Protect, Preserve, & Interpret 
Alabama's Historic Places

468 S Perry St, Montgomery, AL 36104   ( 334) 230-2690
In This Issue
Calendar of Events
February 2016
Alabama State Capitol---State Superintendent's Art Show in Supreme Court Library, month of February. For more information contact
Lisa Franklin,
February 1
Program on Mobile Point/Fort Morgan's Military History, 10:00am-11:00am, Orange Beach Tourism Welcome Center, call 251-540-7202 for more information
February 2 & 16
Winter Civil War Tours, call 251-540-7202 for more information
February 3
Alabama Historical Commission Meeting ----
Alabama State Capitol Auditorium at 1:00pm
Call 334-230-2690 for more information
February 4
Open for tours on Thursday-Sunday, 12:00 to 4:00pm. Admission is $6/adults, $5/seniors, military, and students, $3/children. Call  
256-381-5052 or 
256-383-0783 for more information.
February 5
Artillery salute to USS Farragut, call 
251-540-7202 for more information
February 5
Bird Walk for Beginners (& History Buffs), 8:00am-10:00am call  334-872-8058 for more information
February 6
Collector Lisa Pace will present a special Valentine themed program, "Love Tokens" along with an exhibit, 2:00pm. Call Ninon Parker at 
256-383-4401 or 
256-710-9081 for more information.
February 6
Living History Program, Fort Jackson - 1814 Militia
Call 334-567-3002 for more information
February 18
Alabama Register Review Board Meeting ----
Carriage House at the Alabama Historical Commission Main Office, 10:00am
Recent Press Releases

In the News

Old Cahawba: The Ghostly Remains of Alabama's First State Capitol (Alabama Magazine, Jan - Feb 2016)

Freedom Rides Museum Expands Tour Hours during Black History Month and Plans for 
55th Anniversary in May 2016
Beginning February 1, 2016, the Freedom Rides Museum will be open for tours Tuesday- Saturday, 12:00 noon until 4:00 pm. Visitors are invited to view the museum's current exhibit "Travelin' Down Freedom's Main Line" which includes original and compelling works of art, architecture, photographs and the stories of Freedom Riders. The exhibit places the Freedom Rides in the context of the civil rights movement and its iconic Alabama events. In their own words, riders, young and old, tell about their commitment (or not) to nonviolent direct action. What happened when they told their parents (or didn't) that they were going on the ride? What was it like to be in jail and how the rides changed them (or didn't)?  Guided tours will be available each day that the museum is open.

"It is significant that we are expanding the hours for the Freedom Rides Museum during Black History Month because the theme for this year is Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories," said Lisa Jones, Acting Executive Director for the Alabama Historical Commission, which manages and operates the museum. Jones goes on to say that "This museum has become a sacred site where we can reflect on the courage of these young Freedom Riders, black and white, who risked their lives to challenge injustice and bring about major change in America."

On May 20-21, 2016, visitors are invited to attend events at the museum to commemorate the 55th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides. The museum invites all Freedom Riders and their families to take part in the commemorative events. If you or your loved one participated in the Freedom Rides or played a role in the Rides and are interested in participating in the anniversary events in May, please contact the Site Director for the Freedom Rides Museum, Dorothy Walker at 334/230-2676 or by email at

A schedule of events will be posted on the museum's website at Information on the events will also be posted online at the museum's Facebook page 

Gaineswood Welcomes Over 100 Students

On January 27, Gaineswood welcomed over 100 eighth grade students and teachers/parents from Miami Country Day School of Miami Shores, Florida.  
Mary Jones-Fitts, Director of the Marengo County Archives and History Museum, in Demopolis, Alabama, spoke to the school group about slavery in Marengo County.

