History of Landmark Park
November: Meeting of a small group of people interested in forming a historical society for the preservation of historic sites in and around Dothan.
December: Dothan Landmarks Foundation formed as a nonprofit corporation. Carole Lee was first president.
January: Planning committee has meeting and explore concept of developing a children’s museum.
February: Fifty acres of land off Hwy 431 N is donated by the McFatter family for the creation of the Landmarks Center for Natural Science and History. Three additional acres are donated by Dr. and Mrs. Sam West Jr. and Lewe West.
March: Robert O. Joslin hired as Foundation’s first executive director.
December: Waddell House is donated by Earl Waddell and Iona W. Wells and is moved to property.
March: First official school field trip. The school was Houston Academy.
December: Waddell Hose opens to the public.
Sam W. Kates hired as Foundation’s second executive director.
Local architectural firm Dunseth & Lee donates development of master plan to the foundation.
Name of property changed to “Landmark Park.”
January: 600 sq. ft. Victorian-style gazebo donated by Newton family to serve as centerpiece of “Square for the Arts.”
April: Corn Crib moved to park from Gordo, AL.
May: 1,000 sq. foot picnic pavilion erected. Smokehouse moved to park from Geneva County.
June: Construction beings on 1800 ft. elevated boardwalk.
November: Windmill erected at park.
December: Construction begins on Wiregrass Farmstead’s animal barn. New entrance to park constructed by Houston County and state Hwy Dept., providing access from Hwy. 431.
May: 1908 Headland Presbyterian Church moved from Headland, AL to property.
June: Construction begins on Cotton Shed.
October: Wetland Wildlife Exhibit opens on boardwalk.
December: Woodland Wildlife Exhibit opens on boardwalk.
March: Native Plant garden established.
May: Syrup Shed constructed on the Wiregrass Farmstead.
August: Reptile Exhibit opens on boardwalk.
September: Groundbreaking for Interpretive Center.
October: Native Bird exhibit opens on boardwalk.
December: Blacksmith shop constructed on Wiregrass Farmstead.
October: Thrower Log Cabin moved to park to serve as security residence.
September: New entrance to park landscaped.
February: Watson Log Cabin moved from Skipperville, Alabama.
April: Observation platform overlooking the beaver pond on the boardwalk opens.
May: William Holman appointed as third Executive Director of the Foundation.
June: Landmark Park designated a “treasure forest” by the Alabama Forestry Commission.
October: “Pioneer Peanut Days” selected as one of the “top Twenty Events in the Southeast” for the month of October by the Southeast Tourism Society.
April: Landmark Park receives “Ed Griffith Collection of Johnny Mack Brown Memorabilia,” one of the largest collections in the U. S.
September: The Brown’s Crossroads School, a one-room schoolhouse from Dale County, is relocated to the park.
November: 2,000 sq. ft. classroom added to Interpretive Center.
April: Joint resolution passes both houses of the Alabama legislature, designating Landmark Park as “Alabama’s Official Museum of Agriculture.”
February: 950 year old redwood tree exhibit installed at the park.
April: Additional 45 acres purchased, bringing total park acreage up to 105.
July: Landmark Park receives “Friend of Education Award” from the Dothan Education Association.
October: Shelley General Store moved from Tumbleton. Legislation creating the Alabama Agricultural Museum board passes both houses of the legislature and is signed into law by Gov. Folsom.
June: Park hosts first annual “Music by Moonlight” with MusicSouth.
December: Shelley General Store opens.
June: Park acquires historic Martin Drugstore in Enterprise, Alabama.
March: Park receives $100,000 grant from Alabama State Historical Park and Historical site maintenance grant program for Martin Drugstore project.
September: Park receives Achievement Award from the Historic Chattahooche Commission for promotion of tourism and historic preservation in Chattahoochee Trace region of AL and GA.
October: Ground broken for Phase 1 of Ala. Agricultural Museum on Park grounds.
October: Ribbon Cutting held for phase 1 of Alabama Agricultural Museum.
Master plan revised and updated
September: Park is selected to host the arrival of Chattanooga Star for riverboat rides on the Chattahoochee River.
September: Installs demonstration beehives.
November: Published “Houston County: The First 100 Years”
March: Ribbon cutting for Martin Drugstore.
