The Official E-Newsletter of the Alabama Historical Commission
Volume 7 Number 1
468 S Perry St, Montgomery, AL 36104   ( 334) 242-3184
In This Issue
Calendar of Events

See more events at
Download the 2020 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.
January- February
F ort Morgan
Guided tours are offered on Wednesdays in January and February from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm. 

Regular admission charged. 
February 8
Fort Toulouse- Fort Jackson 
1812 Living History 
History is alive and outside at Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson Park. Living history Saturdays feature interpretive demonstrations of every day life in the 1750s and early 1800s.

Join us for War of 1812 Saturdays on February 8, May 9, June 13, and September 12. 

Admission:  $2 for adults and $1 for children.   Activities take place 9AM to 4PM.

Learn more by calling 334-8567-3002. 
February 14
Fort Morgan
Under British Occupation
The year is 1815. The Acasta and company have been sent ashore to take the American Fort Bowyer at the war's end! We'll be bunking in the barracks and making use of the American facilities as we prepare to return to Halifax, where it is assumed we will be ordered to return home to assist in the war against the true enemy, the tyrant Napoleon!

Presidents Day Weekend Feb 14-16 with Monday the 17th being the holiday so everyone has lots of time to get home after an awesome weekend!

Come in your finest period Naval dress and join us! All period correct British units are invited! 
February 15
Fort Toulouse- Fort Jackson 
French & Indian Living History 
History is alive and outside at Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson Park. Living history Saturdays feature interpretive demonstrations of every day life in the 1750s and early 1800s.

Join us for French and Indian February 15, March 21, May 16, June 20, and September 19. 

Admission:  $2 for adults and $1 for children.   Activities take place 9AM to 4PM.

Learn more by calling 334-8567-3002. 
March 28
Pond Spring
Miss Annie's Plant Sale
Miss Annie's Plant Sale offers you the chance to own a living piece of history. Come shop for heirloom plants Saturday, March 28 from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm in front of historic Pond Spring, the General Joe Wheeler Home. 
April 18-19
Fort Toulouse
-Fort Jackson
French & Indian War Encampment

This special event focuses attention on the main protagonists of the French & Indian War - France, Britain and their American Indian allies. Living history demonstrations of military, Indian, and civilian life will take place on Saturday and Sunday throughout the day. Re-enactors will be dressed and equipped as they appeared in North America during the middle of the eighteenth century.    

Saturday admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children (6-18 years). Sunday admission $2 for adults and $1 for children (6-18 years) on Sunday. Event hours are Saturday from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm and 9:00 am - 2:00 pm on Sunday.
In the News

See more news at


Pell City to Host Downtown Revitalization Workshop Tuesday Evening


January 2020 NEWS
Celebrating Alabama's Bicentennial 
More than five years ago, state agencies, legislators, and thought leaders gathered around the table to envision a celebration of Alabama 200, her history, and the possibilities of what would become our state's third century. To begin the work, the Alabama Bicentennial Commission was formed and tasked with undertaking the only three-year bicentennial commemoration in the country. Heavy emphasis was put on education programming, long-lasting legacy projects, and partnerships across the state in a way that, perhaps, Alabama has never experienced before. These goals were also met with the challenge to create  accessible platforms and themes that allowed statewide participation and encouraged towns of all sizes to take the cause and make it their own, infused by grants and collaboration. The road from May 2017 to the finale was paved by some 200 local bicentennial communities, hundreds of events, dozens of partners and sponsors, thousands of educators galvanized by summer workshops and resources, and innumerable individuals  whose dedication and investment helped  milestone reach its pinnacle on Alabama Day - December 14, 2019. 

Parades, beauty queens, performers, delicious food vendors, celebrity native sons and daughters all converged on the capital city. The Alabama State Capitol complex was a lively scene with statewide organizations and reenactors. Newly dedicated Bicentennial Park gleamed with 16 stunning bronze monuments depicting periods of Alabama history from prehistoric to modern day eras.
AHC Executive Director Lisa Jones participated in the Park Dedication Ceremony.  Dexter Avenue Baptist Church was teeming with music and echoes of Dr. King's speeches. The day-long festivities ended with a concert and a remarkable laser light show. It was a marvelous event capping off years of preparation. 

