The Official E-Newsletter of the Alabama Historical Commission
Volume 6 Number 3
468 S Perry St, Montgomery, AL 36104   ( 334) 242-3184
In This Issue
Calendar of Events

See more events at
Download the 2019 event calendar here!
Guided tours are offered by appointment only, Monday - Friday at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00. Self-guided tours anytime Monday-Friday, no appointment needed. Guided Saturday Tours are offered at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00 (group reservation requested but not required).  Call Lisa Franklin,  Site Director, at  334-242-3188 for more information.
October 2-26
Belle Mont
Annual Quilt Show
October 2nd will begin our annual quilt show! The Mansion will be set up with around 50 displays of various quilts spanning a century. This exhibit will last until October 26th at 4pm. Each Friday beginning at 1pm, the public is invited to show off their special family heirlooms or interesting pieces at a Show-and-Tell. Regular museum admission will be charged.

  Learn more by calling 256-381-5052.  
November 2
If Bugs Could Talk Walking Tour
The Perine well at Old Cahawba was "a curiosity" and "worth a long ride to have a view of it" according to one of Cahawba's old newspapers. What made this well so unique? Find out the answer to this question and join us for this hands-on activity as we roll up our sleeves and immerse our hands into the warm waters of this world famous artesian well. Not only will we delve into the importance of artesian wells at Cahawba, but we will also investigate the bugs (macroinvertebrates) that live in the Perine well and interpret what they have to tell us about water quality.
Tickets are $8 per person.  
Learn more by calling 334-872-8058.  
November 6-9
Frontier Days
Experience one of the largest and most authentic living history events in Alabama! This snapshot of frontier life includes Creek Indians, French soldiers and their families, British traders who lived among the Creeks and American soldiers who fought in Andrew Jackson's army during the Creek War

Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for children (6-18 years old) and free for children under six. Vendors will be selling food onsite throughout the event.

School group reservations being accepted now! For more information contact Ove Jensen at or 334-567-3002.
November 16
Pond Spring: the Home of General Joe Wheeler
Holiday Wreath-Making Workshop 

This year, deck the halls with heirloom boxwood wreaths from historic Pond Spring. Create your own wreath in this limited availability workshop on Saturday, November 16 from 10am-12pm. Cost is $30 and is inclusive of wreath supplies and refreshments. Secure your spot today by calling 256-637-8513. Registration deadline is November 13. 
December 14
Alabama State Capitol
Alabama Day
On December 14th, there is only one place to be: Alabama's Capital City for the grand finale of Alabama's three-year bicentennial commemoration. This is sure to be the state's biggest birthday party-at least in our first 200 years! 

Alabama's State Capitol building will be center stage to the Bicentennial Park Dedication, parade, reenactors, concert, and more as we close the  state's bicentennial festivities  in Montgomery. Learn more about these events at  
In the News

See more news at
Community Forum in Decatur to Highlight Historic Preservation

Sunday is the 400th Anniversary of first Slave Ship's Arrival in Colonial America


July - September 2019 NEWS

From Wilderness to Statehood: 
Celebrating Cahawba 
Groundbreaking ceremony for the site of the statehouse ghost structure. Pictured left to right: Maj. Gen (ret.) Walter Givhan (AHC Chairman), Cahawba Advisory Committee representative Menzo Driskell, Florence Young with The Cahaba Foundation, and Lisa Jones, Executive Director, Alabama Historical Commission. 

The AHC, in collaboration with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, the Cahaba Foundation, and the Cahawba Advisory Committee, honored Alabama's first permanent capital with  From Wilderness to Statehood: Celebrating Old Cahawba .  

Secretary of State John Merrill
Cahawba holds many secrets like Alabama's first Statehouse, a nearly two centuries-old mystery until AHC archaeologists uncovered the foundation remnants. To commemorate the bicentennial, a ghost structure - a steel outline representing the original statehouse - will be erected on site and serve as a trail head pavilion for a new, multi-use trail funded through a grant from ADECA. Elected officials and dignitaries were on hand for the ghost structure groundbreaking ceremony. 

The perfect pairing of living history and Statehouse excavation made for terrific way to  kick start  Alabama Archaeology Month!

We were proud to premiere a new orientation video at the event. This exciting addition to the interpretation of  Old Cahawba utilizes current footage, historic images, and architectural renderings to give visitors a glimpse of Cahawba as it was, and help visitors link the relic landscape to the history of the site.

Brian Mast as Governor William Wyatt Bibb
Other activities occurred throughout the day including appearances of notable Cahawba residents like first Governor William Wyatt Bibb and social activist Sara J. Hatcher Duncan (by way of 

reenactors), l ive music was provided by Grammy Award-winner Karren Pell and the Old Alabama Town Revue Crue, the Selma Soul Singers, and School of Discovery Choir.  R epresentatives from the UA Office of Archaeological Research were on site to discuss the cultural resources survey conducted in 2016 and current cemetery restoration. 

