City of Foley to begin free walking tours

FOLEY, Ala. (WKRG) — Residents and visitors alike will soon have the opportunity to explore and learn about Foley’s history.

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According to a press release, the city is preparing to debut its 2024 historic walking tours series on Saturday, April 6. The free tours, scheduled for each Saturday throughout April, will highlight historic areas of the city that date back to the 20th century.

Officials said the tours will begin at 10 a.m. at the historic Foley Welcome Center located at the intersection of Alabama 59 and U.S. 98 and continue onto other historic sites in the downtown area.

Some of the historic sites included in the tours are:

  • L&N Railroad Depot: Located next to the Welcome Center, the depot was built in 1909 to replace the station that burned down in 1908. It was the center of South Baldwin commerce and travel for more than 60 years before being converted into a city museum.

  • Centennial Plaza: The plaza was remodeled for the city’s centennial birthday, according to WAS Design.

  • Holk Building: The City of Foley’s website notes that Arthur Holk was the mayor of Foley for 20 years. He is noted to have contributed “greatly to the history and development of the City of Foley through his political service and community involvement.”

  • Magnolia Hotel: The hotel, also known as Hotel Magnolia, opened its doors in 1908. According to Alabama’s Foley walking tours guide, the hotel was operated by city founder John Burton Foley and attracted tourists and residents alike.

  • Holmes Medical Museum: According to the press release, the museum was the site of Baldwin County’s first Hospital.

The tours, which begin at 10 a.m., are set to last an hour and cover about five city blocks.

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Local community members will conduct the tours, according to the release.

  • April 6: Retired Baldwin County Probate Judge Tim Russell and his wife and long-time teacher at Foley High School, Sandy Russell

  • April 13: Foley Marketing Director LaDonna Hinsley

  • April 20: Longtime employee at Rivera Utilities, Randy LeDrew and his wife Cathy LeDrew

  • April 27: Marketing Communications Manager Guy Busby

For more information about the tours, call 251-943-1200.

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