LaGrange History

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The History of LaGrange College

This new book written by Robert S. Steen explores the rich history of LaGrange College.

The book is dedicated to LC Lenz and Louise Lenz.

Cover painting by Louise Lenz.

The book is a culmination of more than five years of research through family histories, and regional and state archives.

The book is a 210-page paper back book, including 160 pictures throughout the pages. A collection of this many photos compiled from the 1800’s is very unique in publication from that historic period.

Books will begin selling during mid-March for $19.95.

Please keep in mind: only 300 books are being printed in the first edition.

To inquire about ordering Steen's book, please contact us through our contact page here.

The Rock Shelter is located within walking distance of the LaGrange College Site Park. It was added to the National Register in 1974, after an Archaeological Excavation was performed in 1972. Tests revealed that the site was once home to the Paleo Indians and said to be one of the oldest "Early Man" archaeological sites in North Alabama. After the excavation it was determined that the Rock Shelter was significant to pre-history of the entire North American continent. 
Petrified Wood, Mineral Springs & Iron Ore

Unique to this area, on LaGrange Mountain is the petrified wood that has been found over the years. A Geological Survey made by State Geologist during the 1800's discovered that on of the giant ferns was 350,000 years old. There are several different mineral springs also located on the mountain. Some older folks called the springs "Healing Waters." Bits of iron ore can also be found on the mountain. Years ago, there was an iron ore mine a short distance from the college site. 

After LaGrange College moved to Florence in January 1855, a group of LaGrange citizens organized a college in the vacant buildings under the old name. Rev. Felix Johnson was elected president. To increase the patronage, a military feature was introduced in 1857. Major J.W. Robertson became superintendent and classes were suspended while a third major building was erected for the cadets. The college reopened in February 1858, as LaGrange College and Military Academy. The new institution’s financial situation was dismal until the State of Alabama provided military equipment and scholarships. The Academy soon flourished and became known as the “West Point of the South.” In 1860, the name was changed to LaGrange Military Academy. By 1861, the enrollment was almost 200 cadets. During its existence, 259 cadets from nine states attended the Academy. Read More

The Pioneer Cemetery is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage and is within walking distance of the LaGrange College Site. First Impression Cemetery Dramas are portrayed by Re-enactors during Recall LaGrange, of 19th century residents who once lived at LaGrange. Of particular interest is: the Petrified Lady, Annie Vinson Ford, who was dicovered petrified after being removed from her burial plot to another plot in the cemetery. Another is: Dr. George Kumpe who became Captain of the Leighton Rangers during the Civil War, and Abraham Ricks whose Italian-Marble Monument dominates the ghostly grave yard. If you're interested in supporting the cemetery with tax deductible donations click here

Bring your school group to LaGrange

  • Field trips are a very small fee. We can also provide lunch for an additional low fee.
  • Take a hay ride down to the antebellum cemetery and visit the final resting places of civil war soldiers and civilians alike.
  • Highlight the benchmarks of the regional history and the unique geology of the area.
  • Take entertaining and enlightening tours of the historical village from the ones who helped built the recreation.
  • Hear the stories and the sounds of a civil war bugler.
  • Get a hands on experience with locally donated artifacts from the antebellum and prehistoric period.
  • Visit our operating antique post office, and peruse the wares of an old-timey store.
  • Walk away with a unique culture experience from Alabama history!

    For more information, please visit the bottom of our Booking page here.

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Be sure to Read & Download our
Brochure for more information!

Help Preserve American History and Heritage.

LaGrange Living Historical Association is dedicated to the preservation of the history and memory of the Lagrange Mountian. We do this through the preservation of the buildings, artifacts, and pioneer cemetery of this historical village. We seek to educate public, and future generations of the Heritage of the area and the culture and life of the Civil War.

Click Here for more info.