It’s a piece of history that has become run-down and in danger of ruination. No more.  

Rosa Parks’ childhood home has been obtained by Mobile historic preservationist Jerry Lathan. The Lathan Company has a plan to restore the historic farmhouse and open it as a museum. Details of the ultimate site of the home are expected to become final this year as plans are being made for it to be disassembled, moved and then re-assembled at the permanent site.

Plans are being negotiated to move it to a permanent site at nearby Tuskegee University, where Parks was born. Right now, the original home site is in Henry County near Abbeville, near the Georgia state line in southeast Alabama’s Wiregrass.

Rosa Parks was a key figure in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The seamstress was arrested when she declined to give up her seat to a white man on a downtown Montgomery bus. That action was a precursor to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which was headed by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., then pastor of Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.

One small action by Rosa Parks affected history. It started in Montgomery but spread nationally and internationally.

The home being preserved was where Rosa Parks lived until about age 5, when her parents separated, and she moved to Pine Level in southern Montgomery County.

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Rosa Parks childhood home. Photo: Jerry Lathan

Lathan’s restoration project was recently featured by Discovery+ Channel in a mini-documentary on “Hidden America.” It is now archived and is accessible here.

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Jerry Lathan interviewed by Discovery-Plus

The Lathan Company's projects in historical preservation and other property restoration include:  

Historic Brown Chapel AME Church, Selma

Foster Hall & Savory Library, Talladega College

The Jackson Home, Selma – location of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s lodging and planning sessions for the Selma to Montgomery marches. The home was disassembled and moved to Michigan as it awaits reassembly at The Henry Ford Museum’s Greenfield Village in Dearborn.  

Old Post Office Hotel formerly known as The Trump Hotel, The Smithsonian Art & Industries Building, Netherlands Monument, Washington, D.C. 

Dillard University, Carrollton Street Car Barn, NOCCA Forum, the Presbytere, Cabildo and Pontalba Museums at Jackson Square, Big Easy Studios - all in New Orleans. 

The Mall of Louisiana, Baton Rouge 

GM&O Railroad Station, the Van Antwerp Building, St. Mary’s Church, St. Paul’s Church, Mobile

Florida State University Smathers Library, Gainesville 

Lincoln High School in Lincoln, Alabama and Cleburne County High School, Heflin, Alabama (both converted to assisted living facilities)  

The Lathan Company handles other properties, and details can be found here.

Jerry Lathan is an activist in the Alabama Republican Party. He is a former vice chairman and finance chairman of the ALGOP and is married to Terry Lathan, a former chairman of the ALGOP and a leader of the school choice movement.

“The Lathan Company moves history.”

Jim ‘Zig’ Zeigler writes about Alabama’s people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths. He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at

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