We were thrilled to have more than 300 students from area schools joining us for the event. Thank you for celebrating Cahawba with us Salem Elementary School, Selma's School of Discovery and student guides from Selma High School! 

Thank you to the many partner organizations and volunteers who were present for the event! 
Students enjoying a wagon tour of Old Cahawba with Assistant Site Director Jonathan Matthews. 
Save the Date: Alabama Frontier Days 2019

AHC Files Admiralty Claim
Updates on the  Clotilda 
Original  Clotilda artwork by National Geographic 

On Friday, July 26, the Alabama Historical Commission filed an Admiralty Claim in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in Mobile as part of an ongoing and long-term protection and preservation plan for the  Clotilda, the last-known slave ship in the United States. 
AHC is charged with protecting, preserving and interpreting Alabama's historic places. This charge also includes abandoned shipwrecks, or the remains of those ships, and all underwater archaeological  artifacts embedded in or on lands belonging to the State of Alabama. This mandate is set forth in the Abandoned Shipwrecks Act and the Alabama Underwater Cultural Resources Act.
Pursing an Admiralty Claim is an appropriate course of action and protocol for abandoned wrecks embedded in state waters. AHC is following the lead of other states with similarly high-profile artifacts like Atocha and Titanic. 
In June, AHC contracted with Burr and Foreman, a Mobile-based law firm specializing in maritime law, for assistance in securing every available legal tool to aid in the protection and preservation of the Clotilda. The Attorney General of Alabama deputized Burr and Foreman partner, John Kavanaugh, to act on behalf of the AHC.
"When significant historical shipwrecks are located, it is common practice to seek the federal court's assistance to preserve and protect the vessel," said Kavanaugh, attorney for AHC. "The Federal Court has the authority to issue all necessary and appropriate orders so that work on the site and further preservation efforts can continue without delay." 
Through the Federal Court's maritime jurisdiction, a key benefit of pursuing an Admiralty Claim involves the retrieval of any artifacts that have been taken from the Clotilda. This authority is a strategic effort to also prevent against future attempts of "salvagers" who may defame the ship, or its artifacts, by taking from it.
Once an Admiralty Claim is set forth, any invested parties who may claim ownership are asked to come forward immediately, which then leads to an open forum through the court so that all vested entities have a voice and can be heard in an orderly fashion. The court's proceedings are a matter of public record so, all interested parties have access and can see what's being done. The result is to ensure that the Clotilda remains a publicly-owned resource of the State of Alabama.
AHC is charged with ensuring this tremendously important archaeological find is preserved and protected for Africatown and our nation. It carries a story and an obligation to meet every opportunity to plan for its safeguarding. AHC is laying the groundwork for ongoing efforts to not only ensure the Clotilda's immediate assessment, but to also establish pathways for its longevity.
Pursuant to the claimant process, the official "Notice of Action in rem and Arrest of Vessel" was published for three consecutive weeks in the  Lagniappe , beginning August 16, 2019. Potential plaintiffs were advised to file any claim with the court no later than 14 days after the final publication of the notice, which would have been Friday, September 13, 2019. 
Since no claims were filed within the allotted timeframe, the AHC will file a motion to effectively default any potential claimants. Following this action, the AHC will prepare and file a motion seeking a final order from the Court to confirm the State of Alabama's ownership of the vessel so that the State can exercise all rights associated with ownership.
AHC is partnering very closely with federal, state, and local officials and agencies throughout these processes and phases.
In the next phases of work and excavation, t he Alabama Historical Commission, will again act in concert with the Africatown community, National Geographic Society, Black Heritage Council, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC), the Slave Wrecks Project (SWP), SEARCH, Inc., Diving with a Purpose (DWP), Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the National Park Service (NPS), and Mobile County.
These collaborations and efforts are in place for continued further phases of exploration, excavation, and documentation as a blanket of protection for the Clotilda - all in accordance with appropriate maritime archaeological  protocols, carried out by licensed contractors specializing in such endeavors. Most immediately, AHC and partners will assess the condition and integrity of the ship, which will enable further excavation.

AHC will be sharing information about this project as changes occur. Look for additional updates in future newsletters. 
AHC Awarded National Park Service Grant     
The Alabama Historical Commission (AHC), the State Historic Preservation Office, is the recipient of two National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grants. In total, AHC was awarded $550,000 of NPS funds for the Freedom Rides Museum. United States Congresswoman Terri Sewell announced the National Park Service (NPS) has recently awarded $3.396 million to fund the preservation of ten civil rights preservation projects in Alabama's 7th Congressional District.
"The Alabama Historical Commission has received two grants from the African American Civil Rights Grant Program, funds specifically enabling AHC to preserve and highlight the saga of the 1961 Freedom Rides as they occurred in Montgomery," said Lisa D. Jones, Executive Director, Alabama Historical Commission. "The first is a $500,000 grant for the second phase of a rehabilitation effort for the Moore Building, the structure across from the historic Greyhound Bus Station that witnessed this campaign of the Civil Rights Movement. The second award is a $50,000 grant that will be used by the Freedom Rides Museum for exhibit planning as they reimagine the interpretive space within the complex." Jones continued, "We are deeply appreciative of Congresswoman Sewell's dedication to our state and her ongoing efforts to illuminate the world-changing history made here in Alabama."

