Skip directly to content

Rooster Hall

Joshua Shiver, Auburn University
Rooster Hall in Demopolis, Marengo County, was the home of a Presbyterian church from its construction in 1843 until the end of the American Civil War. The city soon acquired the building which it has used for a variety of purposes.
Rooster Hall
Rooster Hall is a rectangular one-story brick structure featuring a front-facing gabled roof. It also features an open bell tower at its east end. Below is a central entrance with a recessed facade placed within a larger arched opening. It is flanked by double hung sash windows. The side elevations are adorned with oversized double windows and stone lintels with corner blocks. It was built constructed in 1843 by local Presbyterians, who used it as a place of worship until after the conclusion of the American Civil War. During Reconstruction, a garrison of federal troops stationed in the area moved the county seat from nearby Linden to Demopolis and used this building as the Marengo County Courthouse.
In 1871, the county seat returned to Linden and the building was turned over to the city of Demopolis, which leased it to the Demopolis Opera Association in 1876. After renovating the building, the new opera house became a center for public speaking events and live performances, such as minstrel shows, drawing talent from as far away as New York and New Orleans. The opera house ceased operation in 1902. The city has since used the building for a variety of functions, including as a fire station for many years, a meeting hall for the city council and committees, an auditorium, voting station, office building, and event space. Rooster Hall is a contributing property to the Demopolis Public Square Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 29, 1975.
The hall owes its unusual name to a 1919 effort to raise funds to build a bridge over the Tombigbee River south of town at Moscow Ferry. The fund-raising event featured the sale of roosters donated by Helen Keller; Pres. Woodrow Wilson and the leaders of the Allies in World War I; David Lloyd George of Great Britain; Georges Clemenceau of France; and Vittorio Orlando of Italy, among others.
Rooster Hall is located at 216 Walnut North Avenue next to the Demopolis City Hall on the town square that also showcases a bandstand and fountain. A historic marker is on the north side of the building. Nearby in Demopolis are the antebellum plantation houses Bluff Hall, Gaineswood, and Lyon Hall, and Laird Cottage, the headquarters of the Marengo County Historical Society.
Published:  February 20, 2019   |   Last updated:  February 20, 2019