Once housed in the confines of the historic town’s library, Leighton Museum now has a new home inside the lobby of the nearby Bank Independent. The new home is more secure, has better climate control and is more accessible to the public. The museum moved this year to coincide with the Alabama 200 celebration of the state’s bicentennial. “Leighton — The Land, The Lives, The Legacy,” held it’s grand re-opening at Bank Independent in December of 2019.
The 600 square foot museum is located in the bank lobby and was constructed within the floor space of two loan offices and a customer waiting area. This very intimate exhibit includes a custom built introduction wall with graphics and a digital monitor, as well as five full size vertical artifact cases with sliding glass doors for accessibility. These cases include adjustable shelving, lighting and additional artifact storage. There is a credenza style artifact display case, a large wall hung display of civil war rifles, a smaller wall hung display case for swords and finally a large display case showcasing an impressive arrowhead collection.
Museum content includes original Native American pottery, Native American tools, Leighton’s history, original photos, local artifacts that date back to the late 1800’s when the town was predominately cotton farming, and LaGrange military college artifacts that survived when the college was burned during the civil war by union troops. Civil war and World War I artifacts include guns, swords, cannon balls, ammunition and various tools used during battle. A large collection of fossils, stones and a massive petrified fern from millions of years ago can also be seen within this museum.
Working with local historians we were able to design a space that not only tells a story but allows visitors to see the past in a whole new light. This small museum is expected to have a huge impact!