City walking tours begin in June

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Alabama Bureau of Tourism has declared 2010 the Year of Alabama Small Towns and Downtowns.

In recognition, the City of Atmore is one of 34 towns across the state to offer free guided walking tours each Saturday during the month of June.

Each of these tours will begin at Heritage Park at 10 a.m. and is approximately one hour long. Members of the community will escort visitors through the churches, downtown areas, historic homes and Heritage Park.

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The first walking tour will be June 5, and will include tours through several churches. Someone will be at the Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Trinity Episcopal and Methodist churches.

On June 12, the walking tour will be of downtown Atmore. A guide will walk with the group and relate the history of the buildings and some of the interesting stories about the buildings.

“We have 21 seniors coming from Spanish Fort,” said Sheryl Vickery, executive director for the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce. “We provided a list of places to eat and the group has chosen to have lunch at Pintoli’s. The Red Cross will also have its quilt show on display.”

The Saturday, June 19 tour will be of some of the oldest or most attractive homes in Atmore.

“Right now we are trying to arrange to have someone at the different homes who can relate the history for our guests,” Vickery said.

On June 26, Heritage Park will be the site of the last walking tour of Atmore. Visitors can visit the cabin, the Peavy-Webb building, the Boy Scout hut, the octagon building and the Atmore Area YMCA building, which was the site of one of the earliest schools in Atmore.

This will not only be open to visitors to Atmore; those who live in Atmore are also welcome to learn a little bit about their hometown.

Other towns participating include, Ashland, Ashville, Athens, Birmingham, Courtland, Decatur, Demopolis, Enterprise, Eufaula, Fairhope, Florence, Gadsden, Gordo, Guntersville, Hartselle, Hayneville, Homewood, Huntsville, Madison, Monroeville, Montevallo, Montgomery; Oak Hill, Prattville, Selma, Scottsboro, Sheffield, Silas, Sylacauga, Thomasville, Tuscumbia, Tuskegee and Wetumpka.

The tours are being coordinated by Brian Jones with the Alabama Tourism Department.

“Alabama is the only state in the nation to hold statewide, simultaneous walking tours,” he said. “ The beauty of the June Walking Tours is that any community, whether big or small, can do this. We have done more than 1,000 walking tours since the beginning of the program seven years ago and they keep increasing in popularity every year,” Jones said.

More information about the June Walking Tours is available by going online at or by calling 1-800-ALABAMA.