Well I have to admit that it was harder to fit in a field trip this week than I thought it would be. Not only has the weather been really hot, but we’ve also had terrible thunderstorms almost daily. Not exactly the type of weather that makes an outdoor field trip seem appealing.
This morning we got up early hoping to avoid some of the rain and intense heat that we’ve been experiencing so we could investigate an adorable little town called Mooresville. Actually some of you may have visited this quaint, historic town in the 1995 Disney movie "Tom and Huck". I know we’ve watched it before, but we are certainly going to be ordering it from Netflix so we can watch it from a new perspective.
Mooresville, Alabama can be found in Northern Alabama, less than an hour from the Tennessee border and literally a minute from the Interstate 565. It's bordered by the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge.
Mooresville was first settled in 1805 on land that once belonged to the Chickasaw Indians. In November of 1818 the town was recognized and incorporated by the Territorial Legislature of Alabama, almost exactly a month before Alabama became a state. The entire town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Our first stop was to the post office, thought to have been built after 1840 because of the sawmill lumber that was used in its construction. However, the handmade bricks of the chimney seem to have been made at an earlier time. Inside the Post Office we met the very friendly and helpful Post Master who shared with us a bit of local history. The Mooresville Post Office is the oldest continually operating post office in Alabama. The front room was also a General Store at some point.
Today you can see the original post boxes that are still in use. I thought it was very interesting that some families have had the same box number for generations. In days gone by, the stagecoach would have delivered the mail three times a week. When it arrived, the bell at the Brick Church would ring, notifying the townsfolk of its arrival. The small frame building behind the Post Office has housed a blacksmith, auto repair shop and grist mill.
The Brick Church was built in the Greek Revival period. I loved the steeple. What do you think?
My favorite house is a simple little cottage that is a Downing Gothic design, characterized by the curved brackets of the porch and the extreme vertical proportions of the windows. The house was built by a black carpenter, Zack Simmons, in 1890. He lived in the home with his wife for many years until their death. The Stagecoach Inn and Tavern was built before 1925. It is thought that the mail was handed out to the townsfolk through the small window on the porch but other documented stagecoach inns having similar windows claim they were used to sell liquor after hours.
The beaded joint door is thought to be original.
You can see the kids taking a break from the heat.
The Church of Christ was built in 1854 by a congregation of Disciples of Christ. Behind this sign, if you look really closely, you can barely see a pumpkin colored house in the background. This house was used in the "Tom and Huck" movie. We wanted to get a better picture but there were people working outside.
General James A. Garfield preached here during the Civil War while encamped nearby with the 42nd Regiment of the Ohio Volunteers. The Bible he preached from was used at the church until recently.
Regular church services were held in the church building until the 1990's.
We saw a home that has been renovated in the Victorian style that President Andrew Johnson may have roomed at when he apprenticed to a local tailor, Joseph Sloss. Mr. Sloss was known for his exceptional skill in making frock coats. Did I mention that the area is also known for it's abundance of shade trees? Pretty obvious from this view! This Federal period home was guarded by Yankee soldiers during the occupation of Mooresville. The homeowner heard soldiers prowling around outside and went to the commanding officer to complain. He accompanied her back to her home and stationed a guard nearby to watch over the grounds.
Not only did we see some great examples architectural features, we also learned a bit about the local history. By the time we left this charming town, my son was convinced that he's found a new place to live. Want to learn more about this charming town? You can visit the Mooresville website here.
What historic towns have you traveled through?
That's about it for this week's edition of Field Trip Friday. If you're just joining us make sure you stop by and take a peek at some of the other excursions we've taken.
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Until next week....Happy Field Trippin'!