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.
November 16-17
Holiday Open House. For more information call  334-353-4969. Click here to download flyer.
December 1
Annual Christmas Tree Lighting will begin at 5:00 with performances by Alabama National Guard Band followed by Will and Janet McFarland. For more information c all  334-242-3188.
December 1-22
The Wade Hall Traveling Postcard Exhibition will be on display. For more information c all  334-242-3188.
December 2
Happy Birthday Alabama Presentation from 10:00-11:00am. Come celebrate Alabama's birthday at the site of its first permanent state capital. After the presentation, you are invited to enjoy birthday cake in honor of our state, and then explore the ghost town of Old Cahawba. For more information please  call 334-872-8058. 
December 2
Candlelight Tours. Visitors enjoy entertainment and light refreshments as they stroll through the home. The beautiful Gaineswood Belles, dressed in period attire, serve as hostesses during the evening.  For more information call 334-289-4846.
December 3
Plantation Christmas from 1:00-5:00pm. Holiday event reminiscent of the "Old South" with traditional live decorations, period Christmas music, vintage ballroom dancing, and refreshments. For more information call 256-383-4401.
December 3
Gift Shop's Holiday Open House. For more information please call 251-540-5257.
December 6
Presentation regarding the Wade Hall Traveling Postcard Exhibition at 10:30am. Ruth Elder, the main researcher and writer for the display, along with Jerry Johnson, designer of the physical and digital exhibits, will be the guest speakers. They will talk about Dr. Hall's collection of over 25,000 vintage postcards, the creation of the exhibition, and tell stories of the Alabama represented by these historic postcards.  For more information c all  334-242-3188.
December 9
Jingle Jangle Christmas Celebration. Santa will be onsite from 12:00 - 1:00pm. There will be arts & crafts, s'mores, games, face painting, and more! For more information call  334-624-8618.
December 10
Christmas Luncheon beginning at 12:15pm. There will be great photo opportunities with several beautifully decorated Christmas trees and other lovely decor. For more information please call 334-687-8469.
December 10
Christmas Celebration from 9:00am-3:00pm.
Tour the General Joe Wheeler's home, enjoy refreshments, "sleigh rides" in a horse drawn buggy, and choral concerts featuring local school and church choirs.
For more information call 256-637-8513.

Recent Press Releases

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In the News

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Take Action to Save the Federal Historic Tax Credit

According to the National Park Service, the Federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) is designed to not only preserve and rehabilitate historic buildings, but to also promote the economic revitalization of older communities in the nation's cities and towns, along Main Streets, and in rural areas. Targeted to income-producing buildings, the HTC program is the largest and most effective Federal program specifically supporting historic preservation. Since the program's inception in 1976, the National Park Service has certified the rehabilitation of more than 42,000 historic properties throughout the United States.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, 1,039 completed historic rehabilitation projects were certified by the National Park Service, representing $5.85 billion in estimated rehabilitation costs that qualify for a 20% Federal tax credit. (Another 1,229 proposed projects were also approved in FY 2016.) Many of these projects involved buildings that were abandoned or underutilized, and in need of substantial rehabilitation to return them to, or for their continued, economic viability. 

The tax reform legislation unveiled by the House of Representatives eliminates the longstanding and successful Federal historic tax credit, a tool that incentivizes the rehabilitation of our nation's historic buildings. The sharp reversal of this nearly four-decade-old policy fails to recognize the important contribution the historic tax credit makes to revitalizing our cities and towns and drawing private investment back into our communities.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brady aims to pass the House bill out of committee and then send it to the floor for a full House vote the following week, giving House members only a few days to amend. 

The Senate Finance Committee is expected to release its tax reform bill in the next weeks and will attempt to pass the legislation out of committee, possibly before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Join us now in urging lawmakers-in both the House and Senate-to include the historic tax credit in final tax reform legislation. Call and write your members of Congress today to show your support for this fundamental preservation tool.

Richard Shelby - 202-224-5744
Luther Strange - 202-224-4124

Bradley Byrne - 202-225-4931
Martha Roby - 202-225-2901
Mike Rogers - 202-225-3261
Robert Aderholt - 202-225-4876
Mo Brooks - 202-225-4801
Gary Palmer - 202-225-4921
Terri Sewell - 202-225-2665
Fort Toulouse 300th Anniversary Celebration

Thank you to everyone who made  Fort Toulouse's 300th Anniversary Celebration a success! We welcomed 9,500 schoolchildren to Frontier Days during the week.   

Carolyn Hutcheson, Troy University Public Radio, interviewed Dr. Craig Sheldon, AHC Commissioner, about the history of Fort Toulouse.

Every year AHC staff comes together with volunteers to help make Frontier Days a success!

