thumbnail of The Alabama Experience; Old Alabama Town
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
it's been it's been
has been or hillary just a short walk from the state capital there's a collection of nineteenth century buildings that exist today because people cared enough to save on display example of central alabama architectural and cultural heritage old alabama town was created by marx foundation of montgomery a non profit corporation encouraging the preservation of historic structures very half hour today though tr building we went in an area we'd never replicated program replicated gm house declined unicef israel the real pain but the house we had to bail the housing
and they would have wanted to other replicated out buildings but the majority the vast majority of the buildings here are all the room the real thing the city of montgomery owns the land and unsettled alabama town but land parks foundation for long term agreement with the city carries out the preservation calls and data day operation of this rather unique exhibit cooperation between the city and landmarks as result of the fiber community project that encourages tourism provides educational opportunities and preserves nineteenth century structures that might otherwise disappears alabama moves towards the twenty first century we've chatted with a slave and about having represented a variation of architectural styles they characterize then about a month ago now there was some lay low nike is safer hasn't already in place then here
we have acquired most of those puppies and we continued to maintain those buildings so that the area really isn't one that stops it at sixty but rather go along through all most of the twentieth century the acquisition relocation and frustration over thirty buildings which now covers three city blocks are well about south has kept the board of directors and volunteers aplenty marx foundation quite active over the years for their work is also resulted in the preservation of other historic structures located in downtown montgomery nearly eighteen hundredths of a commercial plant will convert to alabama fever thousands of people migrated to seek their fortune off but all newcomers to the alabama territorial land building will be planted many people travel to the slaves to provide support services trades that farms and towns the
area of western consumer vote was deemed into the united states by the greeks and they moved across lamprey montgomery's instant when every cow disease to downed tree which was the western boundary of queen creek nation in the series and now why did people want to come here it's hot as we well know today that they came because the planet the sorrel was just almost perfect the growing of the plant grain seem to show state cat burglar it were referred to the type that grows here and industrial revolution was really booming right now and in europe in a particularly females in england were clamoring for one or more of the white cloud of cotton so this land was just perfect for it lantos all of the federal land opposite miller to georgia and as family as well as the particular lay only one tale which
they call the southwest they cleared land they planted god and they build gathers they settled and so the settlement so much about this part about now hass drove all around the opportunity we'd gotten rolling presented to the americans of the money at that that as the united states expanded its territory south and west where the original inhabitants of americans were killed off the negotiated offer their homeland forest became farmers homes were built up and towns the new americans the pioneers settlers brought to the alabama territory the skills of their heritage and experience sites like old alabama town preserved for future generations examples of craftsmanship and lifestyles that dominated alabama's early years
the pioneer's log cabin revival mansion and women at night is one room schoolhouse to the early nineteenth century tavern the diversity of buildings at old alabama town helps tell the story alabama settlement and what daily life was like it was a disappointing night lights in a lot of the longest political aisle these people had applied for in this developing society and now david buildings defy nineteenth century buildings that we have here are the small cottages of the nineteenth century that we have lost had been that we have the grange hall was this a post civil war structure but all these were in some way or another everything we have connected with going out because that underlie our whole economy and to know when i act in the second world war one of all alabama town's newest exhibits is a to stand
plantation caught jan built around nineteen hundred its design is based on technology and patents which were in use late in the nineteenth century it had been in service and roll montgomery county for many years obsolete and in danger of being destroyed its value as a historical artifact was far greater than its worth any scrap metal dealer it was acquired by landmarks and painstakingly restored thanks to the efforts and financial donations of several corporations and dedicated volunteers this dam was built at a place called jesus mill about nineteen on the idea that all my life and i knew that when it was running amok those big mac mall and the engine was about to be destroyed so in alabama little undecided to take it dismantle it prevented a slave of opposing is i believe you me well thank you know famine of plant are regional all in one piece and when we're like this
from the details parading on the wooden services to the intricate cast iron heart where the cotton gin exhibited old alabama town reveals the mechanical processes about which the south's most important cash crop is clean and they'll worship to the mills when we first opened the piano was a lot of confusion because so many people have never seen one and didn't know what was all about and we have a lot of explaining to do it so we did a lot of text and graphics and guatemalan boards interview so that you can review way through huge piece of machinery is exactly that we're in no information we'll leave everything and then as donna questions and you found something will consider that developed to jam with those who wanted it is you and says it on the stamina with about a twenty minute read through the humans that our mission and the workings of a mammoth bills for unesco questions i want to have expressed the ultimate thing that many go back into the bottle let down so that spring back up and i think this gets back and
live in there until about as bayou what their plantations in like this so they would recount a famine for the cheers in the life of her by lower blown away and came in a little was a promise there was so firms was the mayor would get rick and gossip you know talk about crops implosion that was just less than reading and then it's actually a work of all the dna is a technological example of great progress at the end of nineteenth century should also show the regular flat orange here both in those who built irregularly and those who put it back together and reassembled future plans call for an exhibit space in the basement of the region buildings which will teach visitors about cotton and the role it played in the settlement and economic development of the state historic
