The rustic cabins and buildings atop LaGrange Mountain are dressed for Christmas this weekend.
Christmas in the Country has become an annual event to call attention to the site of Alabama’s first public college, which was chartered by the Legislature in 1830. The LaGrange Living Historical Association, which oversees the park, hosts the event each year to help raise money for the park’s upkeep.
“This started as a Christmas open house with refreshments,” said Louise Linville-Lenz, one of the founders of the association. “We then decided to begin having a bake sale and crafts to help raise money.”
There is no charge to attend the Christmas event, which continues until 4 p.m. today. LaGrange is south of Alabama 157 in Colbert County.
The view of the Tennessee Valley floor from atop the mountain is spectacular. Farm land south of Leighton gradually gives way to water towers and the towns of Muscle Shoals and Tuscumbia. When the air is especially clear, the Tennessee River and Florence can be seen to the north.
Farther up the mountain, along a winding gravel road, is the historic LaGrange Cemetery, where wealthy plantation owner Abraham Ricks and his family are buried in a walled area. Nearby are graves of people who settled the area in the 19th century, including several members of the 16th Alabama Infantry. The association works to preserve the cemetery, as well.