Hank Williams Museum Celebrates Twenty Year Anniversary

The Hank Williams Museum in Montgomery celebrated its 20th anniversary Sunday.

It originally opened its doors at the old train station, paying tribute to the country legend.

“We started over in the train station which was abandoned at that time” co-founder Betty Jackson says.  “We set up in there, we cleaned up and set up everything. We brought the car from Nashville, put it in there.”]

Known as one of the Capitol City’s first downtown attractions, it was moved to its current location on Commerce Street, after the city needed the train station for revitalization.

Items used by Williams himself soon began piling in.

“Clothes, his suits that he wore, he suits, his boot,” Jackson says. “I’d say three quarters of the things that we have displayed here we already had.”

For the celebration, a band was brought in to mark the special occasion. Visitors were given free admission to hear some of Williams classics, which were sung by Joey Allcorn and his band.

“Hank Williams has probably had more influence on me than probably anybody, from the time I was 14, 15 years old when I first heard his music,” band member Joey Allcorn says.

Some of all generations came to pay tribute to the museum. It welcomes hundreds of tourists into its doors each year.

“It brings a lot of people to town every year,” Allcorn says. “Every day, people come here to see Hank Williams and get their little personal experience with him. Here at the museum, people can do that”

The landscape of downtown Montgomery continues to change. Jackson remembers the beginning well, saying twenty year ago, the block was empty. But the Williams Museum encouraged others to open businesses and restaurants in the area.

“This whole area started filling in and one by one, cafe’s, banks, retails have gone all the way up the street.”

Jackson takes credit, and she and her family help keep the Williams legacy alive through the museum.

“His music has lingered on and on and on.”

Hank Williams died on New Years Day in 1953 at the age of 29.

Categories: Montgomery, News