We are always on the lookout for new and interesting day trip ideas. Recently we read about a sleepy small town, less than an hour away from where we live, that is listed on an “America’s Best 50 Small Towns” list. We decided to explore Mooresville, AL to discover what makes it so special.
Mooresville, AL is a quaint Anti-Bellem town that is located in Limestone County, AL on the Tennessee River. It was incorporated on November 16, 1818, a year before Alabama gained statehood. It’s early residents were mostly merchants, cotton farmers and traders. The town is 0.1 miles and covers just six streets and has about 55 residents. The entire town, of 19th Century period architecture, is on the U.S. Register of Historic Places. It also served as the one time home for US Presidents James A. Garfield and Andrew Johnson. It also served as the film set for the Disney movie, Tom and Huck.
The first place we saw upon arriving in Mooresville was Java, the local coffee shop. It’s a charming locally owned store which use to be the town’s General Store. It is a great place to grab a drink, a bite to eat and look around at the antique furniture and artworks that are on display for sale. It’s also the perfect place to chat with some locals to get historical information about the town and sights to see.
Located across the street from Java, is a parking lot. We learned at Java that bicycling is the most popular form of transportation and saw evidence of that in the parking lot with bicyclists there meeting others. We also saw people parking there to walk the town. While in the area, make sure to see these fascinating historical places: Mooresville Brick Church, Mooresville Church of Christ, Mooresville Stagecoach Inn and Tavern and Post Office that the residents have worked hard to preserve.
Mooresville Brick Church is located on Lauderdale St. The church property was donated by Governor Thomas Bibb and his wife with designation for a church to be built. The church was build in Greek Revival style and completed in 1839. The steeple is unique, depicting a hand pointing towards Heaven. The church served as a worship location for Cumberland Presbyterian, Methodists and Baptists. It was deconsecration by the Methodists in 1994 and handed over to the town to be used for weddings and photo shoots.
Mooresville Church of Christ is located on Market Street on land that was bought in 1851 for $20.00. It was first built in 1854 with additions added in the 1930’s to add space to the church. It is a white clapboard church built in a more modest Greek Revival style. It has a storied past and has managed to survive without ever having a full time preacher. The first Christian of Moorseville, J. H. Hundley, was baptized in this church, it survived yellow fever outbreaks nearby and the Civil War. This is also the church where James Garfield, the 20th president of the U.S., preached once during the Civil War. Today, the church receives help from nearby churches to remain open.
Mooresville Stagecoach Inn and Tavern is located on High Street. These were once common along Alabama traveling routes. This one was built by Griffin Lampkin before 1825 and served as the town’s post office before a new one was built. The current post office, thought to be built around 1840, is the oldest active post office in Alabama. The Inn used to have two levels. The common room was on the first floor and the two room sleeping quarters on the second floor. The building was used for other purposed before being donated to the city and restored in the mid 1990’s. Currently, it is used as a museum and City Hall.
The homes in Mooresville are beautiful and well kept and the Oak trees in the area are thought to date back to the early 1800’s. The town is located between Huntsville and Decatur, AL making this an easy afternoon trip