March 15-16, 2019

Come for the history, stay for the hospitality!

SPRING PILGRIMAGE IN SELMA.  The very words conjure up images of flowering beauty and historic homes dating back to the early 1800’s.  We invite you to come and experience history from the Civil War to Civil Rights as you tour private homes, museums, gardens and much more.  You’ll be enchanted with Selma’s special blend of Southern graces and historic places and the largest historic district in Alabama.

Tourists from throughout the state, and the world at large, are fascinated with the diverse history and architecture found in Selma, and you will be too.  Our Pilgrimage encompasses antebellum houses and industry, Victorian cottages, museums, and a semi-modern mansion, with accompanying stories guaranteed to enthrall visiting pilgrims.  Selma was burned in 1865 by Wilson’s Raiders and our surviving antebellum homes are cherished and waiting to be admired and shared during Pilgrimage.

The 2018 pilgrimage began at the Vaughan-Smitherman Museum which served as ticket headquarters for this event.  Having been a girl’s school, a county courthouse, a confederate hospital, and a renowned hospital during the turn of the century, the Smitherman Building tour was a “must” and most enlightening.  Its unique collections are often called a microcosm of Selma history and gave visitors insight to Selma’s unique historic development.  The Friends of the Vaughan were selling box lunches from 11 to 1 both days that were carried out or eaten on the museums’ beautiful grounds.

Other museums on tour included Sturdivant Hall, an antebellum house museum furnished with lovely antiques true to the period, and The Old Depot Museum, an  interpretive history museum which houses an impressive collection of artifacts and memorabilia depicting life in Selma and Dallas County from prehistoric Indian times through the Civil War to Selma’s part in the Civil Rights movement.  The Museum was opened up to show the layout of the building during its days as the L & N Depot, when it was named one of four of Alabama’s historic train depots.  To further entice visitors to the Museum, three of Selma’s authors will be available to describe, sell, and autograph copies of their books on Selma’s history.  And don’t forget to tour the Historic Society’s outdoor museum, Heritage Village, which showcases a doctor’s office, a lawyer’s office, a pigeon cote and a servant’s house; all moved from their original sites to their present location and restored for posterity.

Private homes were on tour in the morning from 9:00am ‘til 1:00 pm and a completely different tour of homes open in the afternoon from 1:00 to 5:00pm both Friday and Saturday.  Morning houses included both antebellum and Victorian houses while afternoon houses were all antebellum, beginning with the Platt-Lewis-Linden House in downtown Selma.  Kenan’s Mill, our antebellum industry was open in the afternoon with wandering troubadour, Paul Garner, singing and playing his guitar.  Cornmeal was available for purchase in authentic Kenan’s Mill bags.

The current descendants of the original owners and builders of Kenan’s Mill also opened the old Kenan Place, an antebellum home with an interesting story of the Civil War.  Kenan’s Mill and the Kenan House are on the way to the antebellum Hudson home and the antebellum Methodist Church in Summerfield, which will finish a thorough experience of the antebellum South.

Friday night’s house was truly a treat for pilgrims this year.  The Hohenberg-Jones-Hobbs House was open to pilgrims with wine, punch and snacks available at the end of the tour.  This mansion, built in the 1930’s, has been fully restored and modernized to accommodate luxurious modern living.

Selma’s Pilgrimage draws visitors from near and far to experience its diverse history and architecture. Angie Detoro is among those who attends almost every year. She has come to the Selma Pilgrimage for the past 10 years. “I drive from Colorado to Tennessee to pick up my mom and sister, then continue the drive to Alabama. We love the beautiful architectural history of Selma. We appreciate the efforts of the Selma Pilgrimage Committee who make this possible, as well as the countless volunteers we have met over the years and the individuals who so graciously open their lovely homes for the tour. We look forward to attending this year,” she said.


Updates are posted on Facebook at “Selma’s Historic Pilgrimage.”  You may also email or call 334-412-8550 or 800-45-SELMA (800-457-3562). We suggest you go in numerical order–but you may blaze your own trail–just remember that some homes and museums are only open until 1:00 pm and some homes open at 1:00 pm.

Sponsored by the Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society, Pilgrimage began in 1976 as a way to share the city’s variety of architectural styles and rich history. Selma’s historic district features more than 1200 structures.

Click on each image below to view for the 2019 brochure or click here for the pdf download.


Please check back frequently for updates

A very special thanks to Janet Gresham for her wonderful photography and copy writing on our brochure and this website. Please visit Janet’s blog about Selma. I’d also like to thank Alaina Denean Deshazo for her photographs, Andy Burton for his technical help and the Selma Times Journal  for their contributions.   If you have questions about Pilgrimage, please print the Selma Pilgrimage Brochure  or email us at and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible. Hope to see you at one of the best events in Alabama, Selma’s 43rd Annual Historic Pilgrimage.

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