America's Best History Spotlight
On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area. And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find. You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't. It'll be fun. Visit them.
Old Alabama Town, Alabama
Reflecting the small town life of central Alabama, Old Alabama Town in Montgomery is a collection of historic structures from around the rural part of the state. The collection, with grocery stores, churches, homes, and a total of fifty structures saved from destruction elsewhere, allows the visitor to wander, and wonder, back in time to slower back yard porches and a neighbor who owned the livery. Yes, this is not a restored town per se, but restored buildings in a make believe town. No matter which, you'll be transported to a slow walk through pleasant history, although we'll certainly acknowledge that the pleasant history had not pleasant history all around it during much of the era it represents. But these one room schoolhouses and small country homes show much of what was good in rural Alabama during that same difficult era, and that's Alabama, too. Take a walk back in time to the good south. Photo above: One of the buildings in Old Alabama Town, 2010. Courtesy Carol M. Highsmith Collection, Library of Congress.
Info, What's There Now, History Nearby
Old Alabama Town
Six blocks of restored buildings have been brought to the site, a project of the Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery since its founding in 1967. Since that time, more than fifty structures have been saved from destruction somewhere else, and representing a cross section of central Alabama life in the 19th and early 20th century, these buildings provide the backdrop for taking a step back in time. How old are some of these structures? The Ordeman Townhouse, for one, dates back to 1850.
All the buildings are original and restored, not constructed to look like old buildings, so there's definitely a genuine vibe to the structures, even though they've been transported from various small Alabama towns around the state. You can almost imagine the two women in the picture above coming to one of these buildings at some time in their life, or one almost exactly like them.
Photo above: Alabama farm women spending a day in a typical Alabama Town, Eden in 1936, Dorothea Lange. Courtesy Library of Congress.
Where Is It
Old Alabama Town is located at 301 Columbus Street, Montgomery, AL 36104. That's about three blocks north and three blocks west of the state capitol grounds. The area is a bit hardscrabble, with an old industrial feel until you get inside the grounds.
What is There Now
More than fifty buildings within a six block area of Montgomery, Alabama. There are self-guided tours of the buildings, and a guided tour of the Ordeman House included in the admission. Picnics are allowed in the park next to the reception center, although no food, except soft drinks, are sold on site.
When Is Old Alabama Town Open and How Much to Visit?
Old Alabama Town is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There is a charge for those days; $10 adults, $5 children 5-18. On the second Saturday of each month, the site is also open and is currently free of charge on that day. Not open on the other Saturdays of the month, Sundays, and federal holidays. There is free parking on the site across from the Loeb Reception Center.
Old Alabama Town
Visit Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama is the capitol, and it has a variety of tourists attraction within the city, including the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, Civil Rights Memorial and Center, the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, the Freedom Rides Museum, and the Alabama State Capitol. For national parks and national historic sites within the state, you have the Selma to Montgomery Historic Trail, as well as the Trail of Tears, Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, amongst many more.