Old Cahawba Breaks Ground on New Gate
The Cahaba Foundation, the Alabama Historical Commission, and the Cahawba Advisory Committee in partnership with Selma and Dallas County Chamber and Tourist Information broke ground for a new gated entrance to the Old Cahawba Archaeological Park in Orrville, Alabama, on Monday, September 25th.
Left to right: Florence Young, President of The Cahaba Foundation; Ralph Hobbs; Sheryl Smedley, Executive Director of the Selma Dallas County Chamber of Commerce; Menzo Driskell, Chairman of the Cahawba Advisory Committee
The event was held at the entrance of Old Cahawba, a historic property of the Alabama Historical Commission. Afterwards a multitude of local and statewide guests joined city and park officials to enjoy a "Taste and Toast" reception featuring specialty selections donated by some of the area's favorite restaurants
. A bronze plaque commemorating the Park's major donors was also unveiled inside the Visitor's Center.
"This is a great day for Old Cahawba, a great day for Dallas County, a great day for the State of Alabama and the fulfillment of a dream for The Cahaba Foundation, said Florence Young, President of The Cahaba Foundation. "Established in 2008 by the late Daniel J. Meador, the mission of our non-profit foundation has been to protect and preserve the site of Alabama's first state capital and now we are celebrating the completion of this first priority."
The gated entrance will secure entry into the park afterhours. This project marks a significant milestone for the park's ongoing capital campaign. To date, the campaign, which was launched in 2008, has raised over $1,000,000, allowing the Park to purchase those lots held in private ownership for the state, ensuring that they will be restored and preserved for archaeological study and public education and enjoyment.
"This is a perfect example of a successful public-private partnership," said Lisa D. Jones, Executive Director of the Alabama Historical Commission. "The Commission is grat
eful for the efforts of both The Cahaba Foundation and the Cahawba Advisory Committee. Our ongoing partnership has resulted in a major land acquisition, which helps support our mission 'to protect, preserve, and interpret Alabama's historic places'. "
Left to right: Lisa D. Jones, Executive Director of the Alabama Historical Commission; Jim Day, Chairman of the AHC Commission; Cartledge W. Blackwell, III, Board Member of The Cahaba Foundation
Old Cahawba's new entrance is made possible through the generous contributions of corporations, charitable foundations and individuals across Alabama. Most recently, funding made available from the Ala-Tom Resource, Conservation and Development board has insured the completion of the construction and landscaping of this project in time to celebrate Alabama's Bicentennial and Old Cahawba's 200th birthday.
"We are proud that so much of Alabama's rich heritage is located right here in Dallas County," stated Sheryl Smedley, Executive Director of the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Information. "This is a great opportunity to celebrate some of Alabama's earliest history and to showcase local businesses."
Ala-Tom Resource, Conservation & Development presented The Cahaba Foundation with funds for the new gate project
Left to right: Jim Day, Chair of AHC Commission; Lisa D. Jones, Executive Director of AHC; Florence Young, President of The Cahaba Foundation;
State Representative Prince Chestnut; Sheryl Smedley, Executive Director of the Selma Dallas Chamber of Commerce; Menzo Driskell, Chairman of the Cahawba Advisory Committee; and
Marie Lowder of the Ala-Tom RC&D
Congratulations to Lee Sentell, this year's Wayne Greenhaw Service Award winner!
Lee Sentell, who was recently reappointed as Alabama Tourism Director by Governor Kay Ivey in January, was honored by the Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF) with the 2017 Wayne Greenhaw Service to the Humanities Award on Oct. 2 at the Alabama Colloquium at Birmingham's The Club.
The Greenhaw Service to the Humanities Award recognizes past and current board members who have given extraordinary service to the humanities in Alabama. It is named in the memory of Wayne Greenhaw, a former AHF board member who was a well-known author and historian in the state.
