Protect, Preserve, & Interpret Alabama's Historic Places
468 S Perry St, Montgomery, AL 36104   ( 334) 230-2690
In This Issue
Calendar of Events
November 12 - December 31
Alabama State Capitol---Alabama Folk's Art Project exhibit. For more information contact
Lisa Franklin,
December 11
Ornament Day and Special Event with Alabama Authors and Artisans, 10:00am to 2:00pm
Call 334-242-3933 for more information
December 11
Meeting at 
11:30am - Alabama Historical Commission, Carriage House
Call 334-230-2690 for more information
December 12
Christmas Celebration, 10:00am to 12:30pm, $10.00 per car,
Call 334-624-8618 for more information
December 14
Council on Alabama Archaeology ----
Meeting at 9:00am, Alabama Historical Commission, Carriage House
Call 334-230-2690 for more information
December 19
10:00am - 3:00pm
Call 256-637-8513 for more information
Recent Press Releases

In the News

In Fiscal Year 2015 the Alabama Historical Commission:
Welcomed 251,509 visitors to our historic sites to learn and experience Alabama history at the places it was made.

Provided learning opportunities for 72,663 people at lectures, conferences, workshops, public presentations, hearings, or special historic site programs.

Responded to 17,964 requests for information and assistance in understanding, protecting, and interpreting Alabama's historic and prehistoric treasures.

Owners of 5 projects earned federal rehabilitation tax credits on $19,821,608 of investment in Alabama's historic buildings.

In FY 2015, the owners of  five projects earned state historic rehabilitation tax credits on $30,719,933 of investment in Alabama's historic buildings.

Provided guidance and assistance to 29 cities in Alabama with historic preservation ordinances protecting 15,731 historic places.

Reviewed 1,389 federal projects for impacts on historic resources.

Engaged 1,111 volunteers in 8,958 hours assisting at AHC historic sites.

Nominated 303 properties for listing the National Register of Historic Places.

Nominated 51 properties for listing in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. 

Listed 37 cemeteries in the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

Maintained 1,662 acres and  46,365 square feet of structures at AHC historic sites.

Served 57,028 school-age visitors at AHC historic sites.

Confederate Memorial Park Boy Scout Camporee a Great Success!
The Confederate Memorial Park, an historic property of the Alabama Historical Commission, hosted the Boy Scouts Shelby District Camporee on November 13-15, 2015. There were rave reviews from over 400 participants, administrators, living history volunteers, and park staff!
Filming at Historic Sites
On Friday, November 13  David Lewin with the Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Courts System, filmed interior and exterior shots of the Freedom Rides Museum for inclusion in a civil rights documentary. The film also features an interview with Fred Gray, a "prominent Alabama civil rights attorney whose clients have included Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and the victims of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study."

On Tuesday, November 17 Simply Southern, a new statewide television show launched by Alabama Farmers Federation and Alabama Farmers Cooperative (AFC), filmed at Old Cahawba Archaeological ParkThis show features stories on rural lifestyles and promotes rural tourism and airs on RFD-TV, "Rural America's Most Important Network" on Sunday mornings. This episode focuses on the history of the site and the enduring ruins of the town's former landscape. 

Jonathan Matthews, Assistant Site Director, Old Cahawba, being interviewed by Simply Southern 
Alabama Register Review Board Meeting
The Alabama Historical Commission held the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage Review Board meeting on Thursday, November 19. The next scheduled meeting will be Thursday, February 18, 2016 in the Carriage House at the Alabama Historical Commission.

