Museum celebrates spirit of Daphne

By Allison Marlow
Posted 11/10/17

In 1865, Union soldiers who happened upon the Daphne United Methodist Church were granted permission to sleep there - if they promised to leave the building, and its contents, undisturbed.

They …

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Museum celebrates spirit of Daphne

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In 1865, Union soldiers who happened upon the Daphne United Methodist Church were granted permission to sleep there - if they promised to leave the building, and its contents, undisturbed.

They kept their promise and the church survived the bitter war.

Nearly 100 years later, Mother Nature would not be so accommodating. Hurricane Frederick ripped through the region and slammed into the building of heart-pine logs. The entire structure was left tilted to one side and slated for demolition.

A group of volunteers and history lovers raised money to restore and save the structure. Now, it houses the Museum of Daphne, a delightful walk through the history of the town and the families who have helped it flourish.

Inside there are displays dedicated to the businesses that have come and gone in the downtown area, the Daphne Pottery Company, toys, clothing and all things Daphne.

One of the most touching displays is a book of letters sent back from the Civil War’s front lines by members of the Harrison family, a prominent family in town. The words they wrote on the now aged and faded yellow sheets have been retyped so that visitors can read about the war as they saw it both from the field and the home front. Spoiler alert, you may need to bring Kleenex to wipe your tears.

The yard surrounding the church is filled with the people who made the town’s history. A master potter is buried here with his family as is the first Native American to graduate from West Point. Slaves are buried here and so, it is said, are Union soldiers, buried in a mass, unmarked grave.