My love for Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, is unmatched. I will never forget pouring through the pages of this classic of modern American Literature for the first time. As I sat alongside my middle school classmates I knew the story was significant, historic, but I never imagined how it would forever alter my perspective of the world. Lee’s remarkable ability to create a lasting story arc and open space for important conversations among its readers continues to move me. Visiting Monroeville, Alabama’s Old Courthouse Museum and seeing the plot come to life was a dream come true! ✨
Centered in the middle of Monroeville, the Courthouse is a beautiful main attraction. After touring the building my family and I gathered outside to eat lunch. There are a few picnic tables provided outside for its visitors. Saunter and breathe it all in.
A multitude of historical markers make your visit educational. All Courthouse tours are self-guided. Pause and read everything to experience the most from this intentional time of learning.
To Kill A Mockingbird reenactments are often performed on site at the Courthouse. This is a collection of scene props to represent Scout Finch’s home and neighbors in Maycomb.
The breathtaking courtroom was restored to its 1930s appearance, to model the fictional courtroom settings in To Kill a Mockingbird. The story’s film, directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Gregory Peck, was not filmed onsite, but a set designer was sent to Monroeville with purpose to recreate the courtroom on a Hollywood sound stage.
Visitors are permitted to move freely throughout the courtroom, including the balcony, witness chair, judge’s bench, etc. You are allowed to touch almost every item and take photos.
It is reported that as child Harper Lee often sat in the balcony of the courthouse watching her father practice law. This sounds similar to her beloved fictional character Scout Finch! As I walked about the room, watching the sun melt through the glass windows and soak into the rich hues of wooden furniture I felt pulled to a memory that I had never truly lived, but only read through. I am not romanticizing the story subject of To Kill a Mockingbird, racism and injustice are serious acts and devastating experiences, never to be looked back upon with rose colored glasses. My rising nostalgic feelings are tied to Lee’s life and her willingness to write about what society ignores. Also, I will always long to learn more about the literary friends I loved and still do— Jean Louise ‘Scout’ Finch, Jem, Atticus, Calpurnia, and of course, Boo Radley.
There are other exhibits existing in the museum. Many featuring another famous citizen of Monroeville, American novelist and screenwriter, Truman Capote. Though the courtroom is the main experience, do take time to walk through each. Plus, the gift shop, The Bird’s Nest Museum Store, is darling!
31 N Alabama Ave, Monroeville, AL 36460