Montgomery’s History is America’s History

By on 18 January, 2017 in Carole King with 1 Comment

chtmap0001Montgomery’s cultural heritage reflects two of America’s most transformative struggles — the Civil War and the civil rights movement. On February 18, 1861, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as president of the Confederate State of America on the Alabama Capitol steps. Those same steps marked the final destination of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march on March 25, 1965. The telegram to fire on Fort Sumter originated from the Winter Building on Court Square on April 11, 1861. Just down the street, and a century later, Mrs. Rosa L. Parks refused to give up her seat on her bus ride home, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. A new publication will soon commemorate these compelling stories and the historical landmarks along Montgomery’s Civil Heritage Trail.

The Civil Heritage Trail, a project of the Downtown Business Association, was developed several years ago as a means to celebrate Montgomery’s rich Civil War and civil rights heritage with visitors to the city while promoting the local business community in the downtown area. The Trail is a walking/driving trail through the central downtown area marked by the blue Trail logo metal markers which also serve as bike racks. The Civil Heritage Trail connects twelve historic sites in downtown Montgomery that played the pivotal roles in those dramatic events.

Montgomery’s Downtown Business Association is a non-profit organization formed in 2010 by Downtown business leaders to give business owners a voice and vision for Downtown Montgomery. The organization’s mission is to inform, connect, advance, and advocate for stakeholders and shareholders in Downtown Montgomery. The historic sites and museums located in the downtown area are an integral part of the downtown business scene, and since Montgomery has seen exciting retail, residential, and commercial growth in recent years, and improving the quality of life for residents and visitors is always good for business.

In 2015, the Downtown Business Association was approached by Arcadia Publishing/The History Press about the Civil Heritage Trail being a part of their city tour guide series for historic cities such as Savannah, New Orleans and Charleston. After a year’s worth of organizing, gathering information and writing, Montgomery’s Civil Heritage Trail — A History and Guide will be released on February 6! Representatives from the downtown attractions and sites came together as co-authors eager to contribute and to be a part of this monumental effort to what makes Montgomery and its history unique. In this book, the writers, site directors and established historians, tell each site’s individual story. The publication includes historic photographs and modern day images of each of the 12 stops on the Civil Heritage Trail. Also included is a timeline of both the Civil War and the civil rights movement as well as comments by other noted historians.

Montgomery Civil Heritage Trail — A History and Guide is the perfect tool for visitors or just anyone interested in all facets of Montgomery rich history spanning a century. The book will be available at all museum stores and attractions’ gift shops in February and look for more information about book signings and events celebrating 2017 Black History Month.

Carole King (not the singer, just the hummer) enjoys midtown living from South Capitol Parkway in Capitol Heights where she has lived for 25+years. Carole has been the historic properties curator for the Landmarks Foundation that manages Old Alabama Town for 28 years and is passionate about neighborhoods, their architectural character, their people, and their preservation!

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  1. Such exciting news! And I learned last night at the Downtown Business Association’s regular meeting that the book’s release will be celebrated with a “happening” Monday, Feb. 6, 2017 from 5-6:30pm at the Alabama Archives on Washington Ave.

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