Protect, Preserve, & Interpret 
              Alabama's  Historic Places

468 S Perry St, Montgomery, AL 36104   ( 334) 230-2690
In This Issue
Calendar of Events

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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.
Daily guided tours at 10:00 AM, Monday thru Friday, until August 31, 2017. For more information please call 251-540-5257 or 251-540-7127.
August 9
The Quarterly Commission Meeting will be held in Eufaula, Alabama at Fendall Hall. For more information call  334-230-2690.
August 10
Scheduled for 10:00am at the Alabama Historical Commission in the Carriage House. For more information call 
August 26
Summer Living History Program -  Members of the 33rd  Alabama  Infantry will be on duty at the  Civil War  Camp of Instruction site all day on giving demonstrations and answering questions concerning soldier life during the war. 
For more information please call 205-755-1990.
August 26-27
During the commemorative event set for August 26-27, 2017 volunteers will dress in period clothing to re-enact the Battle of Burnt Corn followed by the Battle of Fort Mims. You can witness living history as well as enjoy period music, arts, crafts, covered wagons, tomahawk throwing, blacksmithing, concessions, dancing and 1800s cooking demonstrations. For more information call 251-533-9024.
August 30 - October 4
New exhibit will feature alphabetical listing of military members who are Prisoners of War/Missing in Action.
Call Lisa Franklin, 
Site Director, at 
334-242-3188 for more information.
September 2
Canines, Camels, Cats, & Critters Wagon Tour.  For more information call 334-872-8058. 
September 7
The Alabama Historical Commission and the City of Opelika Historic Preservation Commission will host a workshop for local historic preservation commission members and staff. Communities interested in setting up a local preservation commission are also welcome to attend.  To register please call 334-230-2691.
September 9
The Alabama Historical Commission is honoring General Joe Wheeler's birthday at his home in North Alabama on Saturday, September 9 at 10:00 am. For more information  please call 256-637-8513.
September 16
French & Indian War of 1812 . For more information call 334-567-3002.
September 28
Scheduled for 10:30am at the Alabama Historical Commission in the Carriage House. For more information call 
Recent Press Releases

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In the News

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Fort Toulouse 300th Anniversary Celebration

On behalf of the Alabama Historical Commission, we invite you to Fort Toulouse's 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!
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. Applications are still being accepted.

Grants will be awarded to historical skills centers, cultural heritage parks, sites, commissions, boards, agencies, authorities, any historic school structure, or any publicly-owned battlefield or structure constructed prior to 1840 that is on the  National Register of Historic Places . Grants will be awarded to entities that reflect an education-based mission, concentrate on educational programming, and reflect the geographical diversity of the state. Grant amounts will not exceed $50,000 for any one entity.

Applications must be received by August 15, 2017. Please deliver or mail to Tryon McLaney, Contracts and Grants, Alabama Historical Commission. If you have questions, please call 334-230-2674.

Download the grant guidelines and application at 
University of Alabama's Museum Chronicle Features Old Cahawba

Excerpt from 

By Matt Gage and Linda Derry

The confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba Rivers has been an important location, not only in geologic terms, but also as a cultural center for well over 700 years. At the time that Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto first sighted the shoreline of La Florida on May 31, 1539, the confluence was the site of a large Mississippian village and mound that dominated the area. With the entrada of the Europeans, events were put in motion that would forever change the region that would become known as Alabama.

The Mississippians who occupied the rivers' confluence built a large earthen
mound protected by a semicircular moat. Their vibrant culture flourished
along the rivers. But the moat would do little to protect the region's inhabitants from the devastating effects of European diseases, for which they had no natural defense. By the mid 1500s, the village was abandoned.

In 1817, when federal surveyors were working their way through the Alabama frontier creating maps and staking out quarter sections of land to be sold to westward moving settlers, the relic moat and mound at the confluence were still visible. President James Monroe decided that this site was too valuable to be sold as agricultural land by quarter-sections. Instead, he decreed that a new town should be located at this place and the land subdivided into hundreds of small town lots.

