Historic Markers Across Alabama

City of Georgiana Founded in 1855 / GA~ANA Theatre Opened 1939

Marker ID:  
Location: 602 East Railroad Avenue, Georgiana, AL
County: Butler
Coordinates: N 31° 38.157    W 086° 44.505
  31.63595    -86.74175
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


City of Georgiana
Founded in 1855

Early settlers moved from Virginia, the Carolinas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia into the deep forests of southern Butler County. In 1855, the Rev. Pitt S. Milner established a home-stead and post office 16 miles south of Greenville that he named Georgiana in honor of his home state and daughter Anna. The Louisville & Nashville Railroad reached here on July 4, 1859. After the Civil War, cotton, corn, oats and sweet potatoes were grown for market. Georgiana flourished as a railroad hub, logging town and trade center in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Hank Williams, whose father was a logger, loved here from age 7 to 11.

GA~ANA Theatre
Opened 1939

While watching Westerns at a Georgiana 'picture show' on Saturdays in 1931-34, young Hiram Williams developed a fondness for cowboy nicknames and clothing. After his family moved to Montgomery in 1936, he began calling himself 'Hank.' Fred McClendon opened the GA~ANA Theatre on Jan. 31, 1939. Eight months later, 16-year-old Hank performed here with his band, The Drifting Cowboys. The movie theatre closed in 1959 and was used for storage and a cabinet shop. When demolition was threatened in 1996, J.C. Sims purchased the theatre. It was renovated for movies and live performances and reopened in 1999.

2006 by the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel.

End of City of Georgiana Founded in 1855 / GA~ANA Theatre Opened 1939