Nestled atop a bluff overlooking the Alabama River on U.S. Highway 80, Selma hosts thousands of tourists year-round from all over the world who come to view historic sites that date back to 1820. But, it is during Spring Pilgrimage that visitors can experience a closer look through living-history tours.
The 2012 Spring Pilgrimage followed the Alabama River from Selma to nearby Cahawba, Orrville and Molette’s Bend to discover historic sites that date back to the early 1800s. Visitors experienced guided tours of a once vibrant plantation, majestic town “castle,” former male academy, movie producer’s Tudor-style estate and more. Tours included three homes in Orrville/Molette’s Bend, four homes in Selma (including an evening reception), the restored St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at Cahawba—Alabama’s first permanent capital, two museums, 1860’s gristmill and two art shows. Pilgrims enjoyed lunch with the Orrville ladies who treated them to delicious southern cuisine as well as an heirloom quilt show. The two-day event also hosted artisans demonstrating their skills at Heritage Village, an Antique Symposium and the Alabama Plein Air Artists painting all around the town.
Visitors met at Pilgrimage Headquarters (Vaughan-Smitherman Museum) at 109 Union St. to purchase tickets and enjoy refreshments before touring this pre-Civil War building. Then took a short drive to Cahawba, Orrville and Molette’s Bend for the Morning Country Tour that featured three antebellum homes and a church. Returning to Selma for the Afternoon Town Tour, pilgrims toured three homes are open until 5, and another opened for a Friday night tour at 6:30. Other sites included the 1860’s Kenan’s Mill and magnificent Sturdivant Hall, two Symposiums, and artisans and craftsmen at work in the 19th Century Heritage Village. Splendid works were on display at the ArtsRevive Juried Art Show, Selma Art Guild Show and Alabama Plein Air Artists Sale.
Visitors spent a night or two so they could enjoy all that Selma has to offer. Visit our website to find more information about our event as well as valuable discount offers at select lodging facilities and restaurants.
Sponsored by the Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society, Pilgrimage began in 1976 as a way to recognize and share the city’s variety of architectural styles and rich history. As one of the state’s oldest cities, Selma’s historic district features more than 1200 structures. Selma is located 50 miles west of Montgomery on U.S. 80 and 90 miles south of Birmingham on Alabama 22. It can also be reached via Alabama 14 just a 45-minute drive west of Prattville.
Package tickets can be purchased during the event at Pilgrimage Headquarters (Vaughan-Smitherman Museum, 109 Union St). Individual tickets can be purchased at each site.
For more information, call 334-412-8550, visit the website, call 800-45-SELMA (800-457-3562) or write to the Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society, P.O. Box 586, Selma, AL 36702-0586.