AHC Awarded National Trust Grant  
for African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund    
As it commemorates its 35th  anniversary, the AHC's Black Heritage Council (BHC) received a $50,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation through the Cultural Heritage Action Fund. Created in 1984, the BHC was the first statewide volunteer African-American preservation advocacy group organized in the nation. It plays a key role in assisting communities in documenting, interpreting, preserving and promoting African-American historic places in Alabama. The funded project is "Plan 2025 - Strengthening Alabama's Black Heritage Council's Advocacy and Outreach through Training and Development of a Five-Year Strategic Plan." The purpose of this project is to assist the Council in increasing its capacity for ongoing preservation activities, developing new initiatives, expanding its outreach, and cultivating increased involvement by African-Americans in grassroots preservation and in the profession.

National Day of Healing
From Jamestown to Africatown 

From Jamestown to Africatown Day of Healing Event, August 25, 2019                                                                               Photo by Lawrence Specker

On Sunday, August 25, communities and organizations across the nation hosted commemorative "Day of Healing" events recognizing the 400 years since the first arrival of enslaved Africans to colonial Jamestown, Virginia.
Though remembrances across the country showcased unique elements, there was an important unifying component for all - a nationwide bell ringing. To honor enslaved African ancestors and their descendants whose forced labor contributed to the establishment of the United Sates, bells rang across the nation beginning at 3:00pm eastern for four minutes representing four hundred years.
August 20, 2019 marked 400 years since the first enslaved Africans were forcibly migrated to Point Comfort in colonial Virginia.  The White Lion,  an English ship, reported "20 and odd" individuals were sold in exchange for food with the remaining transported to Jamestown and sold into slavery. These enslaved persons were the workforce behind the establishment of the first permanent English colony in North America.
The Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project release stated, "The landing of enslaved Africans at Point  Comfort and the various Middle Passage locations was a link in a chain of profound events that shaped the United States,  yet this history is not widely known or appreciated. Commemorating that history honors the lives of these African people  and their descendants, acknowledges their sacrifices, determination, and contributions, and encourages a re-shaping of the  history with a more honest and inclusive telling of the story that will continue to unfold and inform."

The Alabama State Capitol, a historic property of the AHC, participated in the bell ringing in Montgomery. AHC staff and Black Heritage Council members attended the commemoration in Africatown. 
2020 Historic Site Grants to be Awarded in October

The Alabama Historical Commission's 2020 Grant Program was very successful. More than $2 Million dollars were requested from the $900,000 appropriated funds.

Grant notifications began going out in October. Thank you to all who applied and are securing Alabama's culture through on going historic preservation efforts!
AHC's $900,000 state-funded Grant Program for historic sites was made possible with funds appropriated by the Alabama Legislature in the 2020 Fiscal Year (October 1, 2019 - September 30, 2020). Thank you Legislature!

New Staff at the AHC 
A HC is delighted to welcome a few new additions to the agency!   

Calvin Chappelle, Site Director, Confederate Memorial Park 
Calvin Chappelle previously served as Assistant Site Director at Confederate Memorial Park for nearly two years. He holds a Bachelors degree in Art History from the University of Tennessee and a Masters degree in Museum Studies from the University of the Arts.  
Prior to his position at Confederate Memorial Park, he served as Executive Director for a private foundation that oversees Mabry-Hazen House and Knoxville's Confederate Cemetery, the final resting place of over 1,600 Confederate soldiers. While in Knoxville, he also served as Heritage Tourism Coordinator for Visit Knoxville and as Chairman of the Knox County Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. 

His fascination with the Civil War began with his father's interest in genealogy and a childhood trip to Fort Morgan State Historic Site where three of his ancestors served in the 21st Alabama Infantry. Chappelle brings 18 years of museum experience to Confederate Memorial Park. We look forward to his leadership in the years to come.

Aaliyah Copeland, Main Office, Accounting   

Aaliyah Copeland from Camp Hill, AL joins AHC as an Accountant. She is a recent graduate from Auburn University at Montgomery with a BA in Business Administration and an alumnus of Southern Union State Community College.  In her free time, she loves to travel and go on new adventures with her five year-old son. Aaliyah's favorite thing about traveling? "I can say that I gained something from every trip that I have been on."  A former colleague once told her, "there are no losses in traveling, only gains," which Aaliyah is learning to be very true. We're glad you're here, Aaliyah - we hope AHC is your favorite adventure! 

