Colony murals

Colony Mayor Donnis Leeth and Councilwoman Ethel Alexander stand with some of the murals showing the history of Colony. Alexander had the murals created for Alabama's Bicentennial celebration and that project has led her to working on a genealogy and history center for the town.

COLONY — Colony councilwoman Ethel Alexander is combining her love for genealogy and museums with her love for her adopted town of Colony.

Alexander, who studied the history of Colony while working on the Cullman County Bicentennial Celebration and helped create murals telling the town's story, is taking that work a step further to create a Colony genealogy and history center. 

The library in Colony features some of the town's history — pictures of midwives and sharecroppers, past leaders and prominent citizens — but Alexander sees the museum growing into a much bigger collection. 

"We'll be working with family history, school history, local history, just the general history of the town," she said. "We'll be focusing a lot on the cemetery, and one of the future goals is to refurbish the Mason Hall, because that's the only building in the town standing from times past."

The museum will likely include history from Cullman County and Blount County, she said, because Colony, incorporated in 1981, was in Blount County prior to the creation of Cullman County.

The town council on Tuesday endorsed the concept of a historical society, with Mayor Donnis Leeth noting that visitors sometimes stop in Colony because they've heard about the town and want to know more. He told of a recent visitor from Montgomery who came to Colony because a coworker suggested he go through next time he was in the area. "He told me, 'whatever you do, you keep building the Colony up,'" said Leeth. 

"It will be the only one of its kind in Cullman County and the only African-American museum that I know of in this area of Alabama," said Alexander. "We have the history, we have everything it takes to become a town of history and I think we should capitalize on that." 

Alexander said the non-profit genealogy and history center board will begin meeting soon and making plans for the museum which will be housed in the educational complex at first. "I think it's going to be very nice," she said. 

Amy Henderson can be reached at 256-734-2131 Ext. 216.

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