Montevallo AL 35155
One of the best features of Montevallo, Alabama, a small university town, is Orr Park. Dubbed one of the most unique parks and nature preserves in the south, Orr Park, bordering the picturesque Shoal Creek, is Montevallo’s crowning jewel. With two playgrounds, six baseball/softball fields, a walking trail, a football field and a practice field, Orr Park offers residents and visitors an opportunity to “get back to nature”, to play organized sports, to use a variety of park equipment, to have family picnics, and to engage in just about any other imaginable outdoor activity. Beautiful Shoal Creek meanders through Orr Park providing opportunities for fishing, wading, canoeing, kayaking, birding, and just “watching the creek roll by.” A paved walking trail follows the creek for much of its journey through the park.
The Aldrich Coal Mine Museum is a historical museum located in Montevallo, Alabama. Aldrich was once a coal mining town, but is now a part of Montevallo. The museum contains historical photographs, artifacts, and displays from Aldrich’s coal mine, churches, school, prison, stores, and post office. The only coal miner monument in Alabama is on display outside of the museum The museum is housed in the former Montevallo Mine Company commissary, and contains the original sales counter and cash register. The Montevallo Coal Mine Company Store is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
The area where Montevallo is now was once controlled by the Creek Indians. After being acquired in 1814 Jesse Wilson claimed a small hill on the northern bank of the Shoal Creek and created a homestead there, making it the oldest settlement in Shelby County. Wilson’s friends and family followed afterwards and also settled in the area, and a settlement known as Wilson’s Hill developed on the site. The settlement’s location at almost the exact center of Alabama meant it was considered one of the potential sites for the University of Alabama. In an attempt to encourage the university to choose the site the settlement changed its name to Montevallo, which is Italian for the hill in the valley.