Discover Montgomery, Alabama's Historic Attractions and Civil War Sites

    A interesting fact about Montgomery few people may know is it is home to the first electric trolley streetcar. Yes, many people assume the trolley system began In San Francisco - this is not the case. It was in April of 1866 when the first electric trolley streetcars began in Montgomery, Alabama. And, the Lightening Route continued to operate until 1936 when the city replaced it with buses. Today you can still enjoy a Trolley ride around time, although it's not electric, but this is a great way to explore the city. Many of Montgomery's Confederate Trail historic sites are very close together. This makes it easy stop stop for lunch or take a Trolley Tour of town, then resume your journey.

    Several of Montgomery's FREE attractions are on the Confederate Trail like the Alabama State Capitol that was constructed in l846 and became the first capitol of the Confederacy on February l8, l86l. A gold star in front of the Capitol marks the spot where Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederacy, stood to take his oath of office.

    Just across Washington Street from the Capitol, is the house the Jefferson Davis’ family lived in for 3 months before the decision was made to move the capitol to Richmond, VA. This was once the First White House of the Confederacy. President Jefferson Davis and his family lived in Montgomery when it served as the Capital of the Confederate States of America. At this time 11 of the Southern States had seceded, and you'll discover the history of the city and age of the Confederacy, as well as nice collection of period furnishings and many of Davis’ personal belongings at the First White House of the Confederacy.

    The Confederate Memorial - Located on the northern part of the lawn of the State Capitol is the Confederate Memorial. The last time Jefferson Davis returned to Montgomery was in April of l886 to lay the cornerstone of this beautiful monument. When you take a moment, and you can picture him standing there beside you admiring the monument.

    The Confederate Post Office & Winter Building - Nearby at the corner of Washington and Perry Streets is the only post office that actually was profitable, and was the only building in Montgomery that was built as an earthquake-proof building. If you've ever wondered where the message was sent from that started the Civil War, then head over to 2 Dexter Avenue, where the telegram was sent from the Confederate Secretary of War, I.P. Walker, to Charleston, SC, authorizing the Confederate General to fire on Fort Sumter the next day. General Beauregard began the bombardment of Fort Sumter the very next day, marking the beginning of the Civil War.

    Did You Know? - Stars & Bars, the first flag of the confederacy, was adopted in 1861. Because it was so similar to the US flag, a second flag adopted in 1863, the Stainless Banner. This flag resembled a flag of truce and fell limp around the pole, so the Confederate Congress added a red bar to the flag in 1865, making this Alabama's third national flag.

    Those who call Montgomery home have seen many changes throughout American history. These stories are preserved at the Alabama Department of Archives & History in Montgomery. The building that houses the archives is a historic treasure its self that was constructed in l940. Inside you'll find museum galleries and exhibits as well as the genealogical research facility. And, the children will enjoy Grandma’s Attic, that is a unique site. Admission to the Alabama Department of Archives & History is FREE, so it makes a great place to stop while touring the city.

    By Melody Schubert

    Getting There:

    To learn more about the Confederate Trail and attractions to visit go to the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitor Bureau website at www.visitingmontgomery.com or call  at (334) 26l-ll00 or (800) 240-9452.