Old Alabama Town, A True Jewel

By on 5 February, 2016 in Fun, Sandra Nickel with 2 Comments

312This year I am privileged to serve as the President of the Landmarks Foundation board of directors. And the position has enabled me already to learn soooooo much about one of Montgomery’s true jewels: Old Alabama Town.

Landmarks Education Director Florence Giles has for many months encouraged us board members to visit the Grange Hall school, and I was able to do so in late January. The day I visited, the Grange Hall had welcomed 25 students from Bear Exploration Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology. Living up to their school’s name, the young people were enjoying hands-on candle-making, cotton carding, and wood-working (3 photos). Boys whom I’m sure would otherwise turn up their noses at such domestic pursuits were enthralled to discover how folks got by 200 years ago.

And just this past Saturday, a dozen or so board members, some with offspring in tow, were treated to a 90 minute tour led by fellow member and professional historian John Minney. We saw first-hand what nearly 3,000 Alabama fourth graders see each year: 19th century buildings with interpreters who brought each to life. Among them was the dogtrot-style home commonly occupied former slaves, a grocery store, one-room schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, cotton gin and the working areas of a spinner/weaver and a potter. (photos)

One of those on the tour, the fourth grade son of a board member, was so taken by the experience that he has volunteered to be trained as an interpreter so that future visitors can hear from a peer what life was like centuries ago. What a testament to the power of experiential learning.

Sadly, most Montgomerians have never visited Old Alabama Town. Many more have visited only once. Don’t fall into that category. Sign up for Landmarks’ regular emails about what’s new and exciting: http://www.landmarksfoundation.com/events/newsletter/. Better yet, become a member and volunteer. You’ll be glad you did!

Sandra Nickel has been listing and selling residential real estate for over 30 years, most with an intense focus on Montgomery’s Midtown neighborhoods. Sandra serves on the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless, the Cloverdale Business Coalition, Historic Southview, the Volunteer and Information Center, Landmarks Foundation and her own neighborhood Garden District Preservation Association.

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There Are 2 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Sandra says:

    Just wish I had enjoyed history more when I was a student. Now that I’m becoming a part of it, I love it. And Old Alabama Town makes learning it so darned much fun!

  2. Valerie Hawk says:

    Thanks for a wonderful article about Old Ala Town and our Pioneer school.

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