While Alabama, Southerners and the whole world honors the passing of Miss Nelle, author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, I thought I might share with y’all some photos I shot this month in Monroeville, Alabama, her home town.
All these years driving around and through south Alabama, I finally took the time to stop in the county seat of Monroe County in Monroeville, Alabama. Just north of US84 at the confluence of state roads AL21, AL41 and AL47, caddy cornered from Lee Motor Company and its obligatory Mocking Bird mural, is the typical southern town square and old courthouse. It is now a part of the Monroe County Heritage Museum, celebrating the literary legacies of Harper Lee, all things Mockingbird and Truman Capote’s childhood connection to Nelle and his local relations. I had always thought the Mockingbird courthouse scene was shot in the old courthouse, but that is not the case. They were still holding court there when the film was made and were unable to use the location. It was used as a model for the set created for shooting in Hollywood.
Monroeville has also produced two other well known journalists/writers: Mark Childress of ‘Crazy in Alabama’ and ‘One Mississippi’ fame and Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated editorial columnist for the AJC, Cynthia Tucker. If you find yourself in or near LA (Lower Alabama) and you have a special place in your heart for southern literature, you owe it to yourself to take the time and get off the beaten track and go see Maycomb and the Maycomb County courthouse.