About Huntsville
City of Huntsville Population – 180,105
Entire Madison County Population – 334,811
City Altitude – 624 feet above sea level
County Area – 806 square miles
City Area – 154 square miles
Annual Average Precipitation – 57.18″
Average Annual Temperature – 71.0 degrees F
July Average Temperature – 89.0 degrees F
January Average Temperature – 48.2 degrees F
Annual Snowfall – Negligible

In the foothills of the Cumberland mountains, in a beautiful green valley, nestled in a bend of the Tennessee River, John Hunt first brought his family to settle near a large spring in an community that would later become known as Huntsville, Alabama.

Since its incorporation in 1811, Huntsville has been a pacesetter for the state of Alabama, as shown by the large number of “firsts”, including the state’s first newspaper, library, school, Protestant church and bank. Huntsville also served as the first state capital as well.

This unique spirit of innovation has been a major factor in the establishment of Huntsville as a leader in education and culture, and has helped make it a flourishing business center as well.

In the beginning of Huntsville’s history, agriculture was the primary business of the area. At that time, Cotton was “King.” Huntsville and Madison County became the largest cotton growing area in the south. While North Alabama still grows a lot of cotton, its biggest cash crop has changed from cotton to technology.

In 1941 the army announced that they were establishing a chemical weapons manufacturing facility on 40,000 acres. This land was located in the southwest corner of Madison County. In 1949, the U. S. Army brought a team of German rocket scientists into the facility to organize the U. S. military’s Ordnance Guided Missile Center. The leader of this group was the famed “space flight visionary” – Dr. Wernher von Braun. From that time, the growth of the area has never slowed down.

The rest, so they say . . . . . is history.

Arts & Museums

Huntsville / Madison County has a variety of artistic and cultural opportunites. A small sampling is listed below.

Huntsville Museum of Art. Church Street. (256) 535-4350.

Huntsville-Madison County Botanical Garden. 4747 Bob Wallace Avenue. (256) 830-4447.

Huntsville Symphony Orchestra. (256) 539-4818.

Arts Council, Inc. Associaton of arts organizations. 700 Monroe Street. (256) 533-6565.

Harrison Brothers. 19th century hardware store, owned and operated by Historic Huntsville foundation, Inc. 124 South Side Square.

U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Space exhibits and U.S. Space Camp. (256) 837-3400.

Alabama Constitution Village. “The birthplace of Alabama.” Franklin Street at Gates Avenue. (256) 535-6565.

Burritt Museum and Park. Mansion and Historic Park. 3101 Burritt Drive on Monte Santo. (256) 536-2882.

State Black Archives Research Center and Museum. Alabama A&M Campus. (256) 851-5846.

Huntsville Depot Museum. 320 Church Street. (256) 535-6565.

Community Ballet Association. Dance. (256)539-0961.

Weeden House. 19th Century Museum. 300 Gates Avenue. (256) 536-7718

Oak Place. Historic home of antebellum architect George Steele. By appointment only. (256) 539-3802.

Oakwood College History Museum and Archives. (256) 726-7249.

Twickenham and Old Town Historic Districts. Bicycle and Walking Tour. Pamphlet available at city / county tourist centers.

Alabama Youth Ballet. 1405 Weatherly Plaza Drive. (256) 881-5930

EarlyWorks Children’s Museum. 404 Madison Street. (256) 564-8100.

Sci-Quest. 102-D Wynn Drive. (256) 837-0606.

Merrimack Hall. 3320 Triana Blvd SW. (256) 534-6455

Recreation

Huntsville / Madison County offers a wide variety of sports and recreational activities for spectator as well as participant. The following is just a sampling of what the area has to offer.

The Huntsville Stars Baseball Team – Joe Davis Stadium. The stadium is home to the Huntsville Stars, a AA professional baseball team which plays approximately 70 games a year. 3175 Leeman Ferry Road, (256)882-2562.

> Golf – Huntsville / Madison County is home of many public golf courses, including:

Hampton Cove Course – The beginning point of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. 54 Holes. 450 Old Hwy 431 S. 535-0789.

Colonial Golf Course – 18 Holes. 400 Colonial Drive. 828-0431.

Foxrun Golf Course – 18 Holes. 870 McCollum Rd. 828-7564.

Harvest Hills Golf Course – 9 Holes. 791 Harvest Rd, Harvest. 837-0081

Monrovia Golf Course -18 Holes. 7130-B Hwy 72 W. 837-9469

Municipal Golf Course -18 Holes. 883-3647.

