Mob scene from Monroe County Heritage Museum production of "To Kill a Mockingbird" Photo - Doug Howell
To Kill a Mockingbird and Old Monroe County
A production of the Pulitzer Prize winner,
To Kill a Mockingbird, is
performed each May in the courtroom and lawn of the Old Monroe
County Courthouse, now a museum. Designed by the noted southern
architect, Andrew Bryan, the courthouse was once known as
"Stallworth's folly" after Judge Nicholas J. Stallworth, who hired
Bryan in 1903. Construction went over budget, adversely affecting
the judge's popularity and costing him his re-election.
Nonetheless, the courthouse won praise in
Journal as "one of the handsomest and most conveniently
appointed [courthouses] in the state."
Nelle Harper Lee, author of
To Kill a Mockingbird, was born in Monroeville in 1926, and grew up with
the old courthouse as the center of all activity on the town
square. It is easy to imagine the elegant courtroom of the old
courthouse may have inspired parts of her book. It is said that she
insisted the director for the film "To Kill a Mockingbird" visit
the Old Monroe County Courthouse before constructing the movie
sets. The actor Gregory Peck also came to see the courthouse and
town. He later said that role of Atticus Finch was his favorite of
all time. Standing in the courtroom, one can almost hear Finch's
voice ringing out, "In the name of God, do your duty."
Documentation includes a text report, two books about
Monroeville, photographs, a poster, newspaper articles, play
programs, and museum brochures.
Originally submitted by: Sonny Callahan, Representative (1st District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.