November: Publishes “Railroading Around Dothan and the Wiregrass Region”
September: Hosts first Johnny Mack Brown Film Festival in downtown Dothan.
April: Thanks to a generous grant from Colby & Laura Clark and others, the park opens “The Barnyard” playground. Over 600 volunteers participate in building the custom-designed playground during Spirit of Service Day.
July: Breaks ground on the construction of the “Angelia and Steven H. Stokes Activity Barn”
July: Crowley Field, named in honor of Vernell Crowley and in memory of her husband, Barnett Crowley, thanks to a $25,000 donation by their son, Gerald Crowley, opens.
Grand opening of 8,000 sq. ft. Stokes Activity Barn
Acquired The Hodges Property, 32 additional acres.
May: The Yellawood® Johnny Mack Brown Western Festival moves from downtown Dothan to Landmark Park.
June: Thanks to a $75,000 federal recreational trails grant and the support of Great Southern Wood Preserving in Abbeville, the boardwalk receives a major renovation.
October: The Eufaula High School FFA Chapter restores one of the park’s antique tractors, winning first place in the nation in the Chevron Delco Tractor Restoration Competition. The 1946 Case DC tractor was donated to the park in 1997.
February: Organized and presented “Houston County’s Past: The Photographs of Douglass Snellgrove,” A semi-permanent exhibit on display in the Houston County Courthouse Jury Assembly Room.
August: The Foundation purchases a 32 acre parcel of land, adjacent to the park, formerly known as Grey Hodges Park.
March: Membership in the foundation reached an all-time high of 2,000 members.
June: Thanks to a $30,000 grant from the Wiregrass Resource Conservation and Development Council, renovated the planetarium and installed a new state-of-the-art digital projection system. family in Headland.
June: A fire burns down the maintenance area.
Rebuilt shop buildings after 2010 fire.
October: Loss of 100 percent of state funding.
Landmark Park was selected as one of the 20 sites along the Wiregrass Birding Trail, a new state initiative.
Was presented a restored 1939 Ford N Tractor from the students of Eufaula High School. This was the fourth tractor restored for the park by students int he Eufaula High School FFA program.
Landmark Park became one of 2,000 parks and museums across the US to be considered a “Blue Star Museum.” This program guarantees free admission to a active military and their families from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year.
Held a Sacred Harp sing in the park’s Headland Presbyterian Church. This sing was reportedly the first Sacred Harp sing in Houston County in many years.
Received the Appleheart Award from the Wiregrass Area Food Bank in recognition of our Victorian Christmas which raises food for the needy each December.
Received $200,000 in state funds talks to the efforts of retired Senator Harri Anne Smith to renovate the Interpretive Center Lobby.
Hosted the traveling exhibit “Making Alabama” during the month of December to celebrate Alabama’s Bicentennial.
With the help of a grant from the Wiregrass Foundation, an outreach program was established to provide after school educational programming to kids who reside at Dothan Housing Authority.
New playground equipment installed thanks to a grant from Gametime.
Major maintenance projects began, including renovation of Gazebo, boardwalk, Watson Cabin, roadways, farm structures and fencing.
Purchased 15 acres from the McFatter family, bringing the park acreage up to 150.
Received large state appropriation to expand the Alabama Agricultural Museum.
Browns Crossroads One Room Schoolhouse named to the Alabama Register of Historic Places
Established an Antique Tractor Club and Plowing Club at Landmark Park to help with historic farming events and demos.
Bridal suite added to the Stokes Activity Barn
The Veterans Gardening Program opens, thanks to a grant from Wiregrass RC&D. This program allows veterans and their families to enjoy classes taught by Alabama Cooperative Extension System and maintain raised garden beds at Landmark Park.
Held the first Landmark Park Bluegrass Festival. Visitors enjoyed live music, jam session, instrument demos and more.
Received a grant from Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries to establish a dye garden at the park.
July 2023 Historical 1890s Vintage Baseball introduced at the park. The goal of this program is to preserve the history of the game in its formative years. Spectators are invited to bring their lawn chairs and watch the games, while pennant girls explain the rules and terminology to the audience.
Today, Dothan Landmarks Foundation represents the largest nonprofit community organization in Southeast Alabama, Northwest Florida and Southwest Georgia. Currently, over 1600 families are members. 50,000 visit annual and over 14,000 school children come for field trips annually.