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Why This One Little Town Is Alabama’s Best Kept Secret

Several charming towns are located throughout Alabama. However, there’s something quite special about the picturesque town of Monroeville, which is located in south Alabama. Perhaps it’s the people who make the town such a wonderful place, or maybe its great history. Whatever it is, this charming town is, without a doubt, Alabama’s best kept secret.

Monroeville, the county seat of Monroe County, was originally known as Walker’s Mill and Store, named for Major Walker – the area’s first settler. In 1832, the county seat was moved to where it’s now located. Because of its location in the center of the county, the county seat was renamed “Centerville.” It was later changed to “Monroeville.” The charming town of Monroeville didn’t become officially incorporated until April 15, 1899.

Because Monroeville was the hometown of literary giants Harper Lee and Truman Capote, it’s considered the “Literary Capital of Alabama.” During the 1930s, Lee and Capote were neighbors and childhood friends. In Lee’s novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the fictional town of Maycomb is based on her hometown of Monroeville. Capote was the inspiration for the novel’s character, Dill.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” follows Atticus Finch, a lawyer, as he defends a black man who’s been accused of assaulting a white woman in the Deep South of America during the Great Depression. It’s been voted “Greatest Novel of All Time” and continues to sell a minimum of one million copies each year.

An estimated 30,000 tourists visit Monroeville each year because of the town’s association with “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Each April and May, a play that’s based on the novel is held on the courthouse grounds. As a matter of fact, the courthouse’s interior was the inspiration for the courthouse in the novel and the Oscar-winning film.

Harper Lee’s second novel, “Go Set a Watchman,” was published in July 2015. Sadly, Lee passed away on February 19, 2016 at the age of 89. She’ll always live on in the hearts of her many fans.

Have you ever visited this famous literary town? Would you consider it to be one of Alabama’s best kept secrets?

Jennifer
Jennifer is the Alabama staff writer for Only In Your State.