THE MURPHY-COLLINS HOUSE
The Murphy's home was built around 1923 by African-American contractors hired by Will and his wife, Laura. Bricks, beams, windowsills and other materials salvaged from the burned remnants of Alabama’s Capitol in Tuscaloosa. Will Murphy was the first licensed black mortician and funeral director in Tuscaloosa and also a successful businessman. His wife, Laura B. Murphy was an educator who taught at Central School and St. Paul Lutheran School before she was appointed the principal at 20th Street Elementary School.
After the Murphys owned the house, it was sold to Sylvia Collins, who lived in the home for a time and rented it to the Phoenix House, a nonprofit for women, and later men, recovering from alcoholism.
Ruthie Pitts formed the organization Revealing a Heritage in 1985, which ultimately led to the foundation of the Murphy African-American Museum. The city of Tuscaloosa purchased the house from Collins in 1986 in order to preserve it and continue the museum foundation.
VISIT THE MUSEUM
The Murphy-Collins Home houses the Murphy African-American Museum. The museum focuses on both the individual families who lived in the home and on the history of African-American life and culture surrounding Tuscaloosa, AL.
The Museum is available for touring every Tuesday-Friday. All tours must be scheduled by calling the Museum at 205-758-2861.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
A lot of rich history and the guide was very knowledgeable in Tuscaloosa's part in the Civil Rights movement.
Unique Small Museum. Downstairs has a guided tour of rooms set up similar to how the house was used. Upstairs rooms are set up as exhibits on various subjects of African American history. Guide had incredible and powerful accounts of people involved with the Bloody Tuesday events at First African Baptist Church which is one block over.
Great History of African Americans. The tour guide was very knowledgeable.
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Look around the inside and outside of the Murphy African-American Museum with our interactive slideshow below. You can read stories, see pictures and different views of the building, and learn interesting facts from its history. If you're looking for more information on the Murphy Museum, make sure to call and schedule a time to visit the museum in person!