RED BAY — The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service has chosen Red Bay for the first of six Alabama stops during its 2013 tour, said Mayor Bobby Forsythe.
The exhibit’s theme, “The Way We Worked,” spans the years 1857-1987, and shows how the workplace was shaped by American ideals, according to the Smithsonian Institution’s website.
Forsythe said alongside the Smithsonian display, Red Bay will put together an exhibit specifically depicting the town’s industry, both past and present. The Smithsonian stop, which will run Sept. 15-Oct.25, 2013, will coincide with Red Bay’s Founders Festival.
“We’ll show the development we’ve made from the beginning of Red Bay,” Forsythe said, “(such as) the jobs that were available here and how people made their livings. There have been many different developments that have gone on over the years.”
Revenue Clerk Tracie Bolding, who was a part of the initial planning meeting, said some of Red Bay’s display will probably include some of its larger industries like Sunshine Mills, Sunshine Homes, Tiffin Motor Homes and Gates Rubber Co.
“We’re also planning on bringing back memories of past businesses in Red Bay, and we have some other ideas that we’re still working on,” Bolding said.
Rosalyn Fabianke, site coordinator for the project, said representatives for the Smithsonian Institution have already made preliminary visits to Red Bay and have selected the Weatherford Centre as the location for the exhibit. She said though Red Bay is the host town, the idea is that the exhibit will be for the region as a whole.
“This is a partnership with the Smithsonian and the Alabama Humanities Foundation,” she said. “We’re just so honored to be able to have this opportunity.”
Fabianke, who has lived in Red Bay for 34 years, said she was recruited to get involved with the project by Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay.
Morrow said bringing the Smithsonian to people who would otherwise likely never see it is thrilling.
“The exhibit is quite breathtaking from what I’ve heard,” he said. “I look forward to people from northwest Alabama and northeast Mississippi coming out.
“The Smithsonian is coming to them.”
Hannah Mask can be reached at 256-740-5728 or hannah.mask@TimesDaily.com.