Bold visions require exceptional leadership, and for this meritorious time, Alabamians were lucky to have some of the best at the helm. We extend our sincere well wishes and congratulations to the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and Chairman Senator Arthur Orr, Advisory Council Chairman Dr. Ed Bridges, Alabama 200 Executive Director Ms. Jay Lamar, and the countless committee heads who made this commemoration possible.  

It has been a pleasure for the Alabama Historical Commission to be at the table with our friends and partners in support of this celebration. We work daily to protect, preserve, and interpret Alabama's historic places and are delighted to see many across the state building from the bicentennial successes and investing deeply in their local histories. 

National Geographic to Feature
 Clotilda Cover Story 
National Geographic's February cover story features the Clotilda, the last-known slave ship to enter the United States. This powerful story focuses on the descendants and community of Africatown. Digital copies of the article are available now for subscribers. Printed copies of the magazine will be available on newsstands this week.

If you are a National Geographic Subscriber, the digital article is available here.  

"The Alabama Historical Commission has been proud to work with the Black Heritage Council, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Partners, SEARCH Inc., National African American Museum of History and Culture/Smithsonian Institution, Slave Wrecks Project, National Park Service, Diving with a Purpose, and the citizens of Africatown and descendants of the 
Clotilda  as we work together to build a future that protects and preserves this priceless artifact," said Lisa Jones, Executive Director, Alabama Historical Commission. 

Additional updates and further announcements about this developing story will be made in the coming weeks. 

New Staff at the AHC 
A HC welcomes a few new additions to the agency!   

Karen Saephan, Office Manager, Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson 

Visitors to Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson were introduced to a new, friendly face this November. Karen Saephan joins AHC as Office Manager at the park and has already made it through her first Frontier Days. Born in California, but raised in North Carolina, Karen's travels brought her to Alabama 15 years ago.  

Betsy Morrison, Tour Guide, Pond Spring 

Betsy is a returning employee to Pond Spring, the General Joe Wheeler Home. She was an intern at the museum before graduating from Athens State University and became an employee at the site shortly thereafter. Betsy has an undergraduate degree in History and Political Science, and her love of those subject drives her work at the museum. 

Natalie Harvest and Amelia Chase, Freedom Rides Museum
Natalie Harvest, left and Amelia Chase, right

The Freedom Rides Museum welcomes two new staff members! 

Natalie Harvest joined the Alabama Historical Commission in November 2019 as a part time Tour Guide at the Freedom Rides Museum.  Natalie is a Montgomery, AL native and has both lived and traveled all over the world, which is where her love of museums took its onset.  She is passionate about all things related to history and looks forward to growing with the Alabama Historical Commission.
Amelia Chase joined the Alabama Historical Commission staff in January 2020 as a full time Museum Coordinator for the Freedom Rides Museum. Amelia recently moved from Birmingham, AL with her husband Michael, where she worked with the Alabama African-American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium that operated out of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Amelia has a Master's degree in Art History and an Archival Studies certificate from the University of Alabama. She loves museums, history, and all things related to running.

Dr. Evelyn (Lyn) Causey, National Register Coordinator 
AHC welcomes Dr. Evelyn (Lyn) Causey as the new National Register Coordinator. Prior to joining the Alabama Historical Commission, Evelyn  worked as a self-employed consultant specializing in National Register nominations and National Historic Landmarks nominations. She has completed nominations, brochures, and historic resource documentation for a variety of properties throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Evelyn earned a PhD in history at the University of Delaware, and worked in the Washington, D.C. area before moving to Auburn, AL in 2009.

Leanne Waller-Trupp, Section 106 Reviewer and ALDOT Liason
Leanne Waller-Trupp joins the historic preservation staff as a Section 106 Reviewer and ALDOT Lia ison. She comes to the AHC from the Alabama Department of Transportation where she was an archaeologist for 15 years. She received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Classics from the University of Alabama in 2002, and a Master's degree in History from AUM in 2013. Leanne and her husband Steven have two girls, ages 6 and 1. 