Alabama Historic Rehabilitative Tax Credit Program Renewal

Preservationists in Alabama will be closely watching the progress on the renewal of the historic tax credit during the 2016 Legislative Session, which convenes in February. If not renewed for the 2016 year, the historic tax credit program will end after a three-year period of unprecendented economic developement of historic properties throughout the state. During the 2015 fiscal year alone, five projects earned state historic rehabilitation tax credits on $30,719,933 of investment in Alabama's historic buildings. Watch the Alabama Trust, Alabama History Advocacy , and Advance Alabama Facebook pages for updates about the renewal of the Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit. 
The Alabama Historical Commission Welcomes Douglas Purcell 

The Alabama Historical Commission is pleased to welcome Douglas Purcell of Eufaula to its membership. Mr. Purcell was appointed to the Commission as the representative of the Historic Chattahoochee Commission. He attended the  University of Alabama and was a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, 1969-1977. Between 1972 and 2011 he served as executive director of the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, an agency of Alabama and Georgia involved in the promotion of tourism and historic preservation.  The Commission looks forward to working closely with Mr. Purcell. 
Happy Anniversary!

Several anniversaries will be celebrated this year.

The first is the House Museum Transition anniversary with Fendall Hall, Magnolia Grove, Gaineswood, and Belle Mont. This plan transfers the operation to local Friends groups while the Alabama Historical Commission maintains ownership.

This year many AHC staff will celebrate employment milestones. The following will receive employee service pins for the corresponding years:

5 years - Jan Dillon, Fort Morgan
10 years - John Green, Old Cahawba
15 years - Eleanor Cunningham, Main Office
15 years - Ann Franklin, Main Office
15 years - Lee Anne Wofford, Main Office
25 years - Mary Shell, Main Office
30 years - Linda Derry, Old Cahawba
30 years - Ned Jenkins, Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson
Mark Your Calendars for Great Events in 2016 at AHC Historic Sites!
Tour/Program Schedules

February 1   Mike Bailey, site director of Fort Morgan, will present a program on Mobile Point/Fort Morgan's Military History from 
10:00am - 11:00am at the Orange Beach Tourism Welcome Center.

February  2 & 16   Winter Civil War Tours 

February 5   Artillery salute to USS Farragut

For more information please contact Mike Bailey - 251-540-7202

Bird Walk for Beginners (& History Buffs)
Saturday, February 6, 2016
8:00 am - 10:00 am

Learn the basics of bird identification from an experienced birder on this easy two-hour walk through historic Old Cahawba Archaeological Park. Meet at the visitor's center, rain or shine, and bring your binoculars and bird guide if you've got them. The activity fee is $8 per person.

All skill levels are welcome to attend this bird-walk. Knowledgeable birders will guide you through the identification of the birds that abound at this time of year. A wide variety ranging from the "large" (like Bald Eagles and Turkey Vultures) to Barred Owls, Brown Thrashers and Hermit Thrushes on down to White-throated Sparrows, Carolina Wrens & Chipping Sparrows may be seen. So mark your calendars and plan on joining us for a morning of bird watching at Alabama's first state capital. Call 334-872-8058 for more information or visit or

ADDRESS: 9518 Cahaba Rd, Orrville, AL 36767
PHONE: 334-872-8058
GPS: N 32.31963, W 87.10463
FEES: $8 per person

Click here to see more 2016 events at Old Cahawba

Living History Schedule 2016 
(all events are  $2/adult & $1/child unless otherwise noted)

Feb 6            Fort Jackson - 1814 Militia      
March 19     Fort Toulouse - French                       
April 2        Fort Jackson - 1814 Militia                     
April 16-17 French & Indian War Encampment
                    $4/adult & $2/child
May 7          Fort Jackson - 1814 Militia                     
May 21        Fort Toulouse - French
June 4          Fort Jackson - 1814 Militia
Sept 17         Fort Toulouse - French   
Oct 1            Fort Jackson - 1814 Militia
Nov 2-5        Alabama Frontier Days
                     $8/adult & $7/child     

For more information please contact Ove Jensen - 334-567-3002      

Civil War Living History Program 2016
April 29    Living History for School Groups
April 30    Living History and Skirmish

Click here for more information!            