The nominations presented at the meeting included

W.B. Doby High School (Wetumpka Elementary School), Wetumpka, Elmore County
Located in Wetumpka, Elmore County, the W.B. Doby High School was built in 1963 as the "separate but equal" facility for local African-American children.  The school closed in 1970 after Wetumpka schools officially integrated, but then reopened shortly thereafter as the Wetumpka Junior High School.  When a new junior high school was constructed, Doby High School became Wetumpka Elementary School.  The school is important for its association with local African-American education and consists of four original buildings from the 1960s and four new buildings from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.  
Hopewell (Mount Willing) Baptist Church, Mount Willing, Lowndes County
Located in the Mount Willing community in Lowndes County, Hopewell Baptist Church is important for its religious history, its African American Heritage, its association with Reverend David Lee, and for its architecture.  The congregation dates to 1832 and the present building was built in 1843.  The church is typical of rural church architecture of the mid-19th century.  The church is significantly associated with Reverend David Lee, a 19th century leader in the Alabama Baptist Association.
Mount Willing Christian Church, Mount Willing, Lowndes County
Located in the community of Mount Willing in Lowndes County, Mount Willing Christian Church is important for its association with the impact of Highland Home College on rural Black Belt Communities in the late 19th century and for its architectural style.  Constructed between 1888 and 1889, the church is an intact significant expression of vernacular Victorian Gothic style located in a rural setting. 
Macon County Training School and Community Historic District, Macon County
Located outside of Tuskegee in Macon County, the Macon County Training School and Community Historic District sits on 16 acres and is important for its association with the U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study and for its association with local African-American education and community planning and development.  Constructed in 1954, the current school building replaced the Thrasher County Training School, a five-teacher Rosenwald School that burned in 1951. In 1955, the school building served as a "roundup center" during the U.S. Public Health Services Syphilis Study.  The school remained in operation until its closure in 2005. 
A   list of properties in the Alabama Register   is available alphabetically by county. 

Mark Your Calendars for the Next Alabama Register Review Board Meeting

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 10:00am in the Carriage House at the Alabama Historical Commission.  All nominations must be submitted by 5:00pm on February 11, 2016. 

What is the process for getting your property listed? Start by completing the Alabama Register Form (refer to the instructions). 

Please send submissions to 
Alabama Historical Commission
ATTN:  Jennifer Bailey
468 South Perry Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-0900
Alabama Historical Commission Welcomes New Personnel

--Mrs. Dorothy Walker has a master of arts in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design. She has over eighteen years of experience working in historic preservation and cultural resource advocacy, planning, outreach, research, budget and project management. During the early part of her career,
Mrs. Walker spent over fifteen years working for the
Alabama Historical Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, where she held several positions including Coordinator for the Black Heritage Council and manager for the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage and Historical Marker programs.
For the last two and half years, she worked with Alabama State University's National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture as the Cultural Heritage Manager. There, she managed both historic and cultural heritage projects. Mrs. Walker returns to the AHC as the Site Director for the Freedom Rides Museum, located in the historic Greyhound Bus Station in downtown Montgomery, and as Coordinator for the Black Heritage Council.
Mrs. Walker is a Certified Public Manager through the Alabama Training Institute. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Trust
for Historic Preservation, Friends of the Alabama Archives, and the Alabama Black Belt Heritage Area. She is also a member of the Patrons of the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture at Alabama State University.

--Mrs. Ann Franklin attended Auburn University in Montgomery where she obtained a degree in accounting. Upon graduation, she worked in the private sector as a general ledger accountant before taking a 
position with the Examiners of Public Accounts. Seven years later Ann accepted an opportunity to become a Budget Analyst with the Department of Finance's Executive Budget Office.

In November 2015 the Alabama Historical Commission welcomed Ann as the new Senior Accountant. She will replace Sherrie Barker who is retiring after 8 years. Ann hopes to gain the understanding of the agency-side of governmental accounting, having seen it from the auditing and budgeting perspectives. We will miss Sherrie and her dedication and we look forward to working with Ann!

The Alabama Historical Commission Welcomes Michelle Thompson

The Alabama Historical Commission is pleased to welcome Ms. Michelle Thompson of Florence to its membership. In December 2015 the Governor appointed Ms. Thompson to the Alabama Historical Commission. She attended the University of North Alabama for undergraduate studies in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management. Ms. Thompson is passionate about farming having served as a member of the Alabama Farmers Federation Women's Leadership Committee for the past twenty-four years. She will represent ALFA and serve Diane McCool's former term, expiring January 10, 2020, and will advise on projects, activities, transactions and acquisitions involving agricultural lands, and engage in projects and activities to promote the business of farming, its traditions, and farmland protection. The Commission looks forward to working closely with Ms. Thompson. 

