Historic walking tour project picks up its pace

For those who prefer to be chauffeured around town when exploring, Montgomery has its historic trolley. But for those of us who don’t mind breaking a sweat and who want to dig a little deeper, there is now a walking tour.

The Civil Heritage Trail, which links the most prominent historic attractions in downtown Montgomery, gives the more adventurous a suggested route for exploring Montgomery’s historic sites on foot. There are 12 sites included on the trail.

The trail, which has been in the works for a couple of years, is not quite a finished product. The Downtown Business Association is still working with the city and local historians to work out the details, but for the most part, the trail is a go.

Jeff Dean talks about the Civil Rights Memorial during the Civil Heritage Trail's inaugural tour on Thursday.

Jeff Dean, a native Montgomerian who has designed the trail, gave the inaugural tour Tuesday evening. It took about an hour and a half to walk the route, and that was with a slight omission so we could get back before nightfall.

Jeff has high hopes for the trail. In addition to making downtown more tourist-friendly and helping out the businesses by directing foot traffic their way, Jeff hopes the trail will provoke people to consider the deeper significance of Montgomery’s history.

Hear what Jeff has to say about that in this snippet taken during Tuesday’s walk (The clip is about three minutes long):

Jeffdean by TheDailySiftings

Here are the 12 sites on the trail:

- Union Station

- Court Square Fountain

- Rosa L. Parks Museum

- Greyhound Bus Station

- Civil Rights Memorial

- Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church

- Alabama State Capitol

- Alabama Archives and History Museum

- First White House of the Confederacy

- Old Alabama Town

- St. John’s Episcopal Church

- Riverfront Park and the Harriott II

“We’re trying to weave together a narrative that suggests that all these sites are somehow related,” Dean said Tuesday.

“My favorite thing about (the trail) is there are no here-once-stoods,” Dean also said.

The trail’s official opening is expected to take place in the spring. Till then, the city and the Downtown Business Association will work on a way to designate the sites (the thought right now is to put a medallion on the sidewalk in front of each site) and create updated brochures.

About JillNolin

Jill Nolin is a city/county government reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser. She can be reached at jnolin@gannett.com or follow @jillnolin.
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