Sunset Landing Golf Course -18 Holes. Jet Port. 346 James Record Road. 464-5050.

> Hockey

Huntsville Channel Cats. Members of the Central Hockey League, the Huntsville Channel Cats season starts in late October and runs through late March. Home games are in the Von Braun Center. Tickets available at VBC office by calling 1-800-277-1700 or 551-238.

> Ice Skating

The Benton H. Wilcoxon Municipal Ice Complex is a year-round dual ice rink facility. 883-3774.

> Fishing and Hunting – Fishing is open year round. Alabama has 23 state-owned fishing lakes and 30 game-management areas. Call the Madison License Department for more details. 532-3323.

> Parks

Monte Santo State Park, Guntersville Lake, Ditto Landing, Tennessee River, Tims Ford Lake, Green Mountain Nature Trail, Little Mountain State Park.

> Soccer

Huntsville Fire Professional Indoor Soccer Team. Huntsville’s newest professional sport. Member of the Eastern Indoor Soccer League. Plays at the Von Braun Center. Season runs from late May thru August. 551-2243 or 518-6179.

> Stock Car Racing

Huntsville Motor Speedway. NASCAR sanctioned stock car racing on the South’s factest quarter-mile asphalt track. Racing each Friday night from April thru September.

> Tennis. Eighty-nine tennis courts operated by the city of Huntsville in various outdoor locations. Huntsville Tennis Center. 883-3651. Huntsville Racket Club. 534-4939. Huntsville Athletic Club. 881-0931.

> Swimming.

Brahan Spring Park Natatorium. 883-3700. Aquatic Center. 535-6425. For additional recreational services you can call 532-7462 (Huntsville) or 772-9300 (Madison), for more information.

Schools

Huntsville City Schools – Twenty-eight elementary schools, 12 middle schools, five high schools, the Huntsville Center for Technology, the Center for Developmental Learning and the Fletcher E. Seldon Center make up the Huntsville City Schools system, with enrollment at more than 25,000. There are 109 state-supported kindergartens. Huntsville City Schools also offer special programs for the hearing impaired, intellectually gifted and physically challenged.
Huntsville City Schools (256) 532-4600
K – 5 – Elementary School
6 – 8 – Middle Schools
9 – 12 – High Schools

Madison City Schools – The Madison City Council voted in October of 1997 to establish their own school system from kindergarten through grade 12. They are in the process of setting up their entire system. The new school system is expected to be of the highest caliber. Most of the personnel and facilities will come from the Madison County school system. Madison County has provided the excellent school system for the City of Madison up to this time. Additional information will be entered on this website as soon as it is available.

Madison County Schools – About 18,000 students are educated through the Madison County School System at 21 schools at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The Madison County Technical Center serves students from the six county high schools. There are also programs for the gifted and handicapped students.
Madison County Schools (256) 859-9360

K – 5 – Elementary School
6 – 8 – Middle School
9 – 12 – High School

Private Schools: (offering from Kindergarten through grade 12)

Grace Lutheran School
3321 Memorial Pkwy SW – Huntsville, AL 35801 – (256) 881-0553

Holy Spirit Catholic Church
619 Airport Rd SW – Huntsville, AL 35802 – (256) 881-4852

Huntsville Christian Academy
165 West Park Loop – Huntsville, AL – (256) 859-9550

Madison Academy
325 Slaughter Road – Madison, AL 35758 – (256) 971-1630

Randolph School
1005 Drake Avenue – Huntsville, AL – (256) 881-1701

Spiritlife Christian Academy
1469 Browns Ferry Rd. – Madison, AL – (256) 772-8428

St. John’s Catholic High School
1057 Hughes Rd – Madison, AL – (256) 722-0772

Valley Fellowship Academy
3616 Holmes Avenue, W. – Huntsville, AL – (256) 533-5248

Westminster Christian Academy
1400 Evangel Drive – Huntsville, AL – (256) 837-7065

Libraries

The Huntsville – Madison County Public Library system has some 425,000 volumes. The 123,000 square-foot main branch facility has space for more than 670,000 volumes. There are nine branches across the county and a Bookmobile. Materials are free to city and county residents. For information, call:

Huntsville – Madison County Public Library (256) 532-5940
Other libraries in the Huntsville area available to the public for in-house use include:

Library of the University of Alabama in Huntsville
Circulation: (256) 890-6530
Reference: (256) 890-6529

Alabama A&M University (256) 851-5760

J.F. Drake Learning Resources Center (256) 851-5760

Oakwood College Library (256) 726-7247

Health / Medical

Two hospitals with a total capacity of more than 1,000 beds provide medical and emergency services for about 700,000 people in a 16 – county area of northern Alabama and south-central Tennessee. There are nearly 450 physicians, representing more than 50 AMA recognized specialties in the Huntsville/Madison County area.

