Anniston Museums and Gardens (AM&G) transforms lives through history and nature. We have something for everyone! Home to the Anniston Museum of Natural History, Berman Museum, and Longleaf Botanical Gardens, a wide array of worldly artifacts and wild creatures awaits. Visiting AM&G allows you to Explore Your World without needing a passport!
Upon arrival, take a walk around the grounds, for the gardens are all around you. With native plants, tropical palms, and fruitful trees, you’ll soon forget you’re just three miles from Downtown Anniston. AM&G resides on 125 acres nestled among our Treasure Forest, perfect for native wildlife to flourish. At the Anniston Museum of Natural History, come face-to-face with prehistoric predators, go spelunking in a replica Alabama cave, stroll the African savanna, and visit Ptolemaic-era mummies. The Berman Museum invites you to take a walk through history, honor our veterans, admire the arts of Asia, and discover the danger of espionage. Discover your green thumb at the Longleaf Botanical Gardens and become one with nature as you test your senses in the Rotary Sensory Garden, see Alabama-native raptors on the Bird of Prey Trail, relax by the Tropical Cascading Garden and in the Tropical Courtyard Garden, and trek the Longleaf Nature Trail.
Anniston Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is accredited with the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and a Smithsonian affiliate, serving to enhance public knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of living things and their environments. The museum preserves, studies, and interprets collections through interdisciplinary exhibits and programs. The museum is committed to providing educational, recreational, and economic benefits for diverse audiences.
The collection began with William H. Werner (1842 – 1912), a naturalist and ornithologist with a passion for creating life-like bird dioramas. Upon Werner’s death, H. Severn Regar purchased the collection and continued to expand it. In 1930, the collection made its way to Anniston, Alabama after citizens raised money to transport and house the artifacts in the now-demolished Carnegie library. The collection opened to the public under the name of the Regar Museum.
Local philanthropist and big game hunter John B. Lagarde expanded the collection further in the 1970s with a generous donation of African mammal mounts. The collection made its home at the Calhoun County War Memorial building until the new museum structure, now called the Anniston Museum of Natural History, opened in 1976. The museum’s collection continues to grow, including fossils, minerals from all over the world, a 22,000 specimen herbarium collection, and an extensive, award-winning marine collection. Artifacts from Native American Nations, African tribes, and Egypt complete our anthropological collections.
Anniston Museum of Natural History is committed to preserving the world around us through education, research, and ethical collection. If you are interested in donating to the Anniston Museum of Natural History, please see our Contribute page for contact information and guidelines.
The Berman Museum uses history to engage, educate, and excite. Founded by Mr. and Mrs. Berman, this 6,000-piece collection of historical artifacts, weaponry, and art fascinates visitors from all over the world. The museum also houses a 1,000-piece Asian Art collection from the Foo family and much more.
Farley Lee Berman was born to two Lithuanian immigrants in Anniston, Alabama on September 9, 1910. After high school, Farley attended the University of Alabama and Emory University, earning a law degree. In 1934, he opened a law office in Atlanta, Georgia.
After the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Farley joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to the Ordnance Corps. His intelligence and talent were soon noticed, and Farley was transferred to the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.). He was stationed in Italy, the Middle East, Japan, and eventually North Africa, where he was assigned to locate a double agent. His primary target: a French resistance agent named Germaine Louise Kinne. Simultaneously, Germaine was assigned to verify that the American agent Berman was not a double agent. The two met, realized neither was a double agent, and struck up a friendship. Farley and Germaine fell in love and married in New York in 1948. They settled in Farley’s hometown of Anniston.
The pair spent the next four decades amassing their collection. Farley preferred weapons and interesting articles of history, while Germaine set her sights on various forms of art, including paintings and bronze sculptures. Their collection was located inside the basement of their home, where they would give tours to students and visiting dignitaries. Many Anniston residents have stories of their visit to the Bermans’ home.
After his beloved Germaine died in 1993, Farley began thinking about what would become of their collections. When a museum was suggested, he latched on to the idea. The Farley L. Berman Foundation was established, and ownership of the combined collection was transferred to the Foundation. The City of Anniston completed the structure and the museum opened in 1996.
Farley died in 1999, but the collection and museum remains under the care of the Farley L. Berman Foundation Board and the City of Anniston. The collection continues to grow with impressive artifact donations, such as the Asian Art collection from the Foo Family.
If you are interested in donating to the Berman Museum, please see our Contribute page for contact information and guidelines.
Longleaf Botanical Gardens (LBG) is one of Alabama’s youngest gardens! Established in 2010, LBG is committed to cultivating the connection between people and nature. Thanks to the support of the City of Anniston, First Friends, and Foothills Parks and Gardens Advisory Board, and partnerships with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Jacksonville State University, the gardens continue to grow.
The Longleaf Event Center is open Third Thursday of each month and special events.
Support the growth of Longleaf Botanical Gardens, by becoming an Anniston Museums and Gardens member, shopping plant sales, and renting the Longleaf Event Center!
If you are interested in donating to the Longleaf Botanical Gardens, please see our Contribute page for contact information and guidelines.