At the beginning of the 1800s, there were two small villages in the Southeast Alabama area, known as “New Philadelphia” and “East Alabama.” The point as which these two villages met was called the city of Montgomery (c. 1819) – named for Revolutionary War hero General Richard Montgomery. The city’s two main streets connected at court square – and are still cobblestone to this day. In this area an artesian well was dug, a courthouse was built, and much of the city’s history would play out during the following centuries. As such, the fountain was erected over the artesian basin in 1885 and is crowned by the Greek goddess Hebe – the cupbearer.
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To the left of the fountain, there is a small garden area with a bench and this Bible – turned to Proverbs 15 – 18. I did not see any explanation of the significance of these passages.
In this spot, to the left of the fountain is where Rosa Parks was picked up after work in December of 1955. As many know, Rosa worked as a seamstress at the Montgomery Fair department store (aka Gayfers), then would walk a few blocks to Montgomery’s fountain area and board her bus home. After the bus driver instructed her to move to the back to make room boarding whites, Rosa declined, was arrested, convicted, and fined.
The reaction of the public launched the boycott of all Montgomery buses – which went on for an entire year before the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the integration of public transportation. A local pastor who lived a few blocks away helped to communicate/coordinate the group’s stance. This is what catapulted Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. into the national and international spotlight.
Empty bus in April during boycott.
Posts are a combination of my own research, visits, and conversations, plus various information found around the web. I try to provide sources, but if you have specific questions, feel free to ask!