Utilities

Electricity, natural gas and water are supplied to the City of Huntsville by Huntsville Utilities. To obtain service, visit the Huntsville Utilities office at 112 Spragins Street. Newcomers to Madison County should call the Huntsville Utilities for electricity hook-up, the Madison County Water Department for water service, North Alabama Gas for natural gas service (in the city of Madison only) and the Madison County Waste Control Department for garbage service. Huntsville Utilities provides limited natural gas service to some areas of Madison County. Residents of other municipalities in the county should call their city hall.

Huntsville Utilities (256) 535-1200
Madison County Water Department (256) 532-1659
North Alabama Gas (256) 772-0227

Telephone – BellSouth
Residential (256) 557-6500
Business (256) 557-6000

Sanitation
City of Huntsville Sanitation Dept. (256) 532-7492
Madison County Waste Control (256) 532-3718

TV / Cable

Comcast Cable – 2047 Max Luther Dr., NW – Huntsville, AL 35810
Phone (256) 830-6011

Knology of Huntsville – 2401 10th St SW – Huntsville, AL 35805
Phone (256) 533-5353

Madison Communications – 113 Castle Dr. – Madison, AL 35758
Phone (256)232-1822

Mediacom – 123 Ware Dr NE – Huntsville, AL 35811
Phone (256)852-6306

Automobile - Tag / License

Newcomers to Alabama have 30 days upon establishing residency to change their out-of-state vehicle registration to Alabama registration. To register your automobile, you must submit a certificate of title, vehicle registration and possibly a bill of sale to the License Commissioner’s Office on the first floor of the Madison County Courthouse.

License Commissioner’s Office (256) 532-3310

Madison County Courthouse – 100 North Side Square, Room 108 (256) 532-3310

Madison County License Department – 2801 Memorial Pkwy SW # 100, Huntsville, AL – (256) 532-3310

Voter Registration

To register to vote, newcomers should contact the Madison County Board of Registrars, Fifth Floor, Madison County Courthouse.

Madison County Voter Registration (256) 532-3510

Public Transportation

Huntsville serves as the distribution and transportation center for the 16 counties of North Alabama as well as a substantial portion of south central Tennessee. Commercial air service is provided at the Huntsville International Airport – Carl T. Jones Field, with more than 100 arrivals and departures daily. More than 970,000 airline passengers are served annually from the airport. Rail Service is provided by the Norfolk Southern Railway System and the Huntsville/Madison County Railroad Authority. Thirty-five common carriers provide truck transportation. The Tennessee River provides access to the Tennessee – Tombigbee Waterway. The International Intermodal Center handles containerized shipments via air, rail and highway as well as domestic rail trailer movements.

Huntsville International Airport (256) 722-9395

The City of Huntsville’s Public Transportation Department operates nine fixed bus routes – the Huntsville Shuttle. Two major shopping malls, two hospitals, government buildings and three universities can be accessed by the routes. A central point of transfer is a Church and Monroe Streets at the south end of the Huntsville depot property. Service is available 6 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Friday. One-way fair is $1. The elderly, handicapped, Medicare Card holders and students ride for 50 cents. The Public Transportation Department also operates RideShare, a computerized service for working commuters, and Handi-Ride, a door-to-door demand-response paratransit service for elderly and disabled persons who do not live within walking distance (3/4 mile) of the fixed route stops.

(256) 532-RIDE(7433)

Animal Control

The City of Huntsville and Madison County require dogs and cats be vaccinated annually and be registered and licensed by the local Animal Control Department. Proof of vaccination is required to obtain an animal license. Proof of spaying or neutering reduces the annual license fee. The running at large of dogs is prohibited within Madison County and a leash law is enforced within the city.

City of Huntsville Animal Control (256) 883-3782

Madison County Animal Control (256) 532-1519

VV&W is pleased to offer this information as a community service. However, since this information is general and may be subject to change, we encourage our readers to verify this information.