Monroeville: The Search for Harper Lee's Maycomb (Images of America: Alabama)
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For 39 years, people from all over the world and all walks of life have come to the small town of Monroeville, Alabama, in search of a place called Maycomb. They come in search of a story that have moved millions of people with its enduring message, and in search of the world of the storyteller. Monroeville: The Search for Harper Lee's Maycomb explores the relationship between Harper Lee's hometown and the setting of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Born in response to the curiosities of visitors to the Monroe County Heritage Museums, this book explores the parallels between the tow worlds through vintage images and informative captions. Included are photographs of the Lee family and the author in her early years; the sights of Monroeville that undoubtedly inspired the setting of Maycomb; the cast of the Oscar-winning film adaptation that premiered in 1963; and the Mockingbird Players, a group of Monroeville residents who, each year in May, present an authentic production of the two-act play adapted by Christopher Sergel. Among the visitors to Monroeville are teachers and lawyers making a pilgrimage to Atticus' courtroom, scholars in search of unanswered questions, and fans of the novel trying to capture a glimpse of Scout's world. The Monroe County Heritage Museums, under the direction of Kathy McCoy, made this possible in 1991 with the opening of the Old Courthouse Museum on the town square. Visitors now leave Monroeville feeling as if they walked the streets of Maycomb on a hot summer day, enchanted by the imagined presence of Sout, Jem, and Dill exploring their neighborhood in an era of tumultuous change.
and rails and changed the name to the Manistee and Repton Railroad. He remained general manager until his death in 1962. Dickie Williams, owner of William’s Drugs on the Square, is Harper Lee’s cousin. “As far as being rich and fancy, Nelle’s not,” Dickie Williams told a reporter from the Washington Post recently. “I call her my rich kinfolk, but you wouldn’t think she had a nickel.” The June 10, 1999 article by Sue Anne Pressley continues, “As family, Williams has not shied from asking the
businessman and local historian. “I caddied for Mr. Lee for 15 cents for the first round and 10 cents for the second. He used a small cloth bag with only a few clubs, and had an unusual golf stance and swing—and my wife played with Nelle for years. Golf is big in Monroeville.” “People called Mr. Lee, ‘Coley,’ ” says A.B. Blass Jr. “In Kiwanis, we had to call people by their given name. We were told to call him ‘Coley.’ You can imagine how hard it was for a boy right out of college to call this
Garry commented, “I read recently that Abraham Lincoln, when he met Harriet Beecher-Stowe, the author of ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin,’ said ‘So you’re the little lady that started our grand war then.’ “I suppose history will remember Nelle Lee in much the same way. She seems to have crystallised the conscience of the nation at a pivotal moment in the history of the Civil Rights Movement and provided a living dramatic context for people to identify their feelings about injustice and prejudice with. More
steamboat era of the nineteenth century. The principal product of Alabama was cotton, which was shipped to Mobile from the many plantations along the river. Supplies for the plantations were delivered to the steamboat landings. Steamboat travel ended when the railroads became more accessible in the early 1900s. In the 1930s, train travel continued in Monroe County, county roads were improved, and a bus station operated in Monroeville. Today, an interstate highway is as close as 20 miles, yet the
Persons, as he was known then, was very agile and was noted for turning cartwheels down the sidewalk in front of the house. “Since he was small,” says Dr. Murphy, “some of the larger kids would pick on him. As a result, when someone big would try to pick on him, he would turn a cartwheel and ask the bully if he could turn one. This confused the bully, and the next thing you knew, Truman was able to avoid a fight because he had diverted the attention of the bully.” The old Faulk house burned in