Sentell is past chair of Travel South USA, the nation's largest regional tourism marketing agency. He has served on the boards of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Alabama Historical Commission, Alabama State Council on the Arts, Alabama Humanities Foundation and Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
He is coordinating an effort by 12 Southern states to launch the U.S. Civil Rights Trail in early 2018.
Jim Day, Chairman of the AHC Commission, served as part of a core group to organize and create the Montevallo Historical Society.
The Society was created in part to commemorate the bicentennial of Montevallo.
"Our organizational team has been hard at work since February, and we had our organizational meeting on September 17," said Jim Day, President. "John Sledge provided the keynote address, discussing his new book,
These Rugged Days: Alabama in the Civil War. We had a great turnout for this event (approximately 80 people), and we hope to build on that momentum as we look ahead to regular quarterly meetings in 2018."
Places in Peril Program
Places in Peril, a joint program of the Alabama Trust for Historic
Preservation and the Alabama Historical Commission, annually recognizes Alabama's most endangered historic resources.
Each submission will be evaluated for its significance and threat. Please provide clear photographs of the site. Nominations will not be considered without at least one visual representation. Deadline for nominations: March 30, 2018.
Middle Bay Lighthouse Update
The Alabama Lighthouse Association, the Mobile Bar Pilots, and the Alabama Historical Commission are currently working together to continue repairs on
Middle Bay Lighthouse
The Mobile Bay Middle Lighthouse, located in Mobile Bay, began operations on December 1, 1885, and Mobilians could observe a white light with red flashes every 30 seconds out in the bay.
The facility was built on an iron undergirding, and both the tower and the hexagonal keeper's house it supported were patterned after lighthouses operating in Chesapeake Bay. The Mobile Bay Middle light used a Fourth Order lens, and when fog covered the bay, a bell sounded every five seconds as a fog signal. The lighthouse was automated in 1935 and deactivated in 1967.
After decades of neglect, the lighthouse underwent almost $350,000 in renovations under the guidance of the Alabama Historical Commission. The original iron tower and light were replaced with a modest pole topped by a solar-powered red light.
The Middle Bay Lighthouse now houses a
sensor array that takes air and water readings and feeds them to a website used by scientific, governmental and recreational users alike. The array is part of a network run by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and it recently won a grant worth nearly three quarters of a million dollars from NOAA's RESTORE Act Science Program. Read more here.
Black Heritage Council's 2017 Community Preservation Forum
In September the Black Heritage Council sponsored a Community Preservation Forum in Covington County to shine a spotlight on the African American historic places that are or were in Covington County and provide information to the communities on how to document, register, preserve and/or promote the African-American historic places in Covington County.
Clara Nobles, AHC Assistant Executive Director, and Sangernetta Bush, Black Heritage Council Member
On Friday, the Council was treated to a driving tour of sites in towns across the county including Andalusia, Florala, River Falls, and Lockhart. On the tour, the Council viewed African-American cemeteries, churches, schools, masonic lodges that are potentially eligible for the register individually and a few neighborhoods that could potentially be listed as historic districts. The highlight of the tour was lunch when the Council enjoyed a southern homestyle meal at African-American owned Amazing Grace Cafe in Dozier.
The Andalusia City Clerk presented Resolution to Frazine Taylor, Chair of the Black Heritage Council
On Saturday, the Council, with support from the City of Andalusia, Covington County Commission, African-American Heritage Society of Covington County and the Covington County Historical Society, held the Forum at the Woodson Learning Center. The location was formerly the Woodson High School, an African-American school that operated during segregation. After the school was integrated, it became the Andalusia Middle School and is now used as a community center and for after school programs. Nearly 30 Forum participants, including Council members and Alabama Historical Commission staff, attended the event. Participants came from as far away as Huntsville and Tuscaloosa.
Christopher Kinder, AHC
ALDOT Liaison/Architectural Historian, presented information during the Forum
Federal News f
rom the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers
Tax Reform and the Historic Tax Credit:
Republican leaders released a plan to overhaul the U.S. tax code that "envisions" the repeal of certain tax credits but does not specifically eliminate the Historic Tax Credit (HTC). Prospects for the plan becoming law are unclear. Furthermore, if Congress and President Trump are somehow able to produce a comprehensive tax plan, the final bill is likely to be very different from a blueprint that may be released next week.
