DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Looking for a way to go back to pre-COVID-19 times? Head to Landmark Park, Alabama’s Official Museum of Agriculture and unofficial time machine.
“We are a 135 acre park with the Wiregrass farmstead that’s set up to represent the 1890’s in the Wiregrass,” said Landmark Park Executive Director Laura Stakelum. “We have a drugstore with a working soda fountain, one-room schoolhouse, a church, a Shelley General Store.”
If it feels like the buildings were plucked right out of time, that is because they were.
“The Waddell House was moved to the park in the late 70’s to preserve it,” Stakelum explained. “So it was a farmhouse that someone lived in, the Waddell family. All the other buildings have similar stories. The only exception being the building that houses the drugstore was built here at the park.”
During the weekend, the park comes to life even more.
“We do special events throughout the year,” Stakelum told WDHN. “We have a blacksmith that comes, we have dulcimer classes, we have wood turning classes, a sewing circle.”
Some of the park’s biggest events are Spring and Fall Farm days. During that time, each building is filled with volunteers dressed in antique clothes who do everything from cook, farm, build, and sell.
“We do things like churn butter, we wash clothes without electricity, we cook on the open hearth and the wood stove,” Stakelum said. “The demonstrations are just a way for the public to feel immersed in the history of the area.”
Special events are also a fun opportunity for volunteers.
“We were down here one day for Spring Day,” said blacksmith Brent Clark. “They had the people out here cooking and everything. One of the ladies sent her helper up here to ask me to make a hook for them to hang a pot. That was really cool. She was like ‘I need one’ and I was like ‘I gotcha.’ That was really cool. You’re in the village and you’re needed and it was nice.”
Besides the buildings, Landmark Park also offers nature trails, wildlife exhibits, a planetarium, a playground and a picnic area.
Overall, no matter what you decide to do during your time at Landmark Park, every building, every exhibit is like taking a step back into a day in time.
For park hours, prices, and to stay up-to-date on the park’s special events, visit its website.