News Column

Riverfront exhibit tells Montgomery's history

May 1, 2014

By Scott Johnson, Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.



May 01--Montgomery's riverfront has a new attraction, thanks to an industrious Boy Scout with an interest in history.

Ken Ward's Eagle Scout project was to create an exhibit illustrating the city's history from 1540 to the present on a concrete cotton slide on the riverfront.

The idea, Ward said, was to condense a lot of the information found on historic markers throughout the city onto museum-style panels in one location.

"Many people will learn something they didn't know before, and it will encourage them to go and explore the many historic sites the city has to offer," he said.

The exhibit features a timeline of events in Montgomery's history along with photos and artistic depictions. It dates back to the first European explorers of the area, and its final photo is of a recent dragon boat race on the Alabama River.

Billy McLemore was viewing the exhibit Wednesday and said he was impressed.

"Montgomery has so much history. It is steeped in history. To get it all located in one place is awesome," McLemore said.

Ward received help in creating the project, including from historians Mary Ann Neeley and James Fuller.

The Cunningham Group designed the panels, and the project received funding from a number of corporate, nonprofit and individual sponsors.

Neeley said the exhibit helps tell Montgomery's story but also helps get people interested in visiting the riverfront.

"This is the best historic exhibit placed on an old cotton slide, probably ever," she said.

The fact that the presentation of the new exhibit was on the same day as the city being voted the Best Historic City on was not lost on Mayor Todd Strange.

"This is the consummate event that just puts an exclamation mark on getting the Best Historic City designation," Strange said.

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(c)2014 Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Ala.)

Visit the Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Ala.) at www.montgomeryadvertiser.com

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Source: Montgomery Advertiser (AL)


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