AHC staff worked admission gate

Jimmy Walker and Eric Montgomery, AHC Historic Artisans

The Black Heritage Council of the Alabama Historical Commission tent at Frontier Days.

Thank you to the Alabama Department of Archives & History for joining us every year at Frontier Days!

Left to right: AHC Commissioners Bill Denson, Dr. Jim Day, and Gen. Walter Givhan

AHC Commissioners Dr. Craig Sheldon and Steve Murray

Left to right Lisa D. Jones, AHC Executive Director;  Principal Chief James Floyd, Muscogee Nation, Oklahoma; and Clara Nobles, AHC Assistant Executive Director

Thank you to the Alabama Department of Archives & History for displaying a  French cannon that traveled upriver in 1717. It made a rare return to the site!

As part of the 300th anniversary celebration, there was an u nveiling of granite markers that designate the location of part of the original 1717 fort wall.

Left to right: Lisa D. Jones, AHC Executive Director; Dr. Jim Day, Chairman of AHC Commission; Thomas Tugulescu, Deputy Cultural Attache, French Consulate, Georgia; John Merrill, Alabama Secretary of State; Gen. Walter Givhan, Treasurer of AHC Commission 

Representatives from Alabama Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma

Visitors witnessed the re-enactment of French marines meeting the Alabama Indians.
Goat Hill Museum Store Holiday Open House

Join us November 16 and 17 from 8:00am - 4:30pm for the  Goat Hill Museum Store's Holiday Open House! Located inside the historic   Alabama State Capitol  at the Union Street entrance. 

Mulled cider and refreshments will be available to shoppers while they browse the store's large selection of unique holiday gifts. The Goat Hill Museum Store is the best place to find Alabama-made gifts, specialty food, souvenirs, holiday ornaments, and more!  

The open house will feature artisans and book signings with Alabama authors (see full schedule below).  

November 16th 
1st Sergeant Salsa
(All day)
Carol's Beauty Barn
Steve Flowers , Of Goats & Governors: Six Decades of Colorful Alabama Political Stories
Laura Murray , Amazing Alabama: A Coloring Book Journey Through Our 67 Counties
Daniel L Haulman, PhD , Tuskegee Airman Chronology

November 17th
G Momma's Cookies
Stacy Lyn Harris , Harvest Cookbook
Emily Blejwas , Once You Know This
Robert Kane , So Far From Home: Royal Air Force and Free French Air Force Flight Training at Maxwell and Gunter Fields during World War II
Priester's Pecans
Gemini Treats

For more information please call (334)353-4969.

The store is operated by the  Alabama Historical Commission and all profits help continue efforts to preserve Alabama's historic places.
Commissioner News

Chairman of the AHC Commission and University of Montevallo Professor of History, Dr. Jim Day, of Helena, was honored as a Hometown Hero at the Montevallo Mayor's Hometown Heroes Breakfast on Friday, Oct. 13. Day also served as keynote speaker of the event.  

Day, who was raised in Montevallo, graduated from Montevallo High School in 1975. He went on to earn a B.S. in engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an M.A. in history from the University of Georgia.  

After 16 years of active duty service in the United States Army, Day earned the title of executive officer, chief of staff and operations officer of a 682-man infantry battalion.

Day began teaching history at the University of Montevallo in 1997, and received his Ph.D. from Auburn University in 2002.  

During his tenure as a professor, he has served as chair of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee, the Library Committee, and currently serves as chairperson for the UM Representative to the Alabama Historical Commission and the UM Representative to the Alabama Historic Ironworks Commission.  

He has been involved in more than 25 professional organizations including the Alabama Association of Historians, the Alabama Higher Education Partnership and serves as the founding president of the Montevallo Historical Society. His book, "Diamonds in the Rough: A History of Alabama's Cahaba Coal Field," won the Alabama Historical Association's Clinton Jackson Coley Award for best work on Alabama local history in 2014.  

In addition to being honored at the Hometown Heroes Breakfast, Day has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Quilt of Valor and Military Service Medal from the Alabama Society Sons of the American Revolution, the National Collegiate Education Award and the title of University Scholar from the University of Montevallo.  

During his acceptance speech at the breakfast, Day shared 12 paradoxes of everyday life that he experienced during his lifetime. His final point stated that, in order to plan as if we'll live forever, we must act as if we'll die tonight. "Relationships are key. Therefore, it's imperative to make a positive impact everyday," said Day in conclusion. 

Learn more about Jim Day. 

Doug Purcell, past AHC Commissioner and executive director emeritus of the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, recently received notification of his appointment to the United States Senate Curatorial Advisory Board, 115th Congress. 

