Cullman’s German Roots
The city of Cullman was founded and established by German immigrant Colonel John Gottfried Cullmann. After losing much of his fortune in an overseas revolution, Cullmann arrived in American in 1866 with dreams of forming a colony for working immigrants from his native Germany in the unsettled lands of the South. He presented his idea to the Louisville & Nashville (L&N) Railroad. The L&N railroad had just completed a line from Decatur to Montgomery, and had millions of acres of raw lands along the line in need of settlement. Colonel Cullmann contracted with the L&N for 349,000 acres extending from Decatur to Montgomery to establish his colony.
In April of 1873, the first five families moved to the area now called Cullman and each was given a small plot of land where they built log homes and cleared land for farming. Between 1871 and 1895, John G. Cullmann’s efforts brought more than 100,000 immigrants to the South from Europe and other parts of America.
Today the people of Cullman are proud of their heritage and enjoy sharing the city’s rich history with its visitors. The Cullman County Museum, a replica of Colonel John G. Cullmann home, showcases thousands of historical items dating back to the early 1800′s. Displays include an Archaeological Room with Indian artifacts, a Primitive Room showing turn-of-the- century tools, a Clothing Store with outfits from the 1800′s, a Main Street exhibit with 19th century storefronts, and a photo gallery. Open Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information call, 256-739-1258.