Paije Rupinen, Account Clerk, Main Office 
Paije Rupinen may look a little familiar to some of you. She was on staff at AHC nearly 20 years ago in 2000.  Since her first time at AHC, she has  been a full time Mom for the last ten years to Grace (15) and Mary Pat (10) in Prattville. She's thrilled to rejoin the workforce, and says she's happy to be back at AHC! Welcome back, Paije! 

Thank You For Your Service! 

Two long-time staff members have recently announced their retirement. Each of these outstanding individuals spent more than three decades in state service! 

Bill Rambo began his retirement on July 1 after service as Site Director at Confederate Memorial Park. 

Mary Shell,  Preservation Planner and CLG Coordinator, announced she would be retiring on October 1. 

We appreciate their time, loyalty, and talents and wish them well on their future! 

Black Heritage Council Welcomes New Members    
Please join us in welcoming the Black Heritage Council's two newest members, Kwesi Daniels and Ethel Alexander.
Kwesi Daniels will work with constituents in Alabama's 3rd Congressional District to advise and support African American preservation projects. Prof. Daniels is Assistant Professor and Department Head of Tuskegee University's Department of Architecture. His expertise in historic preservation, sustainable building, and Rosenwald School projects will be a valuable addition to the Black Heritage Council.
Ethel Alexander will serve as the Council's Representative for Congressional District 4, providing guidance to African American preservation projects in the essential region between Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, and Birmingham. After years in the state's public school system, Alexander has been highly involved in genealogy and documentation efforts of African American families and communities in Alabama. We thank her for sharing her commitment and drive with the Black Heritage Council.

Normal Historic District Receives Idella Childs Award

The Normal Historic District Preservation Association was awarded the 2019 Idella Childs Award. Each year, the BHC recognizes outstanding preservation projects that highlight Alabama's African-American history and culture. The award's namesake, the late Idella Childs established an enviable record as a preservationist of Alabama's black landmarks.
In concordance with the legacy set forth by Idella Childs, the Normal Historic District Preservation Association was instrumental in bringing high-level recognition to Alabama A & M University and surrounding community. The assembly is to be commended for their work and support of the production of the AAMU Heritage Development Plan, sponsorship of the May Preservation Month in Huntsville, and enlisting the newly-discovered Meridianville Bottom Rosenwald School site on State Landmark Register.
The Normal Historic District Preservation Association joins a world-class assembly of those whose leadership and vision have guided efforts to protect our state's cultural treasures. 
Alabama Department of Tourism Presents
 Carter Center with Civil Rights Trail Book 
Our hats are off to Alabama Historical Commission Commissioner and  Alabama Tourism Director Lee Sentell who recently had an opportunity to meet with President Jimmy Carter and Ambassador Andy Young.  During this extraordinary day, Lee  presented the Carter Center with a copy the Civil Rights Trail Book. Lee  Sentell and the Alabama Department of Tourism have been leading the nation on their work to showcase the key historic sites of the Civil Rights movement. Through their work, a consortium of state tourism offices have banded together to support the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, of which AHC Sites Alabama State Capitol and Freedom Rights Museum are a part.  

Walk in the footsteps of the foot soldiers who worked for equality for all. Experience the Civil Movement by visiting more than 100 locations across 15 states. Click here to learn more about the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. 

AHC is Hiring!  
Join a dynamic team of historic preservationists at the Alabama Historical Commission!  Current openings include National Register Coordinator, Section 106 Architectural Reviewer, Freedom Rides Museum Coordinator, and State Tax Credit Coordinator.  There are also a number of direct hire positions available including  a 

-Capitol Tour Guide

-Clerical Aide for BHC 

-Freedom Rides Museum Guide

As Alabama's State Historic Preservation Office, the staff of the Alabama Historical Commission works to preserve, protect, and interpret Alabama's historic places. By working with other state and federal agencies, local communities, and interested citizens, the AHC seeks to  build a greater awareness of Alabama's past and to encourage the long-term preservation of Alabama's significant cultural resources. Through its various programs the AHC strives to show how historic resources contribute to the heritage, economy, and quality of life of all Alabamians.
To apply, visit Search for Cultural Resource Specialist-Architectural History; Cultural Resource Specialist-History; Cultural Resource Coordinator; Cultural Resource Coordinator, Senior. You may apply for more than one classification depending on education and experience. To apply for a direct hire position, fill out a state application and send to Clara Nobles, Assistant Director, at 468 South Perry Street Montgomery, AL 36130. 

Hezekiah Watkins, Youngest Freedom Rider  
Visits Freedom Rides Museum
 and Montgomery School Children    
Hezekiah Watkins visits with students from Valiant Cross Academy at the Freedom Rides Museum.
Hezekiah Watkins was on summer break between 8th and 9th grade when he was pushed into history, becoming the youngest person arrested during the 1961 Freedom Rides. Five days inside a Mississippi death row cell transformed him from a comic book-loving kid into a lifelong activist.

