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04/12/2013 – PRESS RELEASE – Colbert County Tourism – Ninon Parker, Director of Marketing

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May 3-4, 2013 – Tuscumbia, AL The drumbeat of war is silent but the echo of the Civil War still fills the valley
below LaGrange Mountain, on the pinnacle of which stood a college and a village, burned 150 years ago by Federal troops. A sizeable settlement of houses was also burned on this fateful night.

To observe the sesquicentennial anniversary of the burning, the LaGrange Living Historical Association will hold “Recall LaGrange” on May 3-4, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., each day, announced Susann Hamlin, Executive Director of the Colbert County Tourism & Convention Bureau.

“Organizers are hard at work planning the most exciting and comprehensive ‘Recall LaGrange’ since the group began presenting it 25 years ago in 1988, Hamlin said. “It continues to grow and to draw many local residents, as well as Civil War buffs and history-lovers from all across North Alabama, southern Tennessee and eastern Mississippi. It was named a Top 10 Event for May, 2013, in the Alabama State Vacation Guide.”

“LaGrange College was known as ‘The West Point of the South’, and the poignant story of its existence and of the people who had homes on the mountain is one that deserves to be told and experienced,” added Hamlin, “and this year’s Recall LaGrange, a Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration, will indeed be an event to experience.”

The featured presentation in the afternoon on Saturday, May 4, will be the “Burning of LaGrange” by the 27th Alabama Infantry Regiment Re-enactors who will don Federal uniforms to portray Col. Florence Cornyn’s Federal Calvary unit, known as “The Destroying Angels.” Plans are for the troops to gallop on horseback, raid, pillage and engulf the mountain with smoke and flames, as they burn a mock smoke house and college.

Events scheduled to take place on Friday, May 3, will be geared toward students, said L.C. Lenz, president of the LaGrange Living Historical Association, and classroom and home school teachers are invited to bring field trips on that day. Re-enactor and living history presentations will be on the schedule. Call 256-446-9324 to arrange to bring a group.

Events on Saturday, May 4, will cater to attendance by the general public, and will include Civil War era living history demonstrations and frontier life skills such as bee keeping, blacksmithing, and period cooking, plus demonstrations of handicrafts, such as spinning, weaving, and quilting, leather working, and toy-making. There will be period music performed and much more. A first-person cemetery drama will bring to life the people who lived at LaGrange beginning in the early 1800’s. Re-enactors will show camp life during the Civil War. Participants include the Providence Living History Re-enactors, as well as the 27th Alabama Regiment Re-enactors, plus a large group of volunteer individuals. Tim Kent, local author of several books on Civil War history, will be a featured speaker.

LaGrange College Site Park is located off Hwy. 157 near Whiteoak and Leighton, about 5 miles east of Muscle Shoals. A sign and a restored log house set at roadside mark the turn. Designated parking will be available with shuttle service to major sites. Food vendors will be on hand.

The event is free, but donations are welcomed by the association so that the on-going work at the LaGrange College Site Park may continue. The group has re-assembled a collection of historic log buildings, which reflect life during the pioneer period at LaGrange. Within the complex one may visit the “dogtrot” Welcome Center/Museum, shop in a log “Country Store”, view an old barn, smoke house and corn crib, and peek into an old-time barber shop. The Bonner House Bed and Breakfast offers overnight accommodations and a log chapel completes the setting. Nearby LaGrange Cemetery offers a glimpse of the people who once resided at LaGrange or in the valley nearby. The obelisk that marks the grave of Abraham Ricks, a prominent plantation owner, stands vigil in this peaceful resting place. All of this is lovingly cared for by the LaGrange Living Historical Association.

It is said best by Louise Lenz, a dedicated volunteer who was instrumental in the formation of the LaGrange Living Historical Association in 1988, “This is a worthwhile life’s work, to preserve and protect our history at LaGrange and to tell its story. We cherish the opportunity and we invite everyone to come see what it is all about.”

For more information visit http://www.lagrange-collegesitepark.org. You may also call 256-702-6953, 256-446-9324 or Colbert County Tourism at 256-383-0783.

Submitted by Ninon Parker, 256-383-0783 or ninonparker@comcast.net

For information: Louise Lenz, 256-702-6953, 256-446-9324, or louiselinville@earthlink.net

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Written by 49 County News.Net

April 14, 2013 at 2:30 PM

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