Exhibits documenting both local history and the more recent past are always a treat for visitors. Displays range from “Mississippi Bill” Harris’s 12-foot fishing boat that conquered thousands of river miles, to exhibits detailing life in the 1800s. Archival photos provide a fascinating view of Guntersville before and during construction of the TVA dam that created almost a thousand miles of mountain-lakes shoreline.
As part of our natural history collection, the museum showcases a local treasure that fascinated generations of local residents who attended the old City Elementary “Rock School.” In the lobby of that school, and now at the museum, was a superb display of mostly native birds collected and mounted by the late Bessie Rayburn Samuel in the 1920s.
The museum is home to a permanent collection of work by nationally-acclaimed local artist Frank Nelson. A selection of his landscape and still life watercolors are always on display.
An impressive Native American exhibit – the Percy Barnard Collection – is augmented by other locally- and regionally-collected artifacts dating to the Paleo-Indian era. The first inhabitants of the area left a rich history, and the museum’s collection provides an interesting view into that past.