1215 Rayburn Avenue in Guntersville
(256) 571-7597

Museum Hours:
Tuesday-Friday: 10 a.m.– 4 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Closed Mondays

Admission is Free

September 14 - November 5
November 16 - December 31
November 15 - December 31

About Us

The Guntersville Museum turned a city landmark into the cornerstone of an entire cultural district. The facility was built in 1936 prior to World War II, as a military armory for Company E, 167th Infantry Division. Built under the Works Progress Act (WPA), the building was constructed of local rough limestone. With its distinctive castellated (castle-like) architecture, the Museum sits on a tree-covered hilltop adjacent to Guntersville's highly rated Public Library and overlooking the acclaimed Whole Backstage Community Theatre.

Gift Shop

The museum gift shop offers a selection of books on local history, note cards, prints and vintage post cards. Handmade stoneware, created by Oneonta artist Ann Beaird is also available.

Map & Directions

From Nashville

  1. Take 1-65 South to Exit 1 US 31 to Ardmore/Huntsville
  2. Continue to AL 53 then turn left onto University Dr NW
  3. Take a slight right toward US-231 S/US-431 S
  4. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for US-231 S/US-431 S/I-565 E and merge onto US-231 S/US-431 S
  5. Exit onto AL-1 S/US-431 S
  6. Turn left onto Governors Dr SW
  7. Turn right onto AL-1 S/US-431 S/Governors Dr SW
  8. Turn right onto Gilbreath St
  9. Turn right onto Rayburn Ave

From Birmingham

  1. Take 1-65 North to Exit 284 US 31 to Hayden Corner
  2. Turn right on AL 160 E / Lester Doss Road
  3. Turn left onto AL 79 N
  4. Turn left onto Gunter Ave
  5. Turn right onto May St
  6. Turn left onto Blount Ave
  7. Turn left onto Gilbreath St
  8. Turn right onto Rayburn Ave

History of the Guntersville Armory

The Guntersville Armory was constructed in 1936 under President Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration. The project was a collaboration between the WPA and the Public Works Administration.

The property on which the building is situated was deeded to the city in the early 1900's by the Wyeths, a very prominent Guntersville family. The Wyeth family also deeded much of their land for churches and schools.

The armory was constructed to house Company E of the 167th Infantry of the Alabama National Guard. Our local congressman, Joe Starnes, a member of the Armed Services Committee, was very influential in a national armory construction program. His perseverance led to the construction of numerous armories across the country as well as our own.

After its completion in 1936, the armory was used for drills, training, and classroom instruction. President Roosevelt called the Guard to active duty in 1940 and while the 167th Infantry was away during WWII, the local home guard trained in the facility. Upon their return, the 167th used the building for training until they were called to the Korean War.

The armory has always been a prime locale for social events, community functions and meetings. During construction of the Guntersville Dam the building was used for dances, and later for parties that coincided with the town's annual boat races.

A new armory was constructed elsewhere in the 1970s and the old building was turned over to the city of Guntersville. It was used as the local fire station until the mid-1980s and after renovation in 2006 the Guntersville Museum was relocated here. The old rock armory building is now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.