preservation and public education are both important goals of old alabama town from the one room schoolhouse complete with wood burning stove slate boards and the coffee's reader to the drugstore museum and country doctor's office visitors get a firsthand picture of life during alabama's early years twenty eleven dave is operated barrel our education department here and we have a lot of volunteers who work with the screw and now we have a variety of screw toys that are available actually being inside buildings which are more than one hundred years old offers a perspective of the past quite different from one provided by books or the movies the most unique thing about old alabama town relative to other storage sites is that they're not generally barricades that separate the tours from history and that's been a tenant of our sins are inception
and it gives tourists to reactions generally they're quite impressed that we trust them around are flourishing center of our fax and secondly it leaves them more feeling like they experience firsthand the nineteenth century history comes alive at old alabama town visitors get to interact with role players dressed in period costumes who lead to restore act out their daily routines as if they were actually living in the eighteen hundreds the education department of land parks foundation also takes role playing into montgomery elementary schools to bring history to life for the students and during the month of december we do have a special kind of christmas from kindergarten through third grade we have it involve players goes that outside in outreach education and where does that all the fourth grade to montgomery county as mr smith is sears
leahy we have arab armand gamache and a night raid has come here as our guest we do have a very small charge of the group's of scrooge two children but a ninth grade are studies out on history and so we invited him to come to us as i guess and get them returned some of the generosity of the community the community actor acting when waste at the saying and make it interesting for the children when they're coming through on the learning experience instead of it just being a day asked the aisle katie we got that out of scale are afraid they actually are learning something and that they're making in that because i enjoyed it so much they end up wanting to be and wanting to and will want to know more about history and that they understood what the teacher's been teaching in the classroom i think it's really made that landmarks foundation cares enough to go out and actually planned the architecture from that time right and signed it said that you and i can see what it
looks like we've actually saved history alabama history right here central alabama history say in the lab because they have people that would people farce about researching you use these buildings they debate about furnished it with furnishings from the right period when i walk into the archive down back to the nineteenth century and that's what i'm supposed to impart my children when they're walking or two or that i cared about the nineteenth century this is what it was like i want you to take that on week you said that you know what it's like we don't have role play out once if not more frequently and we hope to really have more when we're playing with there is a technique that's been adapted <unk> historic sites around the country to train what might be just a static exhibit to life bringing life into the building spring right into their interaction between the minister and the nineteenth century if you will the first time i was asked
to rope light i'm just luckily ended up in the cabin anything admits i wrote this material by dave may i did my mom was the one that stated and she announced that long farewell for the years so what we did passing parts job is to actually finish with gates and one of the factors that we've learned about herself in a nice fashion you can see that the company is now stating that just like little soldiers that your diamond townhouse was the first property to be purchased and restored by landmarks standing on its original site the rest of town now spreads out around designer and first owners mr charles gordon an architect of german descent who move from new york to montgomery and set up as designed his guided tours of the house and it's out buildings are available to the public and on the third sunday of each month a role player character of the architect ms jordan leads visitors on a personalized tour of his home well alabama town
and the role of charles and the other players in a well that are excellent because to bring history people that don't have a tunnel that's the inclination to reduce carbon underground real historical assessments in this innovation is an opportunity for the people to ask questions of the interpreters of the role players who have studied the period and more generally what knowledge and areas that they're interested in running back which is what and back to our bedroom and among a lot of the interpretation of charles ward a man is really more to petition all over the teen fifteen minute period and i've done research baer a researcher spent in basically historical magazines
historical books texts our study and read and reading all the newspapers of the period of diaries particular verb are valuable and so we make the assumption and i think it's an accurate assumption that an incident on why charles woman would be like his peers that we can find what we have nothing particularly of boredom and like a diary a direction that period probably does daily life would be very similar to the daily life in charge during the december holiday season and alabama town offers a special glimpse a nineteenth century by decorating buildings and leading tours where your players act out traditional holiday sings it only christmas celebration as a good opportunity for the public to calm down and see what a typical middle class home would be like decorated line as well as what the occupants would be doing on christmas day coming into house presented music
certainly would've undone the children decorating the tree do something and children in very precipice one downstairs and saying the christmas meal cart into vigil sitting around a dining room table talking and eating oh no and alan back during the holiday season we have the kitchen cooking going on fires and there we also have refreshments one of the public as they finished the tour of the house and i can survive to around the other albums then nasa search for example around that wash house of the laundry and in fact the house completes the two republicans to understand what we are i think it's important to understand from where we came and it's important to be able to trace family came and therefore places like alabama town will be equally as important perhaps even