"We are moving forward with a unified framework that paves the way for bold, transformational tax reform-tax reform that will bring more jobs, fairer taxes and bigger paychecks," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) told reporters. "We have a lot of work ahead. But this moment marks a major step forward in the process."
Republican lawmakers and President Trump proposed making sharp reductions in tax rates on businesses and many individuals. The framework sketches out a range of tax changes-including lower taxes on corporate profits, incentives for business investment, fewer and lower individual income tax brackets and the end of estate taxes-that Republicans say will boost economic growth and benefit middle-income families.
Although discussion of a massive infrastructure project bill has been overshadowed by the conversations about the Affordable Care Act and an overhaul of the tax code, it is still a possibility and therefore something that we are monitoring.
President Trump has promised that there will be a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. It is unclear when and how Congress will be able to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure package. President Trump's Fiscal Year 2018 Budget for the Department of Transportation included $200 billion for infrastructure projects that would be unable to generate private investment. President Trump has said the remainder of the $1 trillion in infrastructure spending he has promised would come from public private partnerships. On Tuesday, National Economic Council Chairman Gary Cohn told reporters that he continued to hope action on infrastructure would come this year but that it would "come on the heels of taxes."
Read more NCSHPO news
Fort Toulouse 300th Anniversary Celebration
On behalf of the Alabama Historical Commission, we invite you to
300th Anniversary Celebration.
This event will be observed on Saturday, November 4, 2017, during the annual Alabama Frontier Days. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., special activities will include the unveiling of markers outlining a portion of the original 1717 fort. Also, a short dramatic presentation will bring to life the moment French marines first met the Alabama Indians.
Using Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson Park as its historical backdrop, Alabama Frontier Days focuses on demonstrating frontier life in the southeast during the period 1700-1820. The public can experience this living history as frontier trades and crafts are demonstrated by living historians in period clothing. The event takes place over four days, November 1 to 4, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.
We look forward to seeing you at Fort Toulouse's 300th Anniversary Celebration!
Group Tour Magazine Advertisement
Be sure to check out the Alabama Historical Commission ad in the upcoming issue of Group Tour Magazine!
The ad highlights the diversity of the AHC properties and invites visitors to experience monthly educational events throughout the state.
The 2017 Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program
The 2017 Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit is a 25% refundable tax credit available for private homeowners and owners of commercial properties who substantially rehabilitate historic properties that are listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and be at least 60 years old. The tax credit provides jobs, increases the tax base, and revitalizes existing buildings and infrastructure, while preserving and rehabilitating Alabama's historic properties. See more facts about the program
Owners must complete a three-part application process. The AHC provides technical assistance on application procedures, appropriate rehabilitation work, and will visit properties as needed. The AHC will recommend qualifying projects to the Historic Tax Credit Evaluating Committee and if the project is approved by the committee, the AHC will reserve a tax credit allocation for the project, as long as credits are available.
Alabama Historical Commission 2018 Capital Enhancements Grant Program
The AHC is administering a $300,000 state-funded grant program for capital improvements at historic sites throughout Alabama. The time to submit applications has passed.
The AHC received over 100 applications requesting more than $4.1 million.
Alabama Historical Commission Gets New Roof
The Rice-Semple-Haardt House, built by local Judge Frederick Rice in 1855, was once located at the corner of Monroe and Ripleys Streets in downtown Montgomery. At the time it housed both the Alabama Historical
Commission and the Lurleen Wallace Memorial Museum.
In the 1990s the house was relocated to its current location at Court and High Streets to make room for the Retirement Systems of Alabama's building boom.
