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What Is Alabama's Landmark Park?

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  • Written By: Marjorie McAtee
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2016
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Landmark Park, in Dothan, Alabama, is an agricultural museum that educates visitors about rural life in the 19th century. Dothan Landmarks Foundation, established in 1976, is responsible for the park's administration. Landmark Park boasts a church, a pharmacy, a schoolhouse, a general store, and a gazebo, all dating from the 1800s. Landmark Park's working farm, dubbed the Wiregrass Farmstead after the region of Alabama in which the park is found, offers re-enactments and demonstrations of all of the various activities common to 19th century farms.

Visitors to Landmark Park will typically learn about the details of 19th century farm life in rural Alabama. Volunteers and staff give educational demonstrations of such common period farm activities as quilting, butter churning, plowing with animals, spinning and weaving. Talks on farming and gardening are regularly given at Landmark Park. Special events, such as the Victorian Christmas or the Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social, occur on a yearly schedule. Other popular annual events at the park include the Wiregrass Heritage Festival and the Johnny Mack Brown Festival.

In addition to historic structures and educational demonstrations, Landmark Park offers visitors wildlife presentations and nature walks on both trails and on a raised boardwalk. Children can enjoy a barnyard playground, or an educational presentation at Landmark Park's planetarium. The park is also home to a 1800s schoolhouse, a church, and a general store. Old-fashioned sodas can be purchased from the drugstore's functional period soda fountain.

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The Dothan Landmarks Foundation typically seeks preserve all historic areas in and around the town of Dothan, Alabama. Landmark Park was founded with donations of land from the Dr. Sam West family and the McFatter family. The foundation purchased and additional parcel of land in 1993. Many of the structures found in the park were also donated. Since the park has only a few full-time staff members, volunteer labor is considered essential to its proper functioning, and volunteers donate thousands of hours of labor to the park each year.

Many of the structures found in Landmark Park are original, though some have been gathered from other parts of Alabama's Wiregrass region and moved to the park's location. The region is named Wiregrass after the thin, tough grass native to it. The area was also once home to massive cypress trees, but settlers cut most of these down in order to build homes with their wood.

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Laotionne
Post 3

I hear that the planetarium alone is worth the trip to Dothan to visit Alabama's Landmark Park. I have friends who have been to the park and the pictures of old buildings and the grounds looked great. However, when you go be sure to make time to see the planetarium.

Drentel
Post 2

Alabama's Landmark Park seems a bit out of place. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that it depicts a time from over a hundred years ago. I think it was also that, I didn't expect to find a place like that near Dothan, Alabama.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised. There is more than enough to do and see in a day, so when you go plan on spending several hours there. I like that I didn't feel rushed and there was not an overflowing crowd, so I actually felt like maybe I had stepped back in time rather than stepped into an amusement park.

Animandel
Post 1

I have not been to Alabama's Landmark Park, but I am looking forward to taking the children there in the near future. I am a bit of a history buff and I enjoy it when I can find a place that appeals to me and my children. From reading the article and from the little I have heard about Alabama's Landmark Park, it sounds like this would be a family friendly place where the children would not get bored and where I could soak up the local history of that region of Alabama.

If you are like me and considering visiting this park then you might also want do a little research on Pilgrims Plantation in Massachusetts. The village there is a good rendition of the original settlement established by the English Pilgrims during the 1600s. My family enjoyed touring the grounds, but there was no playground, so younger children might not want to linger.

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