Sunday, June 14, 2009

Confederate Memorial Park - Mountain Creek, Alabama

Thousands of cars moving up and down Interstate 65 between Birmingham and Montgomery pass by the signs for Alabama's Confederate Memorial Park each day, yet the park is usually quiet.

Covering 102 acres on the site of the state's former Old Soldiers Home for Confederate Veterans, Confederate Memorial Park in Mountain Creek, Alabama, is one of the more moving such tributes to be found in the South.

From 1902 to 1939, the state operated a complex of more than 20 buildings here to serve its aging population of Confederate veterans. As many as 800 people lived here at one time or another and at its height the home served 91 veterans and 19 widows of veterans. By the time it closed, the last Confederate veteran had passed away and only 5 of the widows remained.

Today, a visit to Confederate Memorial Park is a moving experience. The ruins of the old complex can be seen, along with the graves of more than 300 veterans and widows buried in two cemeteries on the grounds. Particularly fascinating is the new museum at the park, which features outstanding exhibits on the history of the home as well as Alabama's role in the Civil War. Numerous artifacts are on display, including original flags, weapons and more.

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