for Sat, Feb 21 was cancelled due to illness of several who were planning to come.  We will have another time next week.  If you can come during the week let me know and I will update you when we have a time.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

New History Book & Survey, March 7th Open House, New Horizon's Trip, Spring Tea in April

Posted by: Pam Thompson on Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 8:00:00 am Comments (0)

If you were not at the last meeting, I wanted to let you know that we approved the first step in the process for the new history book.  Pamela S. King has agreed to work on an outline and proposal for the book.  It should be ready by the May meeting.  We hope to submit it to several publishers, upon the approval of the board. 

In the meantime, we are beginning work on the research she needs and we need your help.  Debbie Burtnett, Carolyn Kolar and I are going to start interviewing some of our members and others to get their experiences living in the growing city of Hoover the last 25-50 years. 

Attached is a survey we would like for you to complete.  This will help us identify individuals who can help with telling the story of Hoover and its growth from suburbs to city in 50 years. You can print, complete, scan and email it, bring it by the archives or mail to the P O Box 360233, Hoover AL. 35236-0233.

We also have lots of newspapers in our collection.  We need volunteers to come to the archives and look through them for articles relating to the city’s history.  Instead of clipping, as we used to do, we will be copying or scanning articles.  These articles will be filed under the categories we have set up.  If you are willing to help with this, please let me know.  We can set up a time each week, or on Wednesdays, when someone is scheduled to be there.

We have also set a date for an Open House at the Archives on Saturday, March 7th, 10 am to 2 pm. The public will be invited to come see our collection and bring documents and photographs relating to the history of Hoover.  Please plan to come by that day if you have not seen the Archives.

In order to be ready for the open house, we are going to have a cleanup day on Saturday Feb. 21st at 10 am.  We will rearrange the desks to make them more functional and would appreciate the help of any strong men for this activity.  If anyone can help with this earlier than 10 or on another day, please let us know.

There are a lot of exciting things going on, and I wanted to let you know.  This will also be in the March newsletter which will be out by the end of the month.

We have a great opportunity to go with the New Horizons group on a trip to Columbus MS on April 8-9. I have attached a flyer with the details.  It looks like a great trip.  We can take only 20 people, and a $50 deposit needs to be turned in at the Senior Center by March 3rd.  (You can pay the entire amount.)     If you want to go, please let me know and mail your check to P. O. Box 360233, Hoover, AL  35236—0233. 

If this does not work out, we can discuss a day trip at the March meeting. Joan Parker has some health problems and has not been able to plan a trip, so the New Horizons trip is an easy alternative.

I am glad to be a part of this organization at such an exciting time.  I hope you will be involved in the history project in some way.  We will be having our Membership Tea at the Hoover Randall House on April 19th2 – 4 pm.  Please send names and addresses of potential members to Sue Knopf, suemknopf@yahoo.com or 3303 Pembrooke Lane, 35226, 979-3422.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 - Looking At The Year Ahead!

Posted by: Pam Thompson on Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 8:00:00 am Comments (0)

We hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We all have traditions around the holidays that give us a chance to remember the warmth and love of Christmases past, and the New Year lets us think about the hope of the future. After the busy fall, the past weeks have been a nice break before the Society gets busy in January.

We look forward to seeing you at the January meeting on the 20th at the Hoover Library. The meeting will be downstairs in the room across from the theatre at 1:30 with Archivist Jim Baggett presenting the program. And, we will have refreshments! If you would like to bring something, please contact Sue Knopf.

More information about the plans for the history book is on the agenda for the meeting. The Society members are also looking forward to the March meeting, the Annual Field Trip and Membership Tea in April, along with the May meeting and new officer installation. I hope you will make it a priority to participate this spring!

The Society still needs a Chairperson for the scholarship committee, which will be seeking applications in February. The committee members need someone with experience to lead this process.

Another contribution our group could make to the community is to provide speakers for presentations to groups on the Historical Society, so the public will know who we are, what we do, and the value of preserving the history of our City. This would be simple for volunteers to do if we had a PowerPoint presentation. If you are familiar with this program and would like to develop this project, please let me know.


Pam Thompson 

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