History

The Herndon Home Museum is operated by the Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Foundation, Inc. The mission of the Foundation to increase the awareness and appreciation of the significance of the Herndon Family and the historical context in which the family lived and worked.  The Herndons, one of the most prominent Black families in Atlanta’s history, sharply reflect the city’s distinctive development as a center for Black business, education, and culture.  From Alonzo Herndon’s rise from slavery to leadership in the Black business community, the Herndons are unique resource of local and national significance in the interpretation of Black struggle and achievement.The major areas for the interpretation of historical significance are:

1.    the histories of the Herndon, McNeil, Gillespie and related families;
2.    the context of Black history in Atlanta, the Southeast, and the nation from the 19th to mid-20th centuries, including economic and business development, political conditions, and social patterns;
3.    the family’s association with Atlanta Life Insurance Company, Atlant University, and other social, civic, educational and economic institutions;
4.    design, construction, furnishings and lifestyle of an upper income, early 20th century residence;
5.    special interests of Herndon Family members, such as drama, travel, music, ancient glass and artifacts

The objectives of Herndon Home Museum Programs are:

1.    to provide for the repair and care of the Herndon Home, Carriage House, and grounds;
2.    to provide for the management and care of the Herndon family collection of furniture, furnishings, textiles, decorative objects, manuscripts, photographs, books and other materials;
3.    to conduct regularly-scheduled tours of the Home Museum;
4.    to exhibit the Herndon Family Collection and related materials;
5.    to conduct a variety of educational programs that increase understanding of the Herndons and their history;
6.    to conduct research on the Herndon Family and their historical context;
7.    to publish information which compiles, interprets and promotes the history of the Herndons;
8.    to promote awareness of the museum and its history through publicity in the various media;
9.    to operate the museum and its program(s) with a trained corps of paid staff and volunteers.

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