Jake Williams, Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Coordinator
Jake Williams completed an internship with AHC during the summer of 2019 after receiving a bachelor's degree in Historic Preservation from Southeast  Missouri State University. He joins the staff now as the Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Coordinator. Jake is originally from Owensville, Missouri.

Anissa Hunter, Black Heritage Council Aide
Born and raised in Montgomery, Anissa Hunter is a graphic designer who also enjoys writing stories and drawing. A graduate of historic Sidney Lanier High School and Trenholm State Community College, Anissa is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Video Game Design at Full Sail University.  
Black Heritage Council Welcomes New Member    
In October 2019, the Black Heritage Council welcomed its newest member Phoenicia "Phoenix" Robinson . Phoenix is currently employed as a Planner I/ GIS Technician for the  Central Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission (CARPDC) where h er primary duties include the development and upkeep of geographic databases for fifteen (15) municipalities and supplying supplementary data for grant applications. 

Phoenix's ultimate goal is to build a career using her backgrounds in architecture and planning to revitalize and sustain communities with untold or overshadowed histories. She hopes that one day adaptive reuse of such areas becomes the standard in community development initiatives, not an afterthought. Phoenix will serve in an At-Large position on the Black Heritage Council assisting with African-American historic preservation projects throughout Alabama.
Thank You Commissioner! 
Commissioner Dale Townsend 
with Chairman Major General (ret.) Walter Givhan
After five years of service to the Alabama Historical Commission and to the State of Alabama, Commissioner Dale Townsend announced that he would be stepping 
down  from the 21-member commission. 

Since his appointment with the agency in 2014 by Governor Robert Bentley, he has never missed a meeting. Commissioner Townsend is a successful businessman in Enterprise, AL with a long history of volunteer work in guiding area economic development. 

"AHC thanks Commissioner Townsend for his leadership and involvement with our agency. He  has always been immensely supportive of the staff and a strong advocate for the work we do," said Lisa Jones, AHC Executive Director. "We will miss his presence on the commission, and wish him well on his next endeavors" 

Africatown Cemetery Workshop
In  partnership with the community of Africatown, the Alabam a Historical Commission (AHC) and the Black Heritage Council (BHC) participated in a Cemetery Preservation Workshop in Africatown on December 4, 2019. The community participants were welcomed by AHC Assistant Director Clara Nobles and Anderson Flen, President of the Mobile Training School Alumni Association.  Frazine Taylor and Elvin Lang of the BHC gave interesting presentations on African-American Church Genealogy and How to Document Cemeteries.  Hannah Garmon spoke on the AHC's Cemetery Program and how to list cemeteries in the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.  In the afternoon, participants traveled to the Plateau Cemetery where they learned about proper care and cleaning methods for gravestones and historic cemeteries.  The AHC and BHC are committed to educating the public on cemetery preservation techniques.  Plateau Cemetery is the final resting place for a number of those individuals who were kidnapped and forcibly migrated on the Clotildaincluding Cudjo Lewis - subject of Baracoon by Zora Neale Hurston. The cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing resource in the Africatown Historic District in 2012.  
AHC featured in the Alabama League of Municipalities' January "Journal"    
Thank you to our compatriots at the Alabama League of Municipalities who allowed us to share a few words  about AHC and our many programs in the  Live Locally Alabama  section of January's Journal. We are so  appreciative of this opportunity to highlight the work we do and are proud to serve the people of Alabama.

Download the Journal at the link below and scroll to page 33 for "History, Preservation, and Economic Development: This Place Matters." 

