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Free walking tours in downtown set for April 21, 28

MADISON – Residents and visitors alike can learn interesting facts and tidbits about the town’s past and its people during two upcoming walking tours.

The walking tours will be conducted on April 21 and 28 from 10 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m. Walkers will gather to start the tour at the Roundhouse on Front Street.

Walt Anderson will serve as tour guide on April 21. Jim Norton will lead the walkers on April 28.

The free tours are affiliated with Huntsville-Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau and are part of the walking tours initiative with the Alabama Tourism Department. Alabama is the first state to coordinate such annual, statewide events.

Local experts will guide the tours and focus on anecdotes and facts about the historic district. Every spring and fall, the convention and visitors bureau shows off Huntsville and Madison by sponsoring the tours.

The tour’s first site in Madison, the current Madison Roundhouse is a replica of the original structure that stood on Main Street and served as City Hall, mayor’s office, card parlor and occasionally as a barbershop. In 1986, Madison Street Festival volunteers built the current Roundhouse on Front Street.

The tour will proceed north on Church Street, which is home to Madison United Methodist Church, a few antebellum homes and predominately turn-of-the-century bungalows and Victorian two-story homes.

Tour guides usually lead their entourage west on Arnett Street to reach Buttermilk Alley. That narrow roadway will take the tour back to Front Street. The walkers can identify historic homes by a sign in the front lawn that states the home’s name and construction date.

The visitors bureau recommends wearing comfortable shoes and to dress to fit the weather forecast. The tour will be held rain or shine, unless the weather takes a severe turn.

Tour walkers do not need tickets or reservations. “Just bring yourself and your thirst for historical knowledge,” a spokesperson said.

For more information, call 256-533-5723 or visit huntsville.org/events/tours/guided-history-tours.

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