Click  here  to read more. 
Journal of Alabama Archaeology Features Ned Jenkins and Craig Sheldon

Excerpt from 
Late Mississippian/Protohistoric Ceramic Chronology and Cultural Change in the Lower Tallapoosa and Alabama River Valleys

By Ned Jenkins, Senior Archaeologist, Fort Toulouse, and Craig Sheldon, AHC Commissioner

Journal of Alabama Archaeology
Vol. 62, Nos 1 and 2:69-121

The central Alabama region, centered  on the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa  rivers, strides a major ecotone at the  fall line, bordered by up to 10-mile-wide  floodplains. Such a diversely rich environment  resulted in a high carrying capacity  for hunter-gatherers and farmer alike (Jenkins  and Sheldon 2014).

A significant trend in central Alabama
prehistory has been the tendency for the region  to have supported contemporaneous,  yet different, groups throughout much of  late prehistory, as reflected in the spatial  and temporal distributions of distinctive  material complexes in the region . For 1,000 years during the Woodland  stage, a group who made plain sand-tempered  Elmore variant pottery, inhabited
central Alabama from northern Elmore  County south to Pintlalla Creek (15 miles  south of Montgomery) in the upper Alabama  River valley.

To read the full article please contact the Alabama Archaeological Society
Where in the State are AHC Staff?

Tennessee Historical Commission SHPO Patrick McIntyre welcomed his fellow board members to the summer 2017 NCSHPO board meeting at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee.
In July, Lisa D. Jones, Executive Director of AHC, Clara Nobles, Assistant Executive Director, and Lee Anne Wofford, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, attended the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) summer board meeting in Memphis, Tennessee. 

The board meeting included work on the formation of a five year strategic plan. They also discussed the current regulatory and legislative climate. Staff from the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions, National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Department of the Interior and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation delivered presentations to the board. Tennessee SHPO Patrick McIntyre and his staff did a great job of hosting the summer board meeting.

The Tennessee Historical Commission worked with those involved in historic preservation in Memphis to set up tours of local historic tax credit projects and historic sites. June West with Memphis Heritage was an exceptional tour guide. 

Clayborn Temple
The tour included a stop at the Clayborn Temple, which served as a meeting place during the sanitation workers' strike in the 1960s. The iconic "I am a man" signs that strikers held were printed in the basement of the building. 
Staff also visited the National Civil Rights Museum

During the Memphis riot, police shot tear gas into the Temple where sanitation workers and their families had sought refuge. Rob Thompson, who is working to preserve the building in a way that is consistent with the story of economic justice, shared with the NCSHPO board his efforts to preserve the Temple. Dedicated on January 1st, 1893, Clayborn Temple was the largest church west of the Mississippi River. It was boarded up in 1999 and the boards were not pulled off until two years ago. The effort to rehabilitate the Temple benefited from a $400,000 Historic Preservation Fund Civil Rights Grant. 

Crosstown Concourse
The tour also included a stop at Crosstown Concourse, which is located in the old Sears Crosstown building in Memphis. It was built in 1927 but the last section of the structure was not completed until 1965. The building, which served as the distribution center for the Sears catalog, was also the largest Sears retail store until the early 1970s. The retail store closed in 1983 and the remainder of the building closed completely in 1993. The building was rehabilitated to include space for apartments, restaurants, retail, and medical and school facilities. It is truly a vertical urban village. The $200 million project benefited from $67 million in new market and historic tax credits. The project has revived the community. The developers encased the original hoppers as a nod to the buildings history as a Sears catalog distribution center. Tony Bologna and Todd Richardson, who are part of the development team, spoke with NCSHPO board members.

Chloe Mercer, AHC Federal Tax Credits and Alabama Ad Valorem Coordinator, speaks to residents about the process of applying for a tax credit for historic properties through the state at the Anniston City Meeting Center. (Photo Courtesy of Trent Penny/The Anniston Star). Read full story here

Chris Kinder, AHC ALDOT Liaison/Architectural Historian, presented at the Alabama Bicentennial Commission Workshop in Dothan, Alabama. 

Mary Shell, AHC Community Services/Preservation Planner/CLG Coordinator

In July, the Alabama Historical Commission, along with the City of Dothan Planning Department and Dothan Historic Preservation Commission, hosted a training session for area historic preservation members and staff. Local communities interested in setting up a local preservation commission were also encouraged to attend. 

In August, the AHC, along with the City of Montevallo, hosted a CLG workshop at the Montevallo City Hall. 

Both 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, Eric Sipes, Senior Archaeologist, Chloe Mercer, Federal Tax Credits and Alabama Ad Valorem Coordinator, and Tryon McLaney, Contracts and Grants Specialist. 

