Cullman is a hospitable city that captures the American spirit embodied in our nation's small cities and offers a unique history of the Deep South.
With roots reaching back to the simple Indian Villages of hundreds of years ago, this rich tract of land has grown into the fullfillment of a dream for German refugee Col. John G. Cullmann.
Beginning in the 1870's Col. Cullmann began to develop the area along nearby railroad tracks as a place where his fellow Germans could begin a new life in a land of opportunity.
Col. Cullmann, named to the Alabama Hall of Fame, is credited with attracting over 10,000 German immigrants to the area.
Places of Interest:
A Pueblo style stucco building that was once used for passengers and freight service. It served such trains as the Hummingbird, which was the posh mode of transportation between the cities of Chicago and New Orleans, and the Pan American. Passenger service through Cullman ceased during the 1960's but the line is still active as a freight carrier. The Depot has be designated
as an historical landmark by the National Registry of Historical Places. Open for Special events: 256-739-2948
Cullman Country Museum
The Archaeological Room houses artifacts from the earliest Cullman County settlers, the Native Americans. The Centerpiece of the room is a seven foot tall Indian warrior carved from a sweet gum tree.
"After traveling around the country and arriving in North Alabama the impression was made upon my mind that if this country was filled up
with good farmers it would be the garden spot of America. I found here all that I had been looking for, all that I regard as necessary to make good homes:
there was here combined these things to an extent not equalled by any other place that I had seen."
Col.John G. Cullmann
1877, From a pamplet to German Immigrants
Located in the Primitive Room are turn of the century tools used to carve a living out of Cullman County's hilly landscape.
The highlight of the museum is the recreation of Col. Cullmann's Room, containing his own bed, rocking chair, and sofa, as well as other items from his life.
Ave Maria Grotto
The builder of the miniatures at the Ave Maria Grotto was a Benedictine Monk - Brother Joseph Zoettl, O.S.B. Born in Landshut, Bavaria in 1878, he came to Saint Bernard Abbey in 1892.
After becoming a Brother in the Benedictine Order, he was appointed to the power plant for the Abbey, and while there he developed his hobby of building miniatures shrines.
The first replicas were erected on the monastery recreation grounds, but because of the large numbers of visitors, a new site was selected
and on May 17th 1934 the Ave Maria Grotto was dedicated. Brother Joseph continued his work for over 40 years,
using materials sent from all over the world. He built his last model, The Basilica in Lourdes, at the age of 80 in 1958.
The Ave Maria Grotto, located on the grounds of Alabama's first and only Benedictine Abbey, consists of over 125 miniatures, reproductions of famous churches, shrines and
buildings from all over the world. 256-734-4110
Clarkson Covered Bridge
One of Alabama's largest covered truss bridges and the site of the 1863 Battle of Hog Mountain. Named to the National Register of Historic Places, the bridge is the centerpiece of a public park spanning
a shallow creek surrounded by hiking trails and picnic grounds. Open Daily - 256-734-3369
Parks & Recreation:
- Hurricane Creek Park - This scenic park features a swinging bridge, hanging cliffs, waterfalls, walking trails and a picnic area. 256-734-2125
- Smith Lake Park - Over 500 miles of shoreline for camping, and 21,000 acres of clearwater for sport fishing, skiing, and boating are all accesible from Smith Lake Park. This back to nature park offers 200 plus tent & RV camp sites, a swimming pool (in Season), spiral waterslide and lake swimming, picnic area, shelters, and special events throughout the summer. 256-739-2916
- Sportsman Lake Park - Situated within Cullman city limits, the park offers a small scale train which goes along the shore of the lake, fishing, a mini ferris wheel and a carousel, mini golf, pedal boats, picnic area and shelter. 256-734-3052
- Heritage Park - The cornerstone of Cullman's parks, the 70 acre complex offers championship softball and soccer fields, picnic shelters, multipurpose fields, outdoor basketball courts, pavilions, 1.5 miles of paved fitness trail, and recognition garden. 256-739-9931 or 256-734-9157
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