June 10, 1964
On June 10, 1964, a group of regional representatives met to formally establish the Alabama Mountain Lakes Association as a nonprofit organization focused on stimulating the economic and cultural development of north Alabama through tourism and travel. Based in Decatur, the organization had one employee, Director Bert Unpingo, and was funded through destination membership dues. Members consisted of representatives of various businesses, organizations and agencies in Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston counties. Today, AMLA has several employees and has added social media and internet marketing to its distribution of brochures and other traditional methods of marketing.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
The Carnegie Visual Arts Center in Decatur, Morgan County, was built in 1904 as a library, one of more than 2,500 such facilities gifted by steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to cities and towns in the United States. In its current incarnation, the building is leased by the Decatur Arts Council and hosts art exhibits and education programs. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photograph by Joseph T. Richardson)
Geologic formations at Cherokee Rock Village, also known as Sand Rock, on Lookout Mountain in Cherokee County. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photo courtesy of Jimmy Emerson)
A lagoon at Big Spring Park in Huntsville, Madison County, is part of Indian Creek Canal that was used to transport cotton during the 19th century. The settlement that would become Huntsville was founded in the area around Big Spring by pioneer John Hunt in 1805. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Alabama Tourism Department)
The Huntsville Museum of Art in Big Spring International Park features seven galleries hosting traveling national exhibits, as well as a permanent collection that focuses on Southern and regional American art. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Alabama Tourism Department)
Tuscumbia is the county seat of Colbert County in northwest Alabama, situated near Pickwick Lake and Wilson Dam. The city is home to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and is the birthplace of Helen Keller. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Colbert County Tourism & Convention Bureau)
Lake Guntersville State Park adjoins Alabama’s largest lake, created by the damming of the Tennessee River in the northeastern part of the state. The park covers more than 6,000 acres and includes facilities for golfing, hiking, swimming and camping. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of The Huntsville Times)
In addition to the cave environment, the surrounding park at Russell Cave National Monument offers visitors a variety of open and forested areas for picnicking and hiking. The site is a stop on the North Alabama Birding Trail. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of the National Park Service)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.