Old Alabama Town is a visual and historical chronicle of one of the South's important architectural landmarks—four blocks of 19th-century buildings restored to their original condition, collectively forming an educational village that preserves and displays life as it was lived in Alabama from the 1830s through the 1890s. A creation of the Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery, a nonprofit organization developed in 1967, Old Alabama Town displays the lifestyles and environment of the time period through architecture, decorative arts, and living history. The "town" has been made available for students, secondary school educators for field trips, and to tourists for entertainment and family excursions.
More than 50 historic structures, all formerly in danger of demolition, have been transported from around central Alabama and restored on site. The Living Block of the village allows visitors to explore a log cabin, dogtrot house, carriage house, "shotgun" house, pole barn, schoolhouse, tavern, grange hall, and grocery. The Working Block allows patrons to visit a blacksmith's shop, drugstore, grist mill, cotton gin, woodcarver's shop, print shop, and cookhouse. Additional regions of the village present some of the most significant historic homes to be preserved in the state: the Cram-Lakin House, Thompson Mansion, and the Ordeman-Mitchell-Shaw House, among others.
Designed in full color, this paperback guide is introduced by the author's historical, sociological, and cultural overview of Montgomery. The 45 individual entries detail the history and features of each structure and are supplemented by a map, archival photographs of the buildings, and 60 contempo-rary color photographs. This book will be useful to tourists, preservationists, students and scholars of Alabama history and architecture, and all those interested in an interpretive museum of southern life.
Mary Ann Neeley is Executive Director of the Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery and coauthor of The Way It Was: Montgomery and Her Central Alabama Neighbors, 1850—1930.