On Saturday, September 14, Watkins was at The Freedom Rides Museum to share insights from his new memoir, Pushing Forward. Visitors heard his moving story and learned more about youth activism in 1960s Mississippi. 
As part of his visit to Montgomery, Watkins met with area school children, hoping to  inspire the next generation of 13-year-olds set to change history. 
General Joe Wheeler Birthday Celebration  
New interpretive signs at Pond Spring made possible by a grant from the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area

Lucy LeGrande Walser, Great Granddaughter of General Joe Wheeler, with Pond Spring Site Director Bruce Lipscombe
The Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) and Pond Spring: The Home of General Joe Wheeler celebrated General Joe Wheeler's birthday in style. The historic Wheeler home hosted the annual event on Saturday, September 14. Site Director Bruce Lipscombe partnered with a number of local organizations to create a full festive atmosphere in honor of what would have been the General's 183rd birthday.
This year's celebration came  with a few new surprises, including a classic car show sponsored by the Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department.  Patrons also enjoyed a dulcimer concert by the Sweet Tones, birthday cake from a Wheeler family recipe (sponsored by the United Daughters of the Confederacy), watermelon (sponsored by Lawrence County Historic Society), flag exhibit presentation, and ongoing house tours, camp reenactment, food, drinks (sponsored by Pepsi), and continuous blacksmith exhibitions.

Sadie Watson (9 months). Two of her ancestors served under General Wheeler during the Civil War.
We wish to recognize and extend gratitude to the many collaborators who made this event possible: Decatur Daughters of the Confederacy, Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department, J.K. McBride Camp SCV, Joe Wheeler - AL Wing of Civil Air Patrol from Hartselle High School, Lawrence County Historical Society, Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area, Winston County Greys Camp SCV, Pepsi of Decatur, and Tennessee Valley Bee Keepers.  

Special appreciation goes to Mr. David Sims of Joe Wheeler EMC; his crews worked closely with staff of Pond Spring: the General Joe Wheeler Home to clear trees from the property. They ensured the continued safety of historic structures as well as power lines.  Joe Wheeler EMC is truly invested in being a preservation partner.  We are deeply moved by their dedication to and support of this jewel of Lawrence County's heritage and history.  Thank you all!

On October 19, Friends of the General Joe Wheeler Home Foundation past president, Morris Mitchell passed away after a prolonged period of health issues. AHC is grateful to Morris' involvement and support for Pond Spring. Peace be with you, Morris. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and loved ones in the time to come. 
Fort Mims Living History Days
Reenactors at Fort Mims annual living history event

Reenactors at Fort Mims annual living history event
The annual Fort Mims Living History and Reenactment event was held on Saturday and Sunday, August 24th and 25th at Fort Mims State Park and hosted by the Fort Mims Fort Mims Restoration Association led by president, Claudia Campbell. Donnie Barrett, curator of the Fairhope Museum, once again, served as master of ceremonies. In addition to living history, memorials, and battle reenactments, there were educational talks. Botanist Fred Nations spoke about historic and medicinal plants. Historian Mike Bunn of Historic Blakeley State Park, spoke about the Tensaw Country and Fort Mims. Historian and reenactor Farris Powell, spoke about the Creek Indians. Finally, reenactor Wesley Odom gave a lecture about circuit riders and religion in the early 19th centry and also performed a pioneer church service on Sunday morning. The event was well attended by both descendants and the interested public.
Confederate Memorial Park Hosts Living History Event -  'Cooking with Commissary' 
Have you ever wondered what it takes to feed an army? The final 2019 living history event at Confederate Memorial Park was able to help answer that question. Living historians presented demonstrations about food preparation and transportation during the Civil War at "Cooking with Commissary" on Saturday, October 19, from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. 
Throughout the day, living historians occupied the authentic reproduction barracks at Confederate Memorial Park discussing the roles of commissary and cooks.
The next living history event will occur on April 24-25, 2020 with the annual Civil War Living History and Saturday Skirmish. 
Heritage Days at Gaineswood 
Last week, Gaineswood National Historic Landmark hosted their annual Heritage Days event where students learn local history and experience 19th Century life interactively. We always love seeing the young people of Alabama enjoying historic places! 
October is Archaeology Month in Alabama
It's Alabama Archaeology Month! Every October we celebrate the stories written in the soil by dedicating a month to all things archaeology! This annual commemoration celebrates cultural heritage as revealed through the archaeology of both prehistoric and historic eras. 

This year we honor the state's first permanent capital at Cahawba, now known as Old Cahawba Archaeological Park, a historic property of the Alabama Historical Commission. 

You can dig in, too, with our friends and partners across the state, each with a variety of programs, exhibits, hands-on activities, and tours at parks, museums, universities, libraries, and elsewhere. 

