Monday, July 1, 2013

National Park passport stamps at northwest Alabama Sites

Six historic sites in northwest Alabama now offer cancellation stamps for the Passport to Your National Parks program, which encourages people to explore the history and natural resources in America’s national parks.

All of the sites are in the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area, one of the National Heritage Areas established by the Department of Interior and the National Park Service and are designated by Congress to recognize regions with historical, cultural or natural features. The MSNHA – Alabama’s only National Heritage Area -- encompasses Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone and Morgan counties.

Cancellation stamps are at the W.C. Handy Home, Museum and Library, Florence; Ivy Green, birthplace of Helen Keller, Tuscumbia; Red Bay Museum, which offers historical displays and memorabilia from country music star Tammy Wynette; Pond Spring, home of Confederate Gen. Joe Wheeler, Courtland; Mooresville, the first town incorporated by the Alabama Territorial Legislature, on Nov. 16, 1818; and Old State Bank, completed in 1833, Decatur.

 “Collecting the passport stamps is a perfect summer-time family activity,” said MSNHA executive director Judy Sizemore as she announced the stamps’ availability today.  “It’s a great way to travel throughout our part of the state and learn about history in our own backyard.”

The stamps are free and feature an image of each location as well as the date. Visitors to the sites should check days and times of operations since many are not open full-time, Sizemore added. In addition, the MSNHA office, on the University of North Alabama campus, offers an MSNHA stamp for a total of seven stamps available.

Passports cost less than $10 each and are sold at as well as gift shops at Shiloh National Military Park, Shiloh, Tenn.; the Corinth Interpretive Center, Corinth, Miss.; the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center, Tupelo, Miss.; and others.

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