The Curatorial Advisory Board is an arm of the United States Senate Commission on Art which was established in 1968 to accept, supervise, hold, place and protect all works of art, historical objects, and exhibits in the Senate wing of the United States Capitol and the Senate Office Buildings. The five senators who serve on the Senate Commission on Art are the Majority and Minority Leaders, the President pro tempore, and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Rules and Administration.

In April, Purcell was contacted by Senator Richard Shelby's office about this appointment. Shelby is the current Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee and, as a result, sits on the U. S. Senate Commission on Art and has the opportunity to name one citizen from Alabama to serve on the Alabama Senate Curatorial Advisory Board. Purcell accepted Shelby's nomination and formal notification of his appointment was made in an October 18th letter from Julie E. Adams, Executive Secretary of the United States Senate Commission on Art.
Places in Peril Program

Places in Peril, a joint program of the Alabama Trust for Historic
 Preservation and the Alabama Historical Commission, annually recognizes Alabama's most endangered historic resources. 

Each submission will be evaluated for its significance and threat. Please provide clear photographs of the site. Nominations will not be considered without at least one visual representation. Deadline for nominations: March 30, 2018.

Download a nomination form at 
AHC Accepting Applications for the 2017 Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program

The Alabama Historical Commission is excited to announce the 2017 Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program.  

We are now accepting applications for the program.

The 2017 Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit is a 25% refundable tax credit available for private homeowners and owners of commercial properties who substantially rehabilitate historic properties that are listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and are 60 years old or older. The tax credit provides jobs, increases the tax base, and revitalizes existing buildings and infrastructure, while preserving and rehabilitating Alabama's historic properties. See more facts about the program here

Owners must complete a three-part application process.  The AHC provides technical assistance on application procedures, appropriate rehabilitation work, and will visit properties as needed.  The AHC will recommend qualifying projects to the Historic Tax Credit Evaluating Committee and if the project is approved by the committee, the AHC will reserve a tax credit allocation for the project, as long as credits are available.  

To learn more about the new tax credit program visit 

For more information, contact Taylor Stewart at 334-230-2643 or
New Exhibits at Alabama State Capitol

  Photo courtesy of Jonah Enfinger 

The Alabama Historical Commission will host a presentation regarding the Wade Hall Traveling Postcard Exhibition on Wednesday, December 6 from 10:30-12:30 at the Alabama State Capitol. Ruth Elder, the main researcher and writer for the display, along with Jerry Johnson, designer of the physical and digital exhibits, will be the guest speakers. They will discuss Dr. Hall's collection of over 25,000 vintage postcards, the creation of the exhibition, and tell stories of the Alabama cities represented by these historic postcards. 

Dr. Wade Hall was an avid "postcard collector." He collected approximately 25,000 vintage postcards from all over the world during his travels. The quality and size of his collection is impressive because he built it at a time when good, historical postcards were scarce. The dates of these postcards range from the early 1900s to the 1960s.

Hall donated his collection to the Troy University Archives on the Troy Campus and Troy University is making it available for viewing in various forms: their website, traveling postcard exhibits, and  AlabamaMosaic

Beginning December 1, both the buildings and streets postcard exhibits will be on display at the Alabama State Capitol until December 22. For more information please contact Lisa Franklin, Site Director, at 334-242-3188 or
Black Heritage Council Updates

Elvin Lang, member of Black Heritage Council, presenting information to participants

The Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn University hosted a workshop on African American cemetery preservation. Led by Frazine Taylor, Chair of Black Heritage Countil, and Elvin Lang, the workshop covered cemetery art, maintenance of historic cemeteries, and how to use cemeteries in your genealogical research. 

BHC Chair Frazine Taylor makes presentation at Bicentennial Workshop in Demopolis

The BHC is pleased to welcome Jina DuVernay to the Black Heritage Council Board. Ms. DuVernay was elected at the September meeting and will serve as a Public Institution Representative.

Ms. DuVernay is the Special Collections Librarian in the Levi Watkins Learning Center (LWLC) at Alabama State University (ASU). Before that, she served as a Reference Librarian at the LWLC and Museum Staff Associate for the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture at ASU. She has a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Alabama, a Master of Liberal Arts Degree from Auburn University at Montgomery and a Bachelors of English from Troy State University at Montgomery. She is a Board Member of the Alabama Writers Forum and a member of the National Center of the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture Steering Committee.

Ms. DuVernay states, "I want to serve on the Council because of the BHC's mission which is to preserve African-American history and culture. As an African-American, I am proud of and always eager to learn about my history and culture. I am passionate about providing access to information to all people about African-American history and culture. Preservation tells the story of what once was and allows us all and future generations to know the rich history and culture of African-Americans. Therefore, I'm honored to be a part of the BHC and for the opportunity to assist in preserving African-American history."

