The American Village, located in Montevallo Alabama, has three major objectives it is trying to accomplish with visitors and young people.
They include knowing and understating American History, cherishing the idea of liberty, and serving the country as good citizens and leaders.
They help the visitor with knowing the history, by the stories of the legacy of the generations that have helped to secure it.
Situated on a huge 187-acre site, it is located on highway 119 in the city of Montevallo Alabama.
The actual address is 3727 Highway 119, and if you are on 1-65, you will take exit 234 by the Shelby County Airport to get to it.
The American Village, which is owned and is managed by the American Village Citizenship Trust, has a very interesting history.
It is a village style interpretive museum that has recreated a colonial-era town, located on a sprawling 187-acre piece of land.
The buildings have been masterfully recreated with the help of a very talented architect, and the village itself serves as a “campus”.
First charted in the year 1995, the American Village Citizenship Trust is a public educational institution, ran by the Alabama state legislature.
The mission of the trust is very simple; to both strengthen as well as renew the foundation of American liberty through education.
The American Village first opened in November of 1999, and in the year 2004 was named the “Attraction of the Year” by the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel.
When it was first opened, it sole purpose was to educate school groups from the southeast, but as time went on, that has changed.
Expanded in the year 2005, it changed its purpose to include general tourism as well as conferences in both public and private venues.
The founder and executive director of the American Village is Thomas G. Walker, who began a lobbying effort in 1993 to create the Trust.
With the help of two Alabama Senate members, Frank Ellis Jr. and Tom Butler, as well as a House member, Al Knight, he succeeded with preliminary legislation.
Construction funds from lodging taxes were set aside for this major project, and in 1999 it opened.
The talented architect was Mike Hamrick, who studied and researched both plans and details of the original structures, to help in the recreation of each structure.
The historical encounters that visitors to America Village experience are quite unique in several different ways.
Not only are the structures built to resemble the original and historic structures that defined our history, but the interpreters wear costumes.
The costumes they wear help to define the early America Revolutionary era, and include all of our early founders.
On the 4th of July each year, it hosts an elaborate patriotic celebration that includes several special events as well as massive fireworks, to celebrate our independence.
Some of the special events include the Battle at Concord Bridge, as well as the infamous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.
It is sustained with large support by both leaders as well as ordinary citizens from all walks of life, which agree and support the vital lessons of liberty.
There are numerous features and recreated buildings at the American Village, but there are 11 that really stand out.
Here are the first six major features.
The Visitors Center
First on the list of major attractions at the Americana Village is the new visitors’ center, which was completed in 2009.
It is an 11,000 square foot complex that is designed to be a classroom, a stage, as well as a museum of ideas that helps show the founding of America.
It also features a replica of the “White House East Room”, where several historical decisions have been made.
There is also an older visitor center which includes an orientation theatre, as well as meeting and conference rooms.
Constitution Green is next, which helps the visitor to understand the enshrinement of liberty.
It is a centerpiece village that includes Washington Hall, a Courthouse, and Independence Hall, to showcase all three branches of our government.
The Grand Avenue
The Grand Avenue is next on the list of features at the American Village, and it is built to show the history from the colonial period to the present.
Along the Grand Avenue visitors will find the Chapel, which draws from the early plans for the new capital city.
The new plans were drawn from L’Enfant, where he placed a Temple along the Grand Avenue which linked the Capitol and the Presidents House.
The Temple was considered to be a place for public prayer as well as funerals.
Washington Hall is next, and it was built to simulate Mount Vernon, which was George Washington’s Virginia Estate.
Washington Hall is the one of the main features of Constitution Green, and next to it is a gorgeous garden called the “Southern Living Colonial Garden”.
The Presidents House
The Presidents House is a re-creation of the presidential residence that was located in Philadelphia.
It was used as the presidential residence from 1790 to 1800, by both George Washington and John Adams.
The Colonial Courthouse
The Colonial Courthouse is last on this first list of attractions at the American Village, and it is designed after the 1770 Williamsburg Courthouse.
The Williamsburg Courthouse was host to the Virginia Convention, and there are presentations on this convention covering the colonial era legal system.
The final six features include a Continental Army Encampment, Founders Hall, Colonel Chapel, The American Village Barn Theatre, and The Old North Bridge of Concord.
The Continental Army Encampment showcases how the revolutionary army looked under the direction of General George Washington.
Colonial Chapel was built by private funds to avoid any conflict and is used for religious holidays and special events.
The American Village Barn Theatre is a barn shaped building, which is used for several venues including live performances.
The Old North Bridge of Concord is a pedestrian-scale replica of the original bridge, where the first shots in the Revolutionary war took place,
These 11 major features along with the pure history of the United States, makes the American Village a must-see day trip on the Alabama Backroads.
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