Town preps for Small Town Alabama

Published 10:14 pm Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The state will announce its pride in its small towns far and wide, and Maplesville certainly won’t be excluded.

Maplesville will hold a Small Town Alabama Day event downtown on April 10. The town will celebrate its history through thoughtful discussions and tours of several structures within the Maplesville Railroad Historic District.

The idea for the statewide festivity came from the state department of tourism a couple of years ago, Maplesville resident Clem Clapp said.

Clapp, along with several others, is helping to plan Maplesville’s role in the event. A passionate member of the Maplesville Historical Society, Clapp said the thrust of it was to encourage smaller communities off the beaten path to develop something of their own that might attract attention and be of economic benefit and support community pride.

“The idea was to have a festival built around a local theme whereby a special program or event would be the central drawing card,” he said.

He said the event should serve as a homecoming for Maplesville natives to return and appreciate their hometown.

The event will host the opening of the local history museum in the old Southern Depot. The historical society recently scavenged for old photos to document earlier days of the community to put on display for folks to observe next Saturday.

“The old dept was the ideal location due to its central location in the Alabama Historical Commission-designated Maplesville Railroad Historic District,” Clapp said.

Most events throughout the day will be centered around the opening of the museum that will feature biographical sketches, pictures, maps, drawings and other documents. People are invited to listen to and participate in several discussions on the history of the town.

Officials will lead a guided history tour to three structures in or around the historic district, including tours of Maplesville Methodist Church, which was built in 1871. Another tour will feature a walk to Dr. Parnell’s house as well as the Cal Foshee house. There will be guides at each location to provide historical information and discuss whatever else onlookers desire.

Starting at 9 a.m., a one-hour DVD on local history will be shown continuously until 3 p.m.

Clapp said Main Street will be blocked off all day to allow for food and other vendors serve and sell their products. Several businesses might also hold sidewalk sales.

Several locations will feature live music. Clapp said the homecoming theme continues to attract the attention of former residents. He said he’s heard of a few groups who plan on reuniting in town at the event.

While the event is tailor-made for Maplesville natives, he said visitors can benefit just as much if they have any interest in Alabama history.

For more info, contact Maplesville Town Hall at (334) 366-4212.