Residents, city officials, civic organizations and local churches gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the new Alpharetta and Old Milton County History Museum on April 26.
“We’re excited to welcome the Alpharetta and Old Milton County History Museum as a new attraction for our community,” said Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Janet Rodgers.
Alpharetta Recreation, Parks and Cultural Services Department collaborated with the Alpharetta and Old Milton County Historical Society for the museum, a project two years in the making, comprised of a permanent collection of artifacts and interpretative displays.
Museum visitors will be guided through a chronological timeline of Alpharetta’s past, which according to the release, ranges “from its earliest days as Cherokee Indian territory, through its remarkable emergence as ‘one of the nation's most vibrant high-tech cities.’”
Alpharetta and Old Milton County Historical Society “provided the extensive historical research and many of the artifacts displayed in the new museum,” said the release.
A feature of the museum is the “Stories Project” kiosk, where visitors enjoy the first-hand memories of over 70 long-standing Alpharetta citizens, recorded in their own voices.
To assemble the museum’s content, local residents and descendants of the area’s founding families came together, telling their stories and contributing the photographs and artifacts that now create a living history of Alpharetta.
Museum visitors have the opportunity to both see and hear Alpharetta’s history with strategically placed listening devices along the museum’s story timeline.
“Over the course of this two-year endeavor, seven of the ‘Stories Project’ residents passed away since sharing their stories on film, but their personal contributions to Alpharetta’s history will now live on through their recordings,” according to the release.
The city noted intention for additional interviews planned for the future.
“It was an honor and a privilege to work with the community, residents and other contributors to collect, connect, and present the history of Alpharetta in a way that is engaging, thoughtful and inclusive,” said Alpharetta Cultural Services Division Manager Kim Zane.
With Alpharetta’s history having connections with neighboring North Fulton cities, the museum reaches beyond the current city limits.
“From 1858 to 1932, Alpharetta was the county seat of Milton County, which encompassed the present-day cities of Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, portions of Roswell and northern Sandy Springs,” said the release.
Displays throughout the museum reflect the connection.
Beyond the walls of the Alpharetta and Old Milton County History Museum, visitors can also uncover the story of Alpharetta’s past at their own pace as they tour the twenty-two historical markers that make up the Alpharetta History Walk.
The markers are located throughout downtown, mostly within walking distance of one another, and give a current-day depiction of the early days of Alpharetta.
Historical photos of the buildings, structures and sites are displayed in the Museum.
The History Walk brochure contains a map, photos and descriptions of the twenty-two sites along the tour. It is available for download at www.awesomealpharetta.com and in print at the Alpharetta Welcome Center at 178 S. Main Street, Suite 200.
“We invite visitors to learn about the families and founding members of our community that helped make Alpharetta the great city it is today,” said Rodgers.
The museum is within Alpharetta City Hall at 2 Park Plaza in downtown. It will be open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm and Fridays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Admission is free.
More information about Alpharetta’s history is available at www.awesomealpharetta.com or call 678.297.0102.