Mapping and Digitizing Records for Properties 
Listed on the Alabama Register

One of the greatest challenges facing state archive repositories is disseminating information to the public and other agencies in a quick and cost-efficient manner.  Currently, those interested in the vast quantity of historic properties data stored at AHC have been required to make an appointment to search the paper files at the Historic Preservation Division located within our main office in Montgomery, Alabama.  Recognizing the need to improve our service to the citizens of Alabama, AHC has embarked on a long-term project of digitizing and mapping our data on the historic properties within the state.  As a test case for this project, we are currently mapping and digitizing records for properties that are listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage (hereafter, Alabama Register).
The Alabama Register is an official listing of buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts worthy of preservation. These properties may be of national, state, and local significance. It should be noted that this designation is honorary and carries no restrictions or financial incentives.  The process for inclusion on the Alabama Register includes the completion of nomination forms, maps, scale drawings (if applicable), and photographs - all of these nominations have been stored in hard copy format, which has produced enough paperwork to fill many filing cabinets.  
Currently, AHC personnel have completed scanning of all of the documents and photographs located within these files, and we are in the process of mapping the properties utilizing ESRI's ArcGIS 10.3 software.  The goal of this work is to produce digital documents linked to a map that can be embedded in our website.  To date, we have completed mapping properties in just over one-half of the counties in the state.  For those interested in the project, a progress map can be viewed here or by clicking on

Concurrently, personnel are in the process of mapping and creating a database for historical markers placed by the AHC, as well as mapping cemeteries listed on AHC's Cemetery Register.
Eventually we hope to undertake the daunting task of digitizing our architectural survey files, as well as updating/correcting the mapped locations of properties and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

Alabama Historical Commission Welcomes New Personnel

William J. Lowe lives in Alexander City, Alabama. He joined the Alabama Historical Commission as a Senior Archaeologist. As an undergraduate at Auburn University he studied 
anthropology, and received a M.S. in Sociology with a concentration in anthropology in 2013. Will's interests include historic archaeology, but finds all time periods and aspects of archaeological research fascinating. 

He began employment in the field of archaeology in 2004, and has been involved with phase I, II, and III archaeological research projects since then.  Will's hobbies include: blacksmithing, reading, and drawing. 

Jackson R. Stell (1939-2015)

Jackson Ronald Stell died November 13, 2015, in Montgomery, Alabama. He was born August 22, 1939 in Russellville, Alabama. He received his Bachelor's degree in Interior Design from Auburn University in 1965; postgraduate degree in Interior Design, University of Georgia, 1970; and postgraduate degree in History, Auburn University, 1970-1972. He began his long career with the State of Alabama Historical Commission in 1973 and retired in 1994. As Cultural Resources Administrator, he managed historic house museum properties throughout the state, including Gaineswood, Fendall Hall, Magnolia Grove, Bell Mont; Wheeler Plantation, and the Lurleen Wallace Museum. He was known for his concern for historic preservation and meticulous efforts in the restoration and maintenance of historic buildings and grounds. He was called upon as a speaker, advisor and consultant by hundreds of people over the many decades of his career.
-- by Annie Crenshaw & Mrs. Jane S. Bullen

See more at: 

Job Opportunity with the Alabama Historical Commission
The AHC seeks to hire a Cultural Resource Specialist whose primary responsibility will be to review and comment on Alabama Department of Transportation projects undertaken pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. This position will review and comment on architectural reports/documents pursuant to federal historic preservation laws and regulations.  Knowledge of Alabama history, a specific understanding of the Section 106 process, and experience in evaluating properties for the National Register of Historic Places is preferred. 

