Anniston Museum of Natural History
Anniston Museum of Natural History was established in 1930, and houses seven permanent exhibit halls which explore various natural history subjects: "Dynamic Earth" focuses on the processes which formed the planet, and of the dinosaurs which once roamed Alabama. Here you will find fossils, minerals, dinosaur replicas, information about the power of weather, a real chunk of meteorite, and a lifelike recreation of an Alabama cave; "Alabama Sand to Cedars" provides a tour of the state, from the mountain forests of North Alabama to the southern sea coast, showing many of this state’s native animals; "Attack and Defense" shows the relation of predator and prey, and how different animals react to potential danger, either by chemical, behavioral, or physical means. Visitors can see live snakes in glass cases, smell real skunk scent, and marvel at how even the smallest animal has special defensive tricks for survival; "Birds of the Americas" forms the basis for Anniston Museum’s original collection. One of the oldest collections of mounted birds, nests and eggs in the United States, these specimens were collected and prepared by William H. Werner, noted 19th century naturalist. He painted many of the original diorama backdrops, and displayed the cases in his own Museum in New Jersey, until his death, when H. Severn Regar purchased the Museum’s collection and eventually moved it, along with his other acquisitions, to Anniston. Many of the specimens displayed are rare, some are extinct or endangered. Scientists have come from as far away as Europe to study Anniston Museum’s specimen of Ivory billed Woodpecker, one of only a few in existence to be presented with tree-trunk nest, and eggs; "Environments of Africa" is a sweeping open air hall which recreates the savannah of Africa, Complete with a recreated Baobab tree, and mounted specimens ranging from a large bull elephant to a tiny baby warthog, this hall is a favorite of many visitors. Teaching the lesson of adaptation, the text panels describe how even in this harsh arid landscape, life thrives; "Ancient Egypt" offers up a unique opportunity to view not one, but two Ptolemaic Era Egyptian Mummies. Many visitors come to the Museum specifically to view these incredible specimens, Museum residents since the very beginning. Learn about the process and materials of mummification. See mounted specimens of sacred animals, a sculptural recreation of what experts believe one of the mummies looked like, x-ray photos, plus a new documentary film that shows what’s really under the wrappings of the smaller mummy, as discovered in a recent CT scan; "Nature Space Discovery Room" is a place where children can explore, learn and touch everything. They can play at various learning stations, inside a miniature version of the cave, or stand on the earthquake simulator for some shaky fun.
In addition to the permanent Exhibit Halls, Anniston Museum also features a Changing Exhibit Gallery which features temporary exhibits that explore nature and show how artists interpret the natural world. Outside the Museum doors lie many lovely species of plants in various gardens, and an easy walk on the Bird of Prey Trail, where large aviaries house different species of raptors who can no longer support themselves in the wild.
Each year Anniston Museum presents many programs which educate and entertain. There are annual programs on reptiles, birds, and other animals, garden walks, informational lectures, and more. Anniston Museum is truly a hidden gem in Northeast Alabama, and provides a fabulous opportunity to learn about natural history in many different and engaging ways.
Hours and admission:
Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 5pm; Sunday 1pm to 5pm; Plus Summer Mondays, Memorial Day through Labor Day; final admission of the day is at 4:30pm to allow visitors time to see and enjoy the entire Museum.
$6 per adult; $5.50 per senior (age 60+); $5 per child (ages 4-17); children under 3 are free
Exit 185 off I-20 between Birmingham and Atlanta. North on State Hwy 21 seven miles. Anniston Museum is located in Lagarde Park at the intersection of State Hwys 21/431.
For more information visit:
800 Museum Drive
Anniston, AL 36206
- Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 5pm; Sunday 1pm to 5pm; Plus Summer Mondays, Memorial Day through Labor Day; final admission of the day is at 4:30pm
- $6 per adult; $5.50 per senior (age 60+); $5 per child (ages 4-17); children under 3 are free