Buses to Freedom / Ballots for Liberty: A Conversation with Dr. Bernard Lafayette
Freedom Rides Museum 
Montgomery, AL
Thursday, February 6, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm 
Tickets are $5 Adults, $3 Children, College Students and Seniors

In honor of Black History Month's theme "African-Americans and the Vote", the Freedom Rides Museum will host "Buses to Freedom / Ballots for Liberty: A Conversation with Dr. Bernard Lafayette" on Thursday, February 6 at 5:30 pm.
In 1961, 20-year-old Dr. Bernard Lafayette, along with 20 other student Freedom Riders out of Nashville, TN including Congressman John Lewis (who was his roommate at American Baptist Theological Seminary), were attacked at the Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station by a mob as they peacefully protested segregated interstate travel. Between 1963-1965, Dr. Lafayette worked with the Dallas County Voters League organizing high school students at the then-segregated R.B. Hudson High School to get African-Americans in Selma registered to vote. Though he weathered death threats, his activism helped lay the foundation for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference who came to Selma in 1965 and helped bring a national spotlight to Selma. 

Join us as we hear from Dr. Lafayette as he tells his story of activism in Selma. At the event, the public will be able to purchase signed copies of Dr. Lafayette's memoir, In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma.

Civil War Living History and Saturday Skirmish, Confederate Memorial Park
Marbury, AL
Friday-Saturday, April 24-25, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm 
Tickets are $2 per person for park entry, $2 per person for museum tours

On Friday, April 24 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm students and the general public will experience outdoor living history demonstrations performed by authentically uniformed and equipped Union and Confederate reenactors.

Civil War Living History Demonstrations and Activities include infantry drill & firing, cavalry horses & equipment, artillery firing, commissary and wagon, music, and more! On Saturday, April 26, visitors can experience additional living history demonstrations, a cemetery ceremony, and a skirmish between Union and Confederate reenactors starting around 1:00 pm.

Souvenirs, drinks, snacks, and food will be available for purchase. Please register group reservations in advance by contacting Calvin Chappelle at 205-755-1990 or

AHC Archaeologists Present 
at Regional, State Conferences
Archaeologists on staff at AHC have been very engaged and involved with a number of academic conferences over the last several months.

On November 4 and 5, State Archaeologist Stacye Hathorn attended and co-presented at the Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) with Dr. James Delgado of SEARCH on the archaeological survey behind the identification of the Clotilda and Twelvemile Island. She then made her way west to the Southeast Archaeological Conference's Annual Meeting in Jackson, Mississippi and was joined by Eric Sipes (Assistant State Archaeologist). While there, they attended an Alabama Power meeting about the Harris Dam re-licensing  project and a forum of State Historic Preservation Office archaeologists and Tribes. Stacye also participated in a workshop on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and a board meeting for the Alabama Archaeological Society. Eric presented a poster on the recent Old Cahawba Statehouse excavations. They also took part in workshops on the National Environmental Protection Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and improving SHPO/THPO relationships in the Section 106 process. 

At January's Alabama Archaeological Society winter meeting, Eric and Old Cahawaba  Site Director Linda Derry presented an  update on the excavations at Alabama's First State House at Cahawaba in a session titled, "Oh my goodness, what was Gov. William Wyatt Bibb thinking?"
AHC Commissioner Co-Authors Book,
 An Architectural Study of Auburn
Auburn is well known as a college town and as a historic Southern village in central Alabama. The architecture that presently constitutes Auburn's built environment deserves the same level of recognition. From structures on the campus of Auburn University to historic churches and other buildings across the town, Auburn's architectural record is worth celebrating and protecting.
In No Place Like Home: An Architectural Study of Auburn, Alabama, a companion volume to "Lost Au burn: A Village Remembered in Period Photographs," co-authors Delos Hughes, Ralph Draughon, Jr., Emily Sparrow and Ann Pearson highlight the buildings of Auburn that are distinguished by age, celebrated residents, distinctive design and historical importance. The architectural character of Old Auburn lives on in the enduring structures found throughout the city.

Co-Author Draughon, Jr. serves on the  Alabama Historical Commission and the board of directors of the  Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation.
Alabama Department of Tourism Receives International Award for Civil Rights Trail 
Congratulations to our friends and colleagues at the Alabama Department of Tourism.  Their agency was presented with an award recognizing its marketing campaign for the U.S. Civil Rights Trail during an industry trade show in London.  The trail promotes museums, churches and other African-American landmarks across the South. Promotional materials include video interviews with civil rights participants from the 1960s and photos of landmarks.