Search for Class 30422, Option 175, 176, and 177.  Applicants are encouraged to apply for each option for which they are qualified.    
Happenings Around the State  

Maritime Archaeology with the National Park Service
Monday, February 1, 2016, 7:00pm at the Archaeology Museum, University of South Alabama

Dr. David Morgan, director of the Southeast Archaeological Center in Tallahassee, Florida, will present an overview of their new dive program. The new program includes work on the badly looted English China Wreck (a mid-18th century merchant vessel carrying a load of English white salt-glazed and Whieldon tablewares), the recently and purposefully reburied HMS Fowey, and research on the trans-Atlantic slave trade via the Slave Wrecks Project of South Africa.

Cultural Crossroads XV: The Mississippi Territory in Becoming Alabama
February 13, 2016, 8:30am-4:00pm at the Department of Archives and History, 8:30-4:00

Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery, the Alabama Department of Archives and History and the Caroline Marshall Draughan Center for the Arts and Humanities of Auburn University continue their exploration of early Alabama history with Cultural Crossroads XV, "The Mississippi Territory in Becoming Alabama." This annual symposium will introduce a series of lively programs through 2019 that will be centered around the upcoming celebrations of significant Bicentennials involving the creation of the State of Alabama.

Early Alabama was closely linked with Mississippi from 1798 until 1817 as it was a part of the Mississippi Territory. Seven scholars will present thirty minute talks on topics relating Alabama's history with that of its western neighbor. One of the talks will be on Montgomery County and its founding on December 6, 1816, as a part of the large Mississippi Territory. Other talks will focus on the people, lifestyles, boundaries, and internal issues.

The program will take place on February 13, 2016, at the Department of Archives and History, 8:30-4:00. There will be time during the lunch break to visit the Archives' new interpretive museum, "Voices of Alabama."

Please register by February 10th.
Cultural Crossroads XV: The Mississippi Territory in Becoming AlabamaFebruary 13th, 8:30 am - 4 pm 
Alabama Department of Archives and History
$45 General Admission
$40 Member Admission (Landmarks, ADAH, Draughan)
$25 Student and Faculty
*Admission includes lunch, vegetarian option available

Black History Month Program to Feature Marita Rivero, Chair of the Board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Executive Director, Museum of African American History, Boston & Nantucket.
Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 6:00pm in the Woolfolk Gallery at BCRI
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute(BCRI) welcomes Marita Rivero , Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as keynote speaker for its 2016 Black History Month program to be held on Thursday, February 18 at 6:00pm in the Woolfolk Gallery at BCRI.  The program is free and open to the public.

Click hereto view the press release.

Alabama's Places in Peril 2016 - Call for Nominations
The Places in Peril program of the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation needs your help to identify, document, and save threatened properties that have significant historic and architectural importance. 

A phone call to ATHP (205-652-3497) or email is all it takes to take the next step towards protecting the historic built environment of Alabama. Nomination Deadline is March 1, 2016

The National Alliance of Preservation Commission's FORUM is the only national conference focused around the needs and issues of preservation commissions and commission staff. The interactive conference blends traditional educational sessions, discussion panels, mobile workshops and tours, providing participants with essential training and networking opportunities. FORUM is held every other year in interesting destination cities and brings local commission members from across the country together with representatives from local, state and national organizations, governments and federal agencies. It is supported by the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Action and the National Park Service.

Presented by the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions with major support from the National Park Service and the Alabama Historical Commission.

The National Alliance of Preservation Commissions is proud to present the 10th biennial NAPC FORUM in Mobile, Alabama, from July 27 to 31, 2016. As the only national conference focused on the issues facing local historic preservation boards and commissions, FORUM 2016 includes dozens of educational sessions and discussion panels, mobile workshops and tours, and five days of non-stop networking for commission staff and volunteers representing local, state and national organizations and government agencies.                 
Want to Share Preservation News and Events Statewide?

Send news and event information to the Alabama Historical Commission

Email submissions for the January issue of the
AHC e-Newsletter by December 18 to  
Please mark as "Attention: E-News."

468 South Perry Street
Montgomery, AL 36130-0900