The house, which backs up to the famous Teague House, serves as an office of the Alabama Historical Commission. The buildi
ng was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
Alabama Men's Hall of Fame Inducts Horace King
In September the Alabama Men's Hall of Fame recognized the contributions of architect and master bridge builder Horace King with an induction ceremony in Birmingham.
The following are excerpts of remarks given at the event by Dr. Richard Bailey about Horace King at the Alabama Men's Hall of Fame luncheon:
Horace King was born near Cheraw, South Carolina, on September 8, 1807, and came to Alabama in 1832 with his owner, John Godwin. King was Godwin's construction foreman as they built the Dillingham Street Bridge, the first to connect Columbus, Georgia, and Girard (later Phenix City), Alabama.
||Lisa D. Jones, AHC Executive Director; The Honorable Bobby Junkins (former AHC Commissioner); Clara Nobles, AHC Assistant Executive Director
King built bridges for Senator Jemison in Lowndes County, Mississippi; Columbus, Mississippi; and the Tuscaloosa area of west Alabama. Jemison, who owned six plantations and more than five hundred slaves, said of King, "He has worked for me in bond and free. I have never dealt or settled with a more correct or honest man of any color."
During Reconstruction, the citizens of Russell County elected Horace King to the Alabama legislature in 1868 where he served two successive two-year terms.
In 1989, Horace King was inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame at the University of Alabama, a fitting tribute to his lasting memory. In February 2017, King's photo was placed on permanent display at the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. At the program at the State Capitol on February 21, retired University of Michigan history professor and author Dr. J. Mills Thornton said "(King's) story is as remarkable as any in American history. In Alabama history, it stands alone." In March 2017, the Mulberry Street Cemetery, where Horace King is buried, was rededicated.
Horace King was an emancipated slave; builder of homes, bridges, gristmills, courthouses, school houses, warehouses across the South; son, sibling, husband, father; benefactor; state lawmaker; and role model.
Morris Benners Jr., a great-great grandson of James Dolphin Moore Sr., attended the Induction Ceremony along with Alabama Historical Commission staff Executive Director Lisa Jones and Assistant Executive Director Clara Nobles as well as Black Heritage Council Chair Frazine Taylor and member Emma Jean Melton.
Left to right: Clara Nobles, AHC Assistant Executive Director; Lisa D. Jones, AHC Executive Director; Emma Jean Melton, Black Heritage Council Member; Frazine Taylor, Black Heritage Council Chair; Dr. Richard Bailey
Where in the State are AHC Staff?
AHC Staff Left to Right: Christopher Kinder,
ALDOT Liaison/Architectural Historian; Mary Shell, CLG Coordinator; Eric Sipes, Senior Archaeologist; and Collier Neeley, National Register Coordinator, attended the 2017 Your Town Workshop. It focuses on an important aspect of community spirit and community integrity: the process of design. The workshop aims specifically to introduce small town and rural technical assistance providers and decision makers to the role of design in community planning. It important to understand that everything is connected.
The Alabama Historical Commission
sponsored a training
seminar in Opelika
for Certified Local Government historic preservation programs. The day-long seminar featured speakers from the State Historic Preservation Office and Opelika's Historic Preservation Coordinator Lisa Thrift.
This is the third session sponsored by the AHC to train local officials on preservation guidelines and to recruit new municipalities to create their own historic districts. Several workshops covered topics like listing properties on both the National and Alabama Registries. Participants learned about ordering historical markers, tax incentives, and applying for grants.
Several AHC staff members participated
including Mary Shell, Community Services/Preservation Planner/CLG Coordinator,
Federal Tax Credits and Alabama
Ad Valorem Coordinator
, and Tryon McLaney, Contracts and Grants Specialist.
Collier Neeley, AHC National Register Coordinator
Happenings at #AHCsites
The Alabama Historical Commission honored General Joe Wheeler's birthday at Pond Spring, his home in North Alabama
Visitors were invited to sample cake made from a family recipe said to be the General's favorite. There was also a special giveaway made possible by the
Friends of the General Joe Wheeler Foundation.
re-enactors firing a working Civil War cannon and cavalry officers performing drills; watched folk artists such as a blacksmith demonstrate their skills; enjoyed a pit-fire cooking demonstration; viewed handmade quilts based on designs from the 1860s; and learned about bees and their ecosystem from representatives from the Tennessee Valley Beekeepers Association.
