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Montevallo: a mountain in a valley. This bucolic, natural phrase aptly describes the beauty of this central Alabama town. Early settlers were drawn to the area by its abundant agricultural and mineral resources, and in 1826, the tiny village of Montevallo was born. The nature of the town changed significantly in 1896 with the founding of the Alabama Girls' Industrial School, now the University of Montevallo. The Olmsted Brothers firm of Brookline, Massachusetts, laid out the central campus, and its master plan still inspires current development. Since 1896, the focus of the town has shifted from agriculture and mining to education. The university's mission is to be Alabama's "Public Liberal Arts College." Prominent figures include writer and veteran E. B. Sledge, actresses Polly Holiday and Rebecca Luker, and Major League Baseball player Rusty Greer.