Everything from books, old newspaper clippings and photos to many hands-on artifacts are displayed throughout the facility, located at 101 East Main Street in Centre.
Cherokee County Hall of Fame Director Tommy Moon and Museum Committee President Kurt Duryea are now looking into expanding visitors’ experiences on the sports side of things.
The duo recently unveiled plans to have a rotating sports exhibit room within the museum. The room is already devoted to the county’s sports history, including its hall of fame members, but both Moon and Duryea want to take things a step further.
Duryea said the first of several new monthly-themed exhibits will be displayed to the public in October, coinciding with Centre’s fall festival. The first exhibit planned is the former Hatcher High School.
“Between Tommy and (former Hatcher attendee/Cherokee County High School graduate) Johnny Wyatt, the idea of the monthly display came about because we were just limited with the overall capacity we have within the museum,” Duryea said. “This is certainly a collaborative effort.”
Adding to that effort is the museum’s intern, Berry College student Ellen Rayburn. Duryea said Rayburn is coming up with the design work for the project.
“She plays on the golf team up there, so she brings a sports background to the project,” Duryea said. “We’re excited to see the design concepts she will bring.”
As Duryea mentioned, Wyatt has been instrumental in the initial display. On Tuesday, Wyatt loaned many photos and other memorabilia from Hatcher.
Wyatt, who now lives in Birmingham, presented his longtime friend and Hatcher/Cherokee County High School teammate Ronald Rooks into the Cherokee County Hall of Fame back in June.
“Johnny and I have been working together on some stuff, and I tried to help him out with some information on his former coach, Coach (Eugene) Weatherly,” Moon said. “He’s done a great job with that, and some of that will be in the exhibit room.
“I didn’t know a lot about Coach Weatherly. I had heard the name, but Johnny is going to have us a lot of information about Hatcher and about Coach Weatherly.”
Duryea said other possible future exhibits include the history of Dixie Youth Baseball, months devoted to several of Cherokee County’s greatest football and basketball teams to coincide with the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Super 6 and Final 48 state championships, and some of the area’s golfing greats to go along with The Masters.
But in order for those exhibits to become reality, the museum needs the community’s help.
Both Duryea and Moon are encouraging community members, along with those who have ties to Cherokee County’s athletic history, to donate material they may have to make the exhibits the best they can be.
“We could do a number of things to share these items with the community at large,” Duryea said.
“If folks have items they would like to donate to the museum, we’re happy to take those donations and keep them on a permanent basis. If they would like us to make photocopies or digital copies of pictures, or take old news clippings and put those into our computers for display, we can do that if they bring those by. If they would like to put something on loan for us for a certified period of time, they’re welcome to do that. It would be on an on-loan, short-term basis.”
Moon said people wishing to donate items could contact him at (256) 927-3577 or stop by the museum. Its hours are from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
The museum’s phone number is (256) 927-7835 and its website address is www.museumatcentre.com.
“If you have not been to the museum, you’ve really missed something,” Moon said. “When people see this (sports exhibit), they’re going to be surprised at the stuff we already have. There’s more stuff out there that we’ve been promised to get from other people.
“We have a lot of things in Cherokee County we ought to be proud of that’s sports related, and we want to have that shown in here.”