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Preservation Society gearing up for ‘safe’ Pilgrimage

The Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society (SDCHPS), in partnership with the City of Selma, will host its 45th Annual Historic Selma Pilgrimage this weekend, March 19 and 20, between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with cemetery tours to begin at 5 p.m.

“COVID-19 canceled this event last year, but we are excited to be able to make it happen this year,” a SDCHPS press release stated. “With changes to keep everyone as safe as possible.”

The event will feature and Architecture and History Sidewalk Tour of private homes, gardens, a church, a museum and more, with a handful of properties, including Sturdivant Hall, Brownstone Manor, the Selma Art Guild, Miss Minnie Sue’s Cottage and Heritage Village, open for interior tours.

The rest of the locations on the weekend’s agenda will feature a talk from visitors’ host or hostess – in a socially-distanced setting – on the front lawn of the property.

“At 200 years old, Selma is home to the largest historic district in Alabama, where a special blend of southern hospitality, Spanish moss, heirloom blooms, wrought-iron fences and intricate architecture enchant locals and visitors alike,” the press release stated.

Other sites to be part of this year’s Pilgrimage include the Mabry-Jones House, built in 1850 by Selma physician and first president of the Alabama Medical Association Dr. Albert G. Mabry and the Hooker-McEachern house, home of local suffragist Hattie Hooker, the first woman to serve in the Alabama Legislature.

Pilgrimage will begin at the Vaughan-Smitherman Museum, ticket headquarters for the event, and move from there across a wide array of historic landmarks throughout the city.

Additionally, “ghosts” from Selma’s past will be on hand for cemetery tours through Old Live Oak Cemetery, where a number of state and federal politicians are interred, including a Vice President of the United States.

Tickets for the event are $25 – half the usual cost, according to the press release – and include access to the dozen sites on the tour, as well as one cemetery tour ticket, though additional cemetery tour tickets can be purchased for $10 each.

Tickets can be purchased online at EventBrite.com or between 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Pilgrimage headquarters, located at 109 Union Street.

For more information, call 334-412-8550 or connect online via the Pilgrimage Facebook page or www.selmapilgrimage.com.