researching history takes many forms some of the restored houses are home to the workshops of craftspeople who demonstrate the skills and arts which were so necessary to frontier settlers in the nineteenth century is modern artisans are preserving one's essential life skills such as hand crafted would sculpting spinning of fiber and grieving untraditional looms there's also a dulcimer shop or handmade musical instruments are built and displayed and the grandstanding and we did was a very important part of the life in the nineteenth century a housewife and now whereas bought materials available scaled down plantation and sad part of the civil war there was a great deal of spinning weaving making of all that they have for the clothing of the house so these people are showing the rest of the pet our basic needs of the pay is artistic
endeavors of the term is so broad ranging talk part of why they're bringing back to life on the second saturday each month musicians from near and far and formally gather around the dulcimer show fashion jam session it's a specialty in music and fellowship reminiscent of past more common days before air conditioning and tv careful planning and in depth research got into presenting exhibits set of alabama town buildings with architectural as well as social relevance are on display showing lifestyles from bygone days of course i mention is nineteenth century central all about and so the buildings are removed and have been building that represented the ballpark title style he could be passed out of an activist
out our buildings that reflect the lifestyle of the people i'll i'll corner grocery parents didnt really want to show this social and economic factor that i think the urban neighborhood and i would say for the most part and incentives to the buildings here would be empowered having that we wanted to invite him sadat future projects include the restoration of two large houses representing italian and greek revival architectural styles some of the buildings reserved over the years about landmarks are not opened for to ring because they're right about his office space is very functional use of restored nineteenth century houses helps raise revenue as well as consciousness about the value of our rapidly vanishing architectural heritage
where you become somewhat expert in preparing a building and we had no songs that have had severe and interesting solutions to how the civilians it's a true story the house between the first and second floor of crying and later the second trial held at suspended in the eye and they had to it was our legislative day and so and a few seconds one very high style building that maintains an equally high profile told alabama town is the
thompson mentioned it's a nineteen fifties home that displays a mixture of classical and dramatic design influences which were typical of many southern residence is of the time it came from macon county was acquired by landmarks foundation with funds donated by the montgomery to watch us climb with every plank and stuck meticulously labeled it was totally dismantled and moved to its present site where was carefully restored to its original grandeur thanks to the hard work and generous gifts of both the city of montgomery and many civic organizations the restoration of the house in nineteen eighty eight and completed in nineteen ninety one and that narrative is that this information center for the montgomery chamber of commerce and it certainly has made a statement oh nelson eddy made a very very eloquent it is very hostile it too has problems on the fallout is where this comes on the back of the crimes on the father to believe that we're in a very hostile to recruit great period and tightened the
balcony across the fight is cast iron in shape of lives there do the economies of the world at the way iran more than actually an octagonal shape how it's very unusual but has been seen a lot of the houses in control of an area and then only side of the house are a godly almo steamboat gothic porch it's just a one story porches which are wonderful entrance into the house as we have seen old alabama town offers a view of the past that might have disappeared not for the dedication of montgomery's land parks foundation with the ada many volunteers who give of their time and expertise and the cooperate strength formed by city government civic groups and corporate france permission of old alabama town continues that's what you are protecting his people are all wrapped up in the same town and now thats what we are
playing here in alabama ten years now his architecture and the new flavors are regard to plan and i think it is at least in that way much further that then when it's being that that would just like to say that they didn't listen to someone like the difference in the length of their hand well i know
The Alabama Experience
Old Alabama Town
Producing Organization
University of Alabama Center for Public Television
Contributing Organization
University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R) (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip-15ce97f730e).
Episode Description
Old Town Alabama is a pictures of 19th century Alabama as well as a home for Alabama's architectual and cultural heritage. The piece looks at the history of the town as well as the way of life depicked by the educational programs and events held there. Guests are invited to travel back in time with tour guides or roleplayers like Sara Smith who was a pioneer woman or Charles Ordeman who was an architect.
Series Description
A series that focuses on bringing to life the inspiring stores and empowering characters that have helped form Alabama's past and are working to shape its future.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
: Smith, George
: Sullivan, Preston
: Thurston, Mac
Editor: Clay, Kevin
Editor: Holt, Tony
Executive Producer: Cammeron, Dwight
Executive Producer: Rieland, Tom
Interviewee: Oliver, Dr. Thomas W.
Interviewee: Loeb, James L.
Interviewee: Neeley, Mary Ann
Interviewee: Beatty, Fred
Interviewee: McDuffee, Betty
Interviewee: Kluz, Derek
Narrator: Sandige, Jon
Producing Organization: University of Alabama Center for Public Television
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Alabama Center for Public Television
Identifier: cpb-aacip-046df338666 (Filename)
Format: BetacamSP
Duration: 0:27:06
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “The Alabama Experience; Old Alabama Town,” 1993-11-18, University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 28, 2021,
MLA: “The Alabama Experience; Old Alabama Town.” 1993-11-18. University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 28, 2021. <>.
APA: The Alabama Experience; Old Alabama Town. Boston, MA: University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from