Chloe Mercer, AHC Federal Tax Credits and Alabama AD Valorem Coordinator

Mary Shell, AHC  Community Services/Preservation Planner/CLG Coordinator, and Collier Neeley, National Register Coordinator, attended the first  DesignPlace , a program created by DesignAlabama, a state design consulting group, for Opelika citizens, business owners and others to share their ideas and suggestions for what they would like in their city.

Chris Kinder, AHC ALDOT Liaison/Architectural Historian, participated in the Alabama Communities of Excellence's Bay Minette assessment visit. 
Amanda McBride, AHC Section 106 Program Head, gave a presentation on "Native Americans in Alabama" at the Rufus A. Lewis Library, Montgomery, Alabama, as part of their summer program for kids.    
Ned Jenkins, Senior Archaeologist at Fort Toulouse, presented
The Routes of Hernando Desoto and Tristan DeLuna Through Central Alabama, 1540-1560: Routes, Cultures and Consequences at the Mid South Archaeological Conference in Oxford, Mississippi.
Happenings at #AHCsites

Fort Morgan held its last Tuesday Evening Tour for this summer. They  will continue having their daily guided tours at 10:00 AM, Monday thru Friday, until August 31, 2017.  
Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson is pleased to announce that the new Tri-centennial Challenge Coin is available for sale in the park visitor center.

Old Cahawba hosted the Alabama Archaeological Society's (AAS) 2017 Summer Meeting. They spent the day excavating the site of Alabama's first statehouse, touring, and picnicking. Pictured here is AAS President Ben Hoksbergen and a little helper.  See more images here

Fort Morgan held the 154th Commemoration of the Battle of Mobile Bay

Belle Mont celebrated the annual W. C. Handy Festival with "Music at the Mansion. The event was sponsored by Oh! Bryan's Restaurant, the Colbert County Historical Landmarks Foundation and "Friends of Belle Mont."  A large crowd of festival-goers enjoyed music performed indoors by Ray Reach and his Dixieland Friends, and fried pies and sweet tea (provided by sponsor) in the courtyard.
AHC Welcomes New Employees

Taylor Stewart joins AHC as the Coordinator of the  Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program. She will work closely with Stephanie Hamil, AHC Accountant, who will monitor the program's financial compliance.

She has a Bachelor's Degree in History and Public Relations from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Master's Degree in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University. 
Taylor was raised in Prattville, and enjoys architecture, podcasts, and spending weekends on the water with family and friends.  

Keiona McGhee joins Goat Hill Museum Store, located inside the Alabama State Capitol, as a new sales associate. Currently, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at South University in Montgomery.

Keiona was raised in Montgomery and has also served in the Alabama National Guard for the past three years.  

After years  of working throughout her 
home state of North Carolina, Mary  Williford is pleased to put down roots  here in Alabama. She is a versatile  museum professional with significant experience in archives and community-centered projects, particularly those related to 20th century Southern history. 

Mary is thrilled to be back in a public-facing role with the Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery, helping people learn about the past in accessible 
and  engaging ways.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Hiring

TVA is accepting applications for two positions. Summaries of an archaeological and architectural historian positions are now posted on the TVA website at 

Download the job descriptions here.  
Happenings Around the State  

August - September 30 - Classic Seating: Chairs in 19th Century Alabama, Landmarks Foundation at Old Alabama Town 
August 18 -  Community Workshop in Fort PayneAlabama Bicentennial Commission  
August 18 -  Muster on the TallapoosaHorseshoe Bend National Military Park 

August 21-23 -  aLABama Downtown LaboratoryMain Street Alabama Annual Conference

August 24  - Community Workshop in DemopolisAlabama Bicentennial Commission

August 30 -  Your Town Alabama WorkshopAlabama Communities of Excellence 


September 22 - Preservation Forum in Andalusia, Alabama, Black Heritage Council

September 22-24 Fall 2017 Preservation Lyceum in Atmore and Stockton Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation  


October 15Deadline to submit paper proposals for 71st Annual Meeting, Alabama Historical Association 

December 15
Deadline to nominate large and small projects for Digital History Award, Alabama Historical Association (download nomination form here)  
Interested in hosting Making Alabama, 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  

For more information, contact AHF Director of Operations Laura Anderson at or call (205) 558-3992.
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468 South Perry Street
Montgomery, AL 36130-0900