T he Metropolitan Region has had the distinction througho ut its history of being Alabama's social, political and economic core. Because of this, the area is dotted with numerous historic sites and landmarks which help paint a picture of our state's past. Here are just a few of the many significant historic locations in central Alabama.
On April 16, 1865, seven days after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, Union troops attacked this earthen fort atop the highest hill in West Point, Georgia (just across the river from Lanett, Alabama). The day-long battle ended with Fort Tyler in Union hands, the last Confederate fort to be captured. Each year on the anniversary of the battle, Civil War re-enactors at the reconstructed fort display life in the West Point era on the day of the battle.
One of the oldest surviving ballparks, Rickwood Field is in strikingly good condition. Opened in 1910 to a delighted crowd of 10,000, many of the park's original features remain today such as the manual scoreboard, press box, and vintage outfield advertising signs. In its heyday, the field was graced by such legendary players as Stan Musial, "Satchell" Page and the most famous of all Alabama Sluggers, Willie Mays. The field now hosts an annual Rickwood Classic and remains a tribute to America's pastime.
The furnaces were constructed in 1882, and restored in 1983. The furnaces produced steel for more than 90 years, and helped Birmingham grow into one of the south's most prosperous cities. The grounds now hosts a museum of industry that offers a glimpse into the industrial past of the south.
During the Capital era, the Old Tavern was built in downtown Tuscaloosa along the main stagecoach route through town. Built in 1827 for use as an inn and tavern, it is one of the few remaining nineteenth-century inns in the state. Through out its existence, the building has served as a meeting place for legislature, a barracks for Confederate solders, a residence for countless travelers, and even the temporary home of a governor. The Old Tavern allows visitors a rare glimpse of early Tuscaloosa architecture.