Learn more about AHC archaeology programs at  

More opportunities to learn about Alabama History and archaeology in October can be found at the following links:

Thank you to the Alabama Bicentennial Commission for sponsoring this year's poster! 
All Over the State with AHC Outreach
It has been a busy summer of outreach for AHC. From home school expos to the  Girl Scout Summit, site directors and staff have been on hand for a number of events reaching history enthusiasts of all ages. 

Site Directors participated in many Alabama History Day Teacher Workshops with our partners at the Alabama Humanities Foundation at teacher events in Montgomery, Livingston, Mobile, Birmingham, and Huntsville. These workshops are structured to assist educators in identifying state history resources, streamlining student project subjects, and increasing knowledge of primary sources. 

We joined our friends and compatriots in the tourism industry at the Alabama Governor's Conference on Tourism in Huntsville as an exhibitor.

AHC also exhibited at the Governor's 3rd Annual Job Fair for People with Disabilities. 
Vote for Monroe County Courthouse! 
Cast your vote and pitch in to make an impact on a major historic preservation project! Please click below to vote for the  Monroe County Courthouse in the Partners in Preservation effort to preserve those historic places that celebrate the contributions of women in Main Street Communities across America. You can vote up to 5 times a day!

New Properties Listed to Alabama Register 

Trinity Lutheran Church and Parsonage - Montgomery County

Montgomery's Trinity Lutheran Church and Parsonage was constructed circa 1948. This was the home church of Rosa Parks and where many NAACP meetings were held here during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Rev. Robert Graetz' first full-time job as pastor was to a black congregation here at Trinity Lutheran Church, in Montgomery in 1955. A personal friend of Rosa Parks, Graetz became Secretary of the Montgomery Improvement Association, the organization founded to organize and support the boycott. Graetz' support of the movement included appearing at meetings led by Martin Luther King Jr. For his support of the boycott, Graetz and his family were ostracized by other whites and suffered several episodes of harassment, including tire slashings, arrest, and bombings. 

Fourth Aviation Squadron Historic District - Montgomery County

The Fourth Aviation Squadron Historic District was constructed in 1942. This was the first location where an African-American segregated military unit was stationed in Alabama prior to World War II. Once activated in June 1941, the mission of the 4th Aviation Squadron was to provide security to Maxwell Field. Initially, the squadron lived in tents and were assigned support roles like janitors, truck drivers, chauffeurs, foot messengers, and mess hall attendants. In May 1943, to ensure troop segregation, base leadership constructed a separate post exchange and movie theater, along with six other barracks, bringing the total number of buildings to 13. 
In August 1944, Secretary Stimson directed the end of all segregated recreational facilities and transportation, bringing about another step forward towards equality for the Squadron.   The 4th Aviation Squadron was eventually deactivated, which ultimately led to the full desegregation of Maxwell AFB. While the 1943 structures have all been razed, the original six buildings of the African-American Barracks constructed in 1942 are still intact and have significant historical value to both the history of the U.S. Air Force and to the City of Montgomery.

Camden Academy - Wilcox County
Camden Academy first opened its doors in 1895. From 1935 to 1965 several buildings were constructed to meet the needs of the school. A new girls' dormitory, principal's home, industrial arts building, and new main brick high school building was constructed. Of the original campus, only the main high school building, which contained administrative offices, classrooms, and a library still stands. The main high school building was constructed in 1965 and is currently used by J. E. Hobbs Elementary School. School alumni recall Rev. Thomas L. Threadgill (the school's resident Presbyterian pastor) as the chaplain and teacher who supported their civil rights demonstrations. Community leaders consider Rev. Threadgill and his daughter, Sheryl Threadgill-Matthews, among the local leaders. Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. visited the campus often to meet with Rev. Threadgill and encouraged him and the students in their nonviolent demonstrations. Rev. Threadgill further risked his position by allowing white civil rights workers to stay in campus dormitories during the SCLC Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) Voting Rights Project of 1965. In August of 1965, just prior to the start of the school year, the Wilcox County Board of Education started legal proceedings to condemn Camden Academy High School.
In December of 1965, the school board agreed to purchase the school property, known as Camden Academy, from the Board of National Missions of the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America for $40,000.00.  This included 40 acres of land, all school buildings, and the parsonage where Rev. Threadgill and his family lived.  Before Christmas, a letter from the county school superintendent was sent to Rev. Threadgill informing him that he must vacate the parsonage on campus by January 1, 1966. Only the Threadgill family and civil rights workers were evicted. This, however, did not slow down the movement. The campus chapel was a center for student inspiration and moral development. In retribution for the Threadgill family activism, the chapel and parsonage were condemned and destroyed in early 1966. By 1975 the school board had destroyed every wooden building on this historic activist campus and closed the school.

