New Stories

Is there anything more southern than a butterbean festival? This town in Jefferson County has an annual one.

“In the early 1800’s, Andrew Jackson’s soldiers became the area’s first settlers after their victory at Horseshoe Bend. In 1861, residents from the community volunteered for the Jefferson Warriors during the Civil War.”

Support Alabama Pioneers

Become an Alabama Pioneers Patron

Palmerdale is an unincorporated community in Jefferson County, Alabama, United States that traces its history back to the Great Depression in the United States. Most of the community falls within the city limits of Pinson, Alabama.

Type of house which was replaced by new well-built farmsteads of Palmerdale, Alabama

Type of house which is being replaced by new well-built farmsteads of Palmerdale, Alabama2

The Palmerdale community was created as part of President Roosevelts New Deal Resettlement programs and was established to bring impoverished people out of urban areas, setting them up with small farms in nearby rural areas. It lies in a beautiful valley, surrounded by high hills and mountains which in the fall of the year are aglow with colors.

Parmerdale Five-room house and family at the Palmerdale Homesteads near Birmingham, Alabama 1936  photographed by Walker Evans

Parmerdale Five-room house and family at the Palmerdale Homesteads near Birmingham, Alabama 1936 Walker Evans

In 2006, the Alabama Butterbean Festival was started as a means to raise money for the renovation of the Palmerdale School which had been built in 1937. The school is now the community center. There is a humorous story of how the festival was named from the Alabama Butterbean Festival website.

Old Schoolhouse in 1936 – This building was replaced by a new schoolhouse in 1937.

Palmerdale old schoolhouse Jun 1936 to be replaced with new structure photograph by Carl Mydans

It is said that “when the committee was starting to work on the festival, they could not come up with a name. The meeting was running late and one of the members made the comment that they needed to hurry because his wife had butterbeans and cornbread waiting at home. So that is where the name came from.”

In 2010, the Festival won the Guinness World Record for the largest pot of baked beans, which totaled 1,010.65 gallons. The festival takes place along Main Street in downtown Pinson.


  1. Bham Wiki
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Library of Congress (photographs)
  4. Palmerdale Homestead Community Center


WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources



  1. My ancestors came with Andrew from Tennessee. Like the Bibb county area and came back and settled there. Rancher, Logan, Edmonds

  2. Yes the peanut butter festival!!!!

    1. No, its just a Butter Bean Festival.

  3. I love the song about Butterbeans, a country song.

  4. They have a butter bean festival in Pinson Alabama every year. Out skirts of Birmingham Al.

  5. DAvid Cain recorded a Song Just A Bowl of Butter Beans

    1. Yep… and before this guy’s 1974 recording.

  6. And I avoid Pinson like the plague during the festival because it’s usually the quickest route to Trussville from Warrior.

  7. About 1960 Bob Cain, student at U.of Ala, and KA fraternity, sang “All I Want is a
    Bowl of Butter Beans” regularly. After he graduated, he sang at the bowling alley in Crestwood and appeared in bars on Morris Ave in Birmingham, and opened a bar/nightspot “The Cain Break”… Remember him and the song well.

  8. Pictures remind me of life as a’s where I learned to work…so thankful the Lord gave me the family I had..have…this place on earth and ancestors of faith…God is good…

  9. Saturday before Labor Day is Butterbean festival in Pinson Alabama.

  10. […] Update: There is a Butterbean Festival in Alabama scheduled for October 2 and 3, 2015   – Make your plans to attend. See more At: Is there anything more Southern than a butterbean festival? […]

  11. I grew up in Conecuh county, AL…..butter beans were the fresh green ones…..the large dried white ones were limas!! BUT whatever ones chooses to call them they are delicious prepared southern style….

  12. Our grand daughter Kirsten won the Miss Butterbean beauty contest in 2015, lots of pretty girls in the contest. Great event.

Leave a Reply