Fort Morgan Reopening Section of Site

On December 11, 2015 Fort Morgan State Historic Site, a property owned and operated by the Alabama Historical Commission, will reopen a portion of the fort that has been closed for repair since 2014 as part of an upgrade to the public safety features.
The  new staircase and handrails leading up to the first level of Fort Morgan's Battery Duportail replaced an older set of metal stairs that were installed during the early 1960's. New stairs lead to a walkway that runs across the west side of Battery Duportail giving visitors a great view of the Sand Island Lighthouse, Dauphin Island, and Mobile Bay.  

Handrails have also been installed along each of the historic granite stair steps.
"We received several concerns from visitors, especially during the summer tourist season about this section being inaccessible," said Mike Bailey, Site Director at Fort Morgan State Historic Site. "These concerns were expressed by visitors to the site as well as on TripAdvisor, where Fort Morgan has received excellent ratings for the past two years. The staff listened and our top priority was to finish this project in a timely fashion that would result in increasing visitor safety, but also help preserve this National Historic Landmark. The installation of new handrails and stairs allowed for the removal of deteriorating components that were damaging the site. New materials will help to minimize long term damage to the fort caused by the harsh weather conditions of Mobile Point."
The repairs to the fort were inspected by officials from the Division of Construction Management of the Alabama Department of Finance, as well as representatives of the companies that performed the work.
For more information about Fort Morgan State Historic Site contact Mike Bailey, site director, at 251-540-7202 or
Fort Morgan State Historic Site is located at 110 State Highway 180, Gulf Shores, Alabama 36542

Happenings Around the State
--On Saturday, December 5, the  Wilcox Historical Society hosted Donald Stone, who presented an overview of the Mary Lee Simpson photograph collection which depicts plantation life in the early 1900s in the Furman-Snow Hill area. Ms. Simpson's father, R.O. Simpson, was instrumental in the establishment of Snow Hill Institute The photograph collection is on display at the Alabama Department of Archives & History. Copies of this collection are also on display at the Furman Civic Club located at 8191 Highway 59 South. 

--On Sunday, December 13 from 9:30am to 1:30pm there will be a Bottle Creek Tour.  Bottle Creek with nineteen earthen mounds is the largest Mississippian chiefdom (AD 1200-1400) on the north-central Gulf Coast. It is a pristine archaeological site located on Mound Island in the beautiful Mobile-Tensaw Delta in north Baldwin County. Come enjoy a ride on the Delta Explorer for one hour cruise up the Tensaw River led by Blakeley State Park staff. 
Delta Explorer
Once on Mound Island, the walking tour, which includes a climb up the largest mound (45 feet tall), will be led by Dr. Greg Waselkov, Director of the Center for Archaeological Studies at the University of South Alabama. 

Climbing to the summit of Mound A, which rises to a height of 45 feet 

The boat leaves at 9:30 am (please arrive early for boarding) from Lower Bryant's Landing located off Highway 225 about two miles north of Interstate 65, just south of Stockton, and will return around 1:30 pm. The Delta Explorer has a 50-passenger capacity, but it is not readily handicapped accessible. There is a restroom on board. You are welcome to bring snacks, lunch, and drinks to enjoy on the boat ride back. Please wear hiking boots or similar comfortable shoes. Bug spray will be provided but don't forget to bring your cameras!

For reservations and more information, please contact Historic Blakeley State Park at 251-626-5581. Cost is $35 per adult, $17 per child (6-12 years old).                  
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Email submissions for the January issue of the
AHC e-Newsletter by December 18 to  
Please mark as "Attention: E-News."

468 South Perry Street
Montgomery, AL 36130-0900