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Smithsonian exhibit ‘Journey Stories’ to be on display in Aug.

Published 9:44pm Thursday, July 7, 2011

A traveling Smithsonian display will make its way to Alexander City next month.

The exhibition “Museum on Main Street” is scheduled to make its way to downtown Alexander City the week of Aug. 8 and will be available for viewing from Aug. 13 to Sept. 23.

This particular showcase is entitled “Journey Stories” and will “examine the intersection between modes of travel and Americans’ desire to feel free to move,” according to the Alabama Humanities Foundation website.

“The actual Smithsonian exhibit will be about how people moved and mobilized from the very beginning,” said MainStreet Alexander City executive director Richard Wagoner.

Wagoner said it will focus on how people set up their households in the early days of the United States, as well as how transportation has evolved throughout the years.

The exhibit will be on display at the conference room in the United Way building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Wagoner stressed how he wants the community to get involved to help add to the attraction.

“We want to set up displays in the City Hall lobby so that people can view those when they see the Smithsonian exhibit,” Wagoner said. “We’ve asked several organizations to be a part of this. This encompasses all of Tallapoosa and Coosa Counties since their histories are all intertwined, so we want all the communities like New Site, Hackneyville, Reeltown, Daviston, Kellyton, Rockford, Jackson’s Gap and so on to be represented.”

Among the businesses and groups who Wagoner said are participating are Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Robinson Iron, Hillibi Archaeological Society, Russell Medical Center and Tallapoosa Publishers.

Some individuals will have displays, he said, such as Randy Thomas, who will touch on the history of the airport, and Laura Bell Oliver, whose setup will center on Avondale mill village life.

Wagoner also encouraged individuals to submit artifacts if they have any. He said MainStreet is still trying to get more businesses to help and that he welcomes any volunteers.

Author Bob Whetstone will help kick off the event with a presentation on his new book, Cotton Mary, at the Adelia M. Russell Library at 10 a.m. on Aug. 13.

Wagoner said all fourth, fifth and sixth graders in each school system will tour the exhibits.

The exhibit is currently in Jasper and following its stop in Alexander City, it will go to Marion, Mobile, Eufaula and Arab.

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