American Village

One weekend, we gathered the boys up to take them to American Village in Montevallo. It was closed! Turns out, it’s only open during the week, largely (I’m just guessing here) because they host many weddings, and secondly because it’s a huge draw for school groups – but again that’s just a guess. Either way, seems like it would be wonderful for kids who can’t go during the week to have the opportunity to visit on a Saturday.

Anyway, we took one weekday morning and visited…and I have to say, it was great. Much better than I had expected. The American Revolution period of our country’s past was exciting, but it wasn’t ever my favorite part of history class. That doesn’t matter. It was really nice.
This is a reproduction of the Liberty Bell. They had a historic marker there for it, and it read that the last time the *real* bell was rung was in 1846 for George Washington’s birthday. The bell cracked that time, and since the bell had already cracked and been repaired several times previously, it was decided that would be it.

This is the Lucille Ryals Thompson Colonial Chapel, inspired by one of the churches in Williamsburg:

No wonder so many people want to get married at American Village!:

This building houses the “Greatest Miniature Museum in America” – that’s what the 35 dioramas that toured the country back in the 1960s was called. A gentleman from Tuscaloosa, Pettus Randall Jr., thought it would be a great way to teach schoolchildren about American history. Eventually, it was put in storage and then just a few years ago it was ‘rediscovered’ and restored.

Betsy Ross:

The war:

At Ford Theatre:

23rd Amendment:

FDR’s Fireside Chats:

MLK and the Montgomery Bus Boycott:

Space Age:

All the Presidents and First Ladies up to LBJ and Lady Bird:

You know who this is:

Each day they give tours (although you absolutely don’t have to take part in one – you’re free to explore on your own) and here one of our founding fathers is getting the crowd really riled up over taxation without representation:

…and when I say they were riled up, he really had them going!

The whole campus there is just gorgeous:

This is inside the main building in the picture above:

It was announced last week that a $6 million replica of Independence Hall will be built at American Village. It is supposed to include a visitor’s center and a colonial coffee house.

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