The Council meets quarterly and the meetings are open to the public.

In 1984, the Alabama Historical Commission created the Black Heritage Council as an advisory group to the Commission on the preservation of African American historic places in the state. It was the first organization of its kind developed in the nation. Today, the Black Heritage Council is the only statewide organization whose sole mission is to advocate for the preservation of historic African American places, their associated artifacts, history and culture. 

For more information about the Council, call Dorothy Walker at 334/230-2676 or by email at
Where in the State are AHC Staff?

AHC staff participated in the Alabama-Mississippi Chapters of the American Planners Association annual meeting on October 5-6, 2017 in Birmingham.  

Taylor Stewart (pictured), AHC   Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program Coordinator, and Stephen McNair of McNair Historic Preservation hosted a joint session regarding the state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credit programs. 

The session covered what the tax credit programs are, eligibility of projects, the application processes, and examples of previous projects.  Mary Shell, AHC  Community Services/Preservation Planner/CLG Coordinator, led a panel discussion on conservation overlay districts with Megan Brown, National Park Service; Robin Zeigler, Metro Nashville Historic Zoning Commission; Keri Coumanis, City of Mobile Legal Department; and Matt Mosley, City of Opelika Planning Director.  

Left to right: Lisa D. Jones, AHC Executive Director; Jay Lamar, Executive Director, Alabama Bicentennial Commission (ABC); and Clara Nobles, AHC Assistant Executive Director attended the Birmingham Bicentennial Celebration Kick-off.

Left to right: Cait Monroe, Site Manager and Docent, Belle Mont; Ninon Parker, Site Director, Belle Mont; Lisa D. Jones, AHC Executive Director. In October, repairs to the front of Belle Mont were completed. 

Dorothy Walker (center), Site Director, Freedom Rides Museum, made a presentation on Rosenwald Schools for the Virginia Caples Lifelong Learning Institute at Alabama A&M University

AHC Senior Archaeologists, Eric Sipes and Will Lowe, participated in the annual Moundville Native American Festival

Mary Shell, AHC CLG Coordinator, and Collier Neeley, AHC National Register Coordinator, enjoyed a special tour of the Rosenbaum House, which is the only  Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in our state (Florence, Alabama). 

Mary Shell, AHC CLG Coordinator, participated in a public gathering to explore ideas and opportunities for the lovely Nitrate Village School in Sheffield, Alabama (pictured below). The Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area and Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments also participated.

Jacqulyn Kirkland, AHC Marketing & Public Relations Manager, presented a branding workshop to AHC Site Directors
Happenings at #AHCsites

Linda Derry, Site Director, Old Cahawba leading tour during 11th Annual Haunted History - a SOLD OUT event

The Freedom Rides Museum had back-to-back visits from Freedom Riders the month of October. Dr. John Dolan of Berkeley, CA, came with a Roads Scholar group and spoke at length about his experience being arrested and being disowned by his father as a result of participating in the fight for integrated public

Freedom Rider Dr. Bernard Lafayette also stopped by the Freedom Rides Museum in October to film an interview with the National Civil Rights Trail. While there, he met with a delegation from the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum of Cambodia. They were interested in learning about his experiences and how U.S. museums interpret painful and challenging history.

Staff at Pond Spring, the General Joe Wheeler Home had a blast when the 2017 Sweet Home Alabama Model A Ford  Tour visited! They expected to see Miss Annie Wheeler step out of a car at any moment!!

AHC Archaeologists, Eric Sipes and Will Lowe, continue excavations at Old Cahawba's statehouse lot.

Dylan Tucker, Cultural Resource Specialist at Fort Morgan, was the uniformed guide who led visitors on a nighttime tour of the historic fortress during Who Haunts the Fort. 

Visitors enjoyed the Ghosts of Gaineswood historic night time tour 
Happenings Around the State  

November 12 - Alabama Courthouses presentation by Delos Hughes, Landmarks Foundation at Old Alabama Town

November 15-16Alabama Bicentennial Virtual Field TripAlabama Department of Archives & History

November 24 Part Two: Trekking through the past with Mary Ann Neeley Landmarks Foundation at Old Alabama Town

November 30  -  Archaeology Adventures - Early Alabama History - A Live, Interactive Alabama Bicentennial Learning Adventure APT IQ Learning Network

December 2 -  The Gathering Year: A Montgomery County Bicentennial History ProjectMontgomery County Historical Society (download flyer here)

December 2 - Final 2017 dig at Old St. Stephens. For more information contact George Shorter at 251-709-7369 or  

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


January 186th Annual Preservation Roundtable & Luncheon, Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation. Please forward suggested topics of interest to  
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