Colvin Plantation Home - Greene County
The Colvin Plantation Home, c. 1832, sits on property originally purchased by Abraham McGehee in 1830. The property was purchased in 1832 by William Colvin, a Revolutionary War Veteran from South Carolina. Mr. Colvin died on July 1835, leaving the property to his wife, Martha Colvin. After Mrs. Colvin, t he property was purchased 1870 - 1872 by Esmal Bambarger, a German immigrant, who arrived to the country on August 4, 1840. In the 1960's, Robert L. Hicks purchase The Colvin Plantation Home from Gulf State in 1960's and moved it a block away to his property where it stands now.

Pinkie Freemon Estate - Crenshaw County
 The home was constructed in 1925 by William Freemon and Pinkie Canty Freemon with the help of his son's and other family members. The home consists of 2 bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, living room area with a fireplace, dining room area, and a screened in back porch.  

There was also an outhouse, a barn, and a smoke house. There were over 120 acres of land on which he farmed corn, peas, sugar cane, cotton, peanuts, sweet potatoes, greens, watermelons and potatoes and raised livestock. After their deaths, Mr. and Mrs. Freemon left the home to their children who, after some time, equally divided the land. The home itself and the one acre of land surrounding were named as the Pinkie Freemon Estate in 1975.  This was done in order for the home to be a reminder of the history and legacy of the Freemon family. To date, the home's interior and exterior have been maintained in original condition.  Presently, the family is undertaking the task of restoring the outer exterior of the home in order to keep it preserved.  There will also be some minor work done inside with regards to the plumbing and minor painting. The owners was working to maintain much of the home's original state in order to maintain its history.

Full Gospel Fellowship Church - Jefferson County
Full Gospel Fellowship Church was originally known as Bradford United Methodist Church.  Bradford UMC was organized on October 11, 1907 by Rev. George W. Alley and others in the Community. In 1920, property was purchased for a new church and construction began. This church was built on the existing church site and was completed in 1923. Full Gospel Fellowship Church acquired the property in 1999 after it had been vacant for five years. The church remains active in the community through their women's and men's ministry, youth ministry, care and media ministry.

Ivy Creek Methodist Church and Cemetery - Autauga County

Ivy Creek Methodist Churchwas c onstructed in 1854. $800 was originally secured to initiate the build with a total building cost of $2,800. The original hand-hewn pews, heart pine floor, wainscoting, windows, and porch columns are still in excellent condition. The pulpit area and altar rail were added in the mid-1870s. A divider runs down the center of the middle pews that was originally used to separate the men and women.

Although no markers or records exist for a few of the earliest grave sites, there are graves in the church cemetery dating back to 1829. The oldest marked grave is for Susan Gordon, age 23, September 3, 1829. The second oldest dated September 13, 1829 is for Francis Calloway Gordon, Susan's son, age 2 years, 7 months, 23 days. The historical and architectural significance of this church was recognized in 1934 when the U.S. Department of the Interior's Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) photographed the church as part of its reconnaissance of early American architecture. These photos are preserved in the Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Mother Mary Mission - Russell County

Mother Mary Mission school was started in 1939 when Father Harold Purcell appealed to the Vincentian Sisters of Charity of Pittsburgh to send Sisters to teach and work among the African-American people of Alabama. In 1941, the Mother Mary Mission was entrusted into the care of the Society of the Divine Savior. The Mission originally started in a wooden structure which housed the Sisters and served as classrooms to 67 students. The Mission also ran a health and dental clinic during the daytime hours. Mother Mary had the first gym in the area open to African Americans, which served as the school cafeteria and a community multipurpose room for events like singing conventions, a movie theater, skating rink, and athletic activities. The school continued to be a beacon in the African American community until it was school closed in 2012 with the the church following suit in 2014. In 2016 a non-profit group was established to continue the charitable work in the community for which Mother May Mission was originally established.

Orville Estes Field - Cherokee County
Orville Estes Field is located at the site of the first Cherokee County High School in Centre, Alabama which dates back to the 1930's. Until circa 1940, the school did not have its own football stadium. At that time, a group of local citizens determined that the time was right to erect a football stadium and made a plan to employ an engineering firm to work out details and submit plans for construction of a football stadium at Cherokee County High School. It was decided to use Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) labor and funds. The stadium was completed in 1942 at a total cost of $37,000. The stone was brought in for the project from nearby Lookout Mountain. The entrance to the stadium is also crafted of stone and mortar with two areas that were used for ticket sales and concessions. Prior to 1948, the stadium was simply known as the Centre High School football stadium. However, on September 15, 1948, the Cherokee County Board of Education passed a resolution renaming the field in honor of Sgt. Orville Edwin Estes who was killed in action on April 12, 1945 in Germany during World War II. Sgt. Estes was the only former Cherokee County High School football player killed in World War II. The stadium was officially designated as Estes Field on November 17, 1948 during half time of a game between Centre and Collinsville High Schools. 

