History forms foundation for present, future

Published 1:36 am Thursday, March 2, 2023

An Editorial Opinion of The Luverne Journal

The Crenshaw County Historical Society works to preserve the history of the county. By doing so, society members create the record of what future generations will learn about the county’s history and its present activity to influence those who will follow in its citizens’ footsteps.

One society initiative involved discovering and documenting Crenshaw County churches. The effort involved learning about existing churches and those no longer meeting. In some cases, even the buildings are long gone. Still, the society hopes to preserve a record of the people and places which serve as the core of local communities while helping people connect to their own family roots through a connection with churches.

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Another society project involves helping current residents preserve their home’s history by identifying structures eligible for placement on the National Register of Historic Places. Homeowners whose residence meets certain structural and archaeological requirements and become part of the official federal list are deemed worthy of preservation, becoming a part of their town’s and the homeowner’s legacy.

Some may ask, “Why is preserving history important.” Pam Campbell, the society’s recording secretary has a ready answer.

Each Alabama county’s heritage is unique — settled usually by persons from certain other geographic areas and formed by people working with what the land had to offer to create a life for themselves and future generations.

Campbell tells visitors at the society’s museum that the county’s settlers had it rough. They were strong, resilient people who worked hard to create the spaces and places residents know today.

American poet Maya Angelou is credited with the statement, “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”

Understanding the history of a place and its people is vital to developing the future. That understanding gives younger generations the courage to dream and work toward realizing their dreams.

The knowledge inspires older generations too, who can look back on their past and retain hope for what is yet to come.