“Old Town’s” History will live on forever

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DECATUR, Ala. — Once upon a time "Old Town" was an area in Decatur filled with the town's leading African-Americans. The "Old Town" committee says the first African-American doctor lived in "Old Town".

It was a prosperous area with several African-American businesses too. There was a grocery store, funeral home, and even a ball room along Vine Street in Decatur. But in 2016 only two businesses remain in "Old Town" a barber and beauty shop.

The beauty shops owner Billie Phillips said she's owned her shop "Unique Beauty Shop" for more than 50 years. She's changed buildings over the years, but things at the salon have stayed the same.  She remembers how vibrant the area use to be.

"There was one thing to another; a beauty shop, drug store, all kinds of businesses here in this section. Some are still living and some of them are gone," Phillips said.

She sees a huge change in "Old Town" now and then, but thanks to the Old Town Committee the history will live on forever. On Saturday, the revealed two new markers/monuments in the area.

"Old Town was an important commercial, religious, political, and cultural city center," Old Town Committee Member Peggy Town said.

The monuments will pay tribute to the vibrant life "Old Town" once was and it honors the African-Americans who have died; and the ones still alive like Billie Phillips who's made "Old Town" the unique place it is.

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