St. John AME Church - Madison County

St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church in Huntsville was organized by Dr. William Hooper Councill and others in 1885. The first church services were held in a barber shop on the corner of Miller and West Holmes Street s. Dr. Councill was ordained an elder in the A.M.E. Church. In addition to organizing St. John and serving as the first Pastor, Dr. Councill was also the founder and one of the most distinguished presidents of Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. Though the church has been located in three different sites in downtown Huntsville, it has always had a presence on Church Street. The first location on Miller Street no longer exists and the second location is now occupied by WHNT TV. In 1971 the church moved into a newly erected facility at 229 Church Street. The church is involved in many community events such as NAACP meetings and programs, inaugural prayer service for the President of the City Council of Huntsville, graduation for the Phoenix Program, Greater Huntsville Interdenominational Ministerial Fellowship and Interdenominational Ministerial Spouses Association services, voter registration, Alabama Democratic Conference meetings, Race Unity Programs, and the origination point for the NAACP Annual Martin Luther King Jr. March.

The Roberts Home - Calhoun County

The Roberts Home  "Night In The Museum" Hotel is located at 75 Southern Boulevard in Piedmont, Alabama. Mr. J.E. Roberts bought the Daily-McCollister-McKee-Cooke-Cook House at 212 West Ladiga Street in 1905. James Edward and Ella Braswell Roberts lived there with their seven childre. Miss Ruby Roberts was the last Roberts heir and remained in the historical Roberts Home till her death on August 4, 1999. Ms. Roberts left the home to the First Baptist Church with the stipulation that it not be moved or torn down until 25 years after her death.

 The Piedmont First Baptist Church used the home for Sunday School Classes, teas, showers, meetings and other events and activities till 2013 when the home was shuttered. The Piedmont First Baptist Church voted in February 2015 for a scheduled dateline to tear down the Historic Roberts Home to make way for an extended parking lot to meet the church's growth. The Piedmont Historical Society became actively involved to save and relocate one of Piedmont's oldest historical homes. Concerned citizens organized the Roberts Home Preservation Project called "Saving Miss Leola & Miss Ruby's Home" for a future Piedmont Historical Society Museum, Meeting Center, and Hotel. The Piedmont Historical Society kept Miss Ruby Roberts home from being tom down and now retains ownership of the property. The Roberts Home was moved and relocated on October 11, 2016 to its new location. 

O'Neal Lime Works Kilns - Shelby County

The O'Neal Lime Works Kilns, constructed in 1880 and 1895, are comprised of two lime kilns, one made of limestone and one made of brick.  There are among only a small collection of documented historic lime kilns still in existence. 
The O'Neal Lime Work Kilns played a crucial role in the late-19th century lime industry in Shelby County. Lime manufacturing became a major local industry in the years immediately following the Civil War. By 1872, there were at least four lime works operations in the state, three of which were located in Shelby County. The O'Neal Lime Works was established 8 years later in 1880. Calera became a center for lime production in the state during the Civil War. The community had several names including Limeville, Lime Kilns, Lime City, and Lime Station before eventually adopting the name Calera, which is the Spanish word for lime quarry. In 1922, the Alabama Lime Company announced it would build a $350,000 building in Birmingham. While these kilns are no longer in use, the O'Neal Lime Plant down the road is still in operation. 

The Berry House - DeKalb Count y
Berry College founder, Martha Berry was born in DeKalb County, Alabama on October 7, 1865 in a home constructed circa 1800. Her family moved Rome, Georgia while Martha was still in infancy where she lived for the rest of her life; however, the family retained this residence as a vacation home. After rising to prominence, Ms. Berry became an accomplished fundraiser through her efforts to raise financial support for her schools.  Martha Berry is rumored to have entertained many prominent figures in her Alabama home, including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Eugenia Maria De Montijo De Guzman who was the wife of Napolean III and empress of France from 1853-1870

One of the unique features of the house is an engraving on one of the fireplaces of the Berry trademark that reads, "Kindle Friendship." The home underwent some alterations in the 1980s-1990s, and the property also includes a storage building and a well house.

The Hot Spot - Lawrence County
Amos Taylor constructed this "Mom and Pop" grocery store in 1945 to serve the African-American community. It became as much of a community gathering place as it was a grocery store. In 1971, the property was sold to William Jackson and his wife. Mrs. Jackson was well respected in Lawrence County as an educator, civil rights champion, women's rights advocate, and a beloved member of the African-American community.

The Jacksons renovated the convenience store into a restaurant was locally referred to as the 'burger bar'. For more than 70 years, the community has embraced this building as a place to gather and exchange news. When Mr. Jackson died, Mrs. Jackson rented out the building. Renters operated convenience stores, restaurants, and fruit stands, without changing the building. In 2008, Marvin Jackson purchased the property, opening a restaurant and catering business known as the Hot Spot, still retaining its prominence as a cultural meeting place.

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