Left to right
: Clara Nobles, AHC Assistant Executive Director; Kara Long, Site Director of Pond Spring; Dr. Angelo Mancuso, Chair of the Friends of the General Joe Wheeler Foundation and former AHC Commissioner
In September hundreds of Shoals area citizens visited Belle Mont to honor Mary Carton upon her retirement after a 42-year long career in the field of medicine. Carton is well-known throughout the towns of Tuscumbia, Florence, Sheffield, and Muscle Shoals, where she has volunteered tirelessly throughout the years as a photographer of nature and community events. She promotes the area through social media and blogging for Grit Magazine. When Carton decided to retire, she told several friends, that she "had everything she needed" and did not want to receive gifts. She declared that instead of gifts for her she would like for Belle Mont to receive donations.
Mary grew up on a dairy farm located near the mansion. She had watched it go through periods of deterioration and restoration. Knowing that the home had on-going needs, she declared her retirement an opportunity to raise funds to support it. Mary's friends organized the party and prepared the food and decorations. The public was invited. The Wildwood Trio performed live music throughout the afternoon. A silent auction was held and a gift basket was raffled. A joyous occasion was enjoyed by all who came to celebrate with Mary, who declared that she was "humbled by the show of support." Belle Mont is grateful for the support of Mary Carton, a true "Friend of Belle Mont."
AHC Employee Update
In September Erma Dennis retired as the Museum Aide at
Confederate Memorial Park
(CMP). Erma was an exemp
lary employee. She served at CMP for twenty four years and will be missed. Other than running the gift shop and carrying out the daily administrative tasks, Erma greeted visitors to the museum every Saturday and Sunday.
She said in retirement she will get to go to church and do other things on the weekends that she has missed for so many years, plus spend more time spoiling her grandson.
Also in September, Cheryl Wilson came on board as a Park Worker at CMP.
Cheryl is an Alabama native who served four years in the U.S. Army as a Healthcare Specialist. She holds a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice
Investigative Forensics. Cheryl has three daughters and lives in Billingsley. She is a welcome addition to the museum staff.
appelle also began his duties in September at CMP. He is
Cultural Resources Coordinator and has already fit right in. Calvin is a native of Montgomery, Alabama. His fascination with the Civil War began with his father's interest in genealogy and a childhood trip to Fort Morgan, Alabama, where several of his ancestors were stationed.
Calvin graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2001 with a B.A. in Art History and received his M.A. in Museum Communications from the University of the Arts in 2005.
For over a decade he served as Executive Director for the Hazen Historical Museum Foundation, a private foundation that oversees two Civil War era sites in Knoxville, Tennessee; Mabry-Hazen House, built in 1858, and Knoxville's Confederate Cemetery, the final resting place of over 1,600 Confederate soldiers. Calvin also served as Heritage Tourism Coordinator for Visit Knoxville and as Chairman of the Knox County Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. His wife, Anna Chappelle, also has a background in historic sites. Their two sons, Quinn and Finis, have literally been raised in museums.
Archaeology Month Events
Museum Exhibit: For Home Country America's Entry into the War to End All Wars, September 26 -October 10, All day. Pearce Foyer 2d floor Gorgas Library, University of Alabama. Free Admission.
History Matters exhibit of the Dora Finley African-American Heritage Trail of Mobile at the Archaeology Museum, University of South Alabama, September 2017 to May 2018.
University of South Alabama Archaeology Museum, 6052 USA Drive South. Mobile, AL.
Moundville Indian Festival.
October 4-7, 9AM - 3:30PM.
Moundville Archaeological Park
, Moundville, AL. Admission is $12 for Adults, $10 for Students, $10 for Seniors.
