A Valuable Man of History – Kermit E. Dooley Museum

July 12, 2022

There’s an old saying that “to have a museum, a town must have some history.” Gardendale has both of these. The Kermit E. Dooley Museum, located at 170 Bell Street in Gardendale, is open each Saturday from 10 am to 12 pm to share this story with visitors.

Gardendale Historical Society

2006 saw the beginning of the Gardendale Historical Society not only to document the town’s history but also to preserve the history of the community for its citizens. The Society meets every 3rd Saturday at the Martha Moore LIbrary in Gardendale. In October of 2020, the Society voted to change the name of the museum to honor Kermit E. Dooley for his extended service to the city of Gardendale.

Kermit E. Dooley

Kermit is often affectionately known as the “History Man.” He has gathered items, memorabilia, antiques, documents, and other relics to preserve the archives. He worked diligently toward discovering a new location for the current museum when the previous location became too small, getting display cases donated, and has given numerous interviews detailing the importance of the city of Gardendale. The museum is honored to share his name.

Gardendale History

Early settlers discovered the beauty of this area in 1812, but it wasn’t until the first homestead was erected in 1825 by Otis Dyer that a city started to form. A dozen families quickly claimed land, and Coal mines opened in 1870. The Grist Mill built by William Parker helped move the community forward.

 Gardendale was originally called Jugtown, after a jug and churn factory in the area. A local school teacher, Hettie Thompson Cargo started a campaign to change the name to Gardendale; it became official in 1906.

Kermit E. Dooley Museum

Kermit E Dooley is currently not only the honored namesake of the museum, but he is also the President. He still works diligently to gather and preserve Gardendale’s rich history. The museum is home to many items, odd clay jugs for which the original name of Jugtown was earned, an advertising sign from Mickwee General Store, mining equipment, Civil War relics, books, documents, and photographs.

 We at the NJP recommend stopping by, looking, and learning.

 Donations are always welcomed, whether monetary or notable items to be housed.


bill noble park gardendale

We are excited to see the new Bill Noble Park

March 10, 2023
, ,

As I look back, I remember before being married nights of playing tennis at Moncrief park, as I have always…

Christmas in the Magic City

December 10, 2022

There are plenty of great traditions in North Jefferson county, from the amazing Gardendale parade to the Fultondale Christmas tree…

Lessons from Father to Son – Archer Cabinets

December 2, 2022

Archer Cabinets and Countertops, located at 8381 Old Hwy 31 in Morris, Alabama, has served customers in the Birmingham area…