Visitors Guide to
Alex Haley Museum and
200 South Church Street
Alexander Haley (1921 - 1992) was an American writer best
known as the author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family. Haley was born
in Ithaca, New York moved to Tennessee as an infant and lived with his
family in Henning. He returned to Ithaca with his family when he was five
years old. While in Tennessee, Haley stayed at the home of his grandparents,
Will and Cynthia Palmer. Known as the Palmer Home, Haley’s boyhood home was
built in 1919 by Will and has been restored and opened as a museum in 1986.
As a child, it was on the porch of this house that Haley heard from his
maternal grandmother, the family stories that inspired him to write "Roots."
This 1976 Pulitzer Prize winning novel has been translated into over 30
languages and has had agreat influence in stimulating the study of
genealogy. In 1977, Roots was adapted for an eight-part television series,
which became one of the most popular programs in television history.
The Alex Haley Home has been furnished to represent the home as it was when
Haley lived here. Some of the furniture which decorates the home belonged to
the Haley family. As a Museum featuring Haley’s work the site features
childhood memorabilia and references to the people who inspired his
characters in Roots. Visitors can view the memorabilia and family artifacts
that remain showcased. Alex Haley’s gravesite is located on the front lawn
of the home.
Also located on the grounds behind the boyhood home is the Alex Haley
Interpretive Center. Opened in 2010, this 6,500 square foot this award
winning center features a walk-through exhibit, a theater room where
visitors can view a documentary, a genealogy room, and the gift shop. The
walk-through exhibit features several items from Alex Haley’s life
including, his family tree written by him, his mother’s wedding dress, a
full size replica of a slave ship, and his director’s chair from the set of
Visiting the Alex Haley Museum and
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday:
10 am - 5 pm
Sunday: By appointment only
Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center
at 200 South Church Street at the intersection of Haley Avenue, 3
blocks west of Main Street (TN-209).
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