2017 Annual Meeting for the Center for French Colonial Studies. October 6-8. University of South Alabama Center for Archaeological Studies and Hampton Inn & Suites Providence Park, Mobile. To register
St. Stephen's Bicentennial Celebration. October 7, 9:00 AM - 230 PM. St. Stephen's Historical Park.
2056 Old Saint Stephens Road, Saint Stephens, AL 36569. Admission:
$5 adults $2 students.
University of South Alabama 2017 Fall Lecture Series: Adrianne Sams Walker from the Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site on Life of the Enslaved at Arcadia Mill. October 9, 4:30PM. University of South Alabama Archaeology Museum, 6052 USA Drive South. Mobile, AL.
Hear the Dead Speak at Old Cahawba October 7, 10:00 - 11:00 am
Old Cahawba Archaeological Park, 9518 Cahaba Rd, Orrville, AL 36767.
FEES: $8 per person.
Free Artifact Identification Day
, Lee County Historic Society & The East Alabama Chapter of the Alabama Archaeological Society. October 14, 9:00AM to 12:00PM. Pioneer Park, Lochapoka. Highway.
Fort Morgan, Who Haunts the Fort? Known Deaths and Burials at Mobile Point.
October 18, 5:30 PM - 6:30PM
Fort Morgan State Historic Site Museum, 51 AL-180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542, USA.
Event Fee $12 per person.
University of South Alabama 2017 Fall Lecture Series: George Shorter, USA Center for Archaeological Studies on Old St. Stephens, Alabama's First State Capitol. October 19, 6:00 PM. University of South Alabama Archaeology Museum, 6052 USA Drive South. Mobile, AL.
Food for Thought; Christopher Haveman discussing Creek Indian Removal from Alabama. October 19, 12:00 PM. Joseph M. Farley Alabama Power Auditorium, Alabama Archives and History, 624 Washington Ave. Montgomery, AL.
International Archaeology Day Festival, October 21, 1:00 - 4:00 PM. Lowe Mill,
2211 Seminole Dr SW, Huntsville, AL.
AIA-North Alabama Society Public lecture series: Lynn Funkhouser, University of Alabama, discussing "Moundville Mortuary Program" October 21, 7:00 PM. University of Alabama Huntsville, Wilson Hall Room 168.
University of South Alabama Archaeology Museum International Archaeology Day Celebration, Saturday, October 21, 12PM-4PM.
University of South Alabama Archaeology Museum, 6052 USA Drive South. Mobile, AL.
Haunted History Tours of Old Cahawba October 21 & 28, 7:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Old Cahawba Archaeological Park, 9518 Cahaba Rd, Orrville, AL.
Fees: $20 per person
Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson French & Indian War and War of 1812 Encampment.
October 16, 9:00 AM -4:00 PM.
Fort Toulouse-Jackson Park, 2521 W Fort Toulouse Rd,
Wetumpka, AL 36093.
Admission: $2/adult & $1/child.
Birmingham Bicentennial Kickoff Concert featuring the Temptations Review. October 27, 8:00 PM.
Lyric Theatre, 1800 Third Ave. North. Tickets via Ticketmaster, priced at $28.50-$42.50, plus service charges.
Free Artifact Identification at Clarke County Pioneer Days and Antique Tractor Show. October 28, 9:00 AM - 2PM.
Clarke County Historical Museum
, 116 W. Cobb St. P O Box 388.
300th Anniversary of Fort Toulouse, November 4, 2017 will be celebrated during Alabama Frontier Days which is scheduled for
, November 1- 4, 9 - 4 PM.
Fort Toulouse-Jackson Park, 2521 W Fort Toulouse Rd, Wetumpka, AL 36093.
Admission charged: $8/adult and $7/child.
Happenings Around the State
Interested in hosting
A Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit from the Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF)? As part of the Alabama Bicentennial celebration, Alabama counties and communities are invited to host the exhibition. To host the exhibit please apply at
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