Alabama oversaw the project in partnership with the Atlanta-based TravelSouth USA and the National Park Service. The trail includes sites from Kansas to Delaware, including all of the Deep South.

Alabama also won an award for best regional destination. A news release says other finalists included areas in Spain, India, the Canary Islands and the Netherlands.
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. 

Where Women Made History 
This year, as the United States celebrates the 100th anniversary of women earning the right to vote, the National Trust wants to tell the full history and to uncover and uplift women across the centuries whose vision, passion, and determination have shaped the country we are today. Our goal: discover 1,000 places connected to women's history, and elevate their stories for everyone to learn and celebrate.

This is where you come in. They need your help.

What places have you encountered where women made history? They can be famous or unknown, protected or threatened, existing or lost. No matter their condition or status, these places matter, and we encourage you to share them with the world. What do you need to participate? Just a photo of the place (or the woman), plus a short description. 

New Properties Listed to Alabama Register 
The Alabama Historical Commission created the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage as a listing of historic resources (buildings, sites, structures, objects, districts, and cultural landscapes) in Alabama that are worthy of preservation. 

On December 19, 2019, the following properties were voted upon to be included in the Alabama Register: 

1.         Askew-Robinson House, Barbour County
2.         Baptist Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Escambia County
3.         Brookside Negro School, Jefferson County
4.         Daleville Avenue Historic District, Coffee County
5.         East End Elementary School, Dallas County
6.         Evergreen Regional Airport Beacon, Conecuh County
7.         First Baptist Church "Colored", Wilcox County
8.         G.W. Watts High School, Wilcox County
9.         Gadsden High School, Etowah County
10.       New Virgin Baptist Church & Cemetery, Wilcox County
11.       Rockford Tin Mine, Coosa County
12.       Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, Mobile County
13.       St. Andrew's by the Sea, Baldwin County
14.       West Alabama Ford, Lamar County

Click here to learn more about the Alabama Register.  The next deadline for nominations to the Alabama Register is February 27, 2020.
April is Walking Tour Month in Alabama 
Walking tour at Confederate Memorial Park
Submit your walking tour information to the Alabama Department of Tourism! It is time to for the 2020 April Walking Tours. More than 2,300 people participated in the 2019 April Walking Tours, with 30 towns across the state hosting the tours.

The hour-long tours start at 10:00 a.m. each Saturday morning in April. Dates for the 2020 April Walking Tours are April 4, 11, 18 and 25. There is no cost to participate and the Alabama Tourism Department provides all the posters, brochures and collateral materi als.

Those interested in participating should respond with an email giving their town's name, starting location, contact person and shipping address to . The deadline to sign-up for the walking tours is February 14.
Be Counted for the 2020 Census  

In 2020, we as Alabamians have a tremendous opportunity to positively affect our state's future for the next 10 years and beyond. How? By taking less than 10 minutes to complete a 2020 Census form.

Not only that. Saying "I Count" by completing your census form also helps secure a brighter future for yourself, your family and your community.

Your opportunity to say "I Count" is coming in the spring of 2020. The mission of Alabama Counts! is to ensure you understand what is at stake for Alabama in 2020 and to ensure you are prepared to complete and return your census form.

Data from the census affects everyone. We all have something to gain from a full census count.

Statewide News and Events 

Alabama Historical Association 73rd Annual Meeting
April 2-4, 2020 - Florence
Registration is open for the AHA Annual Meeting, taking place April 2-4, 2020 in Florence. Details for the event including paper presentations, keynote speakers, tours, and more-are available in their spring newsletter and at the link  here

Have an event to share with AHC constituents? 
Send news and event information to the Alabama Historical Commission.  Email submissions  to .   Please mark as "Attention: Newsletter."

468 South Perry Street
Montgomery, AL 36130-0900