Protect, Preserve, & Interpret 
              Alabama's  Historic Places

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

See more events at
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 - September 4
As a participating Blue Star Museum, military members and their families get in free until Labor Day. For more information please call 334-414-8647.
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 22
Preservation Forum in Andalusia . For more information call 334-230-2676.
September 28
Scheduled for 10:30am at the Alabama Historical Commission in the Carriage House. For more information call 
October 7
Hear the Dead Speak.  For more information call 334-872-8058. 
October 21
French & Indian War of 1812 . For more information call 334-567-3002.
October 21 & 28
Haunted History Tours. To purchase tickets please  call 334-872-8058. 
October 21
Known Deaths & Burials at Mobile Point. For more information please call 251-540-5257 or 251-540-7127.
November 1-4
Frontier Days and 300th Anniversary Celebration. For more information call 334-567-3002.
November 4
The Quarterly Commission Meeting will be held at Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson in Wetumpka, Ala. For more information call  334-230-2690.
November 15-17
Holiday Open House. For more information call  334-353-4969.
Recent Press Releases

See more press releases at

In the News

See more news at

Black Heritage Council to Host Annual Community Preservation Forum

Since 1999, the Black Heritage Council has hosted Community Preservation Forums in cities and towns across the state to focus attention on the preservation of African American historic places in those areas.

Saturday, September 23 : The Black Heritage Council will host its annual Community Preservation Forum in Andalusia along with local supporters. The theme for this year's program is "Preserving and Promoting Covington County's African-American History" and will feature topics ranging from the history of Black schools in Covington County to Alabama's Bicentennial. Featured topics will give participants information on how to apply for a historical marker for a site, how to properly care for old records, photographs, newspapers, and how to document and preserve a historic cemetery.

Speakers include the Covington County Historical Society, local individuals, and representatives from the Black Heritage Council and the Alabama Historical Commission.

Friday, September 22 : The Black Heritage Council will tour some of the African-American historic sites in Covington County in River Falls, Opp, Lockhart, Florala and Andalusia.

Although the Forum is held in Andalusia, some information will be of interest to those throughout the state. Any city/county officials, community leaders and all who have an interest in preserving historic buildings such as old schools and churches, cemeteries, and other sites should attend this event.

The event is FREE!

However, registration is requested. You can register by contacting the Black Heritage Council at 334-230-2678 or 334-230-2676 OR .

There will be light refreshments.

Again, there is no fee to register, just email your name, address, phone number and how many people will attend the Forum with you. 
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!
The 2017 Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program

The Alabama Historical Commission is excited to announce the 2017 Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program.  The tax credit is a 25% refundable tax credit available for private homeowners and owners of income-producing properties who substantially rehabilitate properties that are at least 60 years old and listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

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.  

For more information, contact Taylor Stewart at 334-230-2643 or

Stay up-to-date on the tax credit program at 
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. The time to submit applications has passed.

The AHC received over 100 applications requesting more than $4 million. 

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.

Learn more about the AHC grant program at  
Commissioners Meet at Fendall Hall

The Alabama Historical Commission held its quarterly meeting in Eufaula at Fendall Hall, a historic property of the AHC. The twenty-two member board enjoys visiting and conducting meetings at various sites throughout the year. 
Several members of the Friends of Fendall Hall were present for the meeting including Board President Ed Garrison and Fendall Hall Site Director, Lindsey Dudeck.

The next meeting of the AHC will be held in Wetumpka at Fort Toulouse, also a historic property of the AHC, on November 4 before the celebration of the site's 300th Anniversary.
Join us to Celebrate General Joe Wheeler's Birthday

The Alabama Historical Commission is honoring General Joe Wheeler's birthday at his home in North Alabama on Saturday, September, 9.

Visitors to Pond Spring, the General Joe Wheeler Home, will be able to sample cake made from a family recipe said to be the General's favorite. There will also be a special giveaway (made possible by the Friends of the General Joe Wheeler Foundation) featuring a Pond Spring t-shirt, tote bag, swig bottle, honey from the site's beehive, Wheeler biography, and more!
Special giveaway

Fees: Entrance to the grounds to view the re-enactment, the concert, cake (while it lasts), and Pepsi products are FREE. Admission to the Wheeler House is $8 adults, $5 seniors/college students/military, $3 children 6-18, and free for children under 6. Tours will be offered from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The annual celebration begins at 10:00 am. The public can explore the grounds from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Come see re-enactors firing a working Civil War cannon and cavalry officers performing drills; watch folk artists such as a blacksmith demonstrate their skills; enjoy a pit-fire cooking demonstration; view handmade quilts based on designs from the 1860s; and learn about bees and their ecosystem from representatives from the Tennessee Valley Beekeepers Association.

Lunch will be available for purchase from Copperhead Road Barbeque & Such, a local food truck. At 12:00 pm the grounds will be filled with live music featuring country music performer Wade Oliver on the front porch of the museum.

For more information contact Kara Long at or 256-637-8513.
Get Your Tickets for Old Cahawba's Haunted History Tours

Alabama's most famous ghost town is rarely open to nighttime visitors, but on Saturday October 21st and 28th, a few lucky people will experience Old Cahawba after dark. 

Reserve one of a limited number of tickets, and you will experience Cahawba's most haunted locations where authentic historical accounts of ghosts attached to each place will be shared. Then the Alabama Paranormal Research group will step in with their ghost hunting equipment so you can participate in a mini investigation. After the formal tour, you can swap ghost tales around a bonfire, chat with a paranormal investigator, or learn more about Cahawba's mysterious his tory.

Seats for this 90 minute tour and investigation are limited and advance tickets are required. For more information please call Old Cawhaba at 334-872-8058.
Alabama Historical Commission Staff Meeting

In August AHC staff from across the state gathered at the Montgomery main office to participate  in a meeting. 
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Announces New Online Courses 

The ACHP - Advisory Council on Historic Preservation is pleased to announce the availability of a new suite of online courses designed to provide historic preservation professionals and stakeholders with training in the use of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act to protect historic properties.

Two of the new courses cover integration and coordination of Section 106 reviews with the National Environmental Policy Act review process, which is of particular importance as policy makers at all levels of government search for new ways to create efficiencies in regulatory processes and advance infrastructure projects.

The course catalog also includes a FREE online course, "What is Section 106?" Designed for the general public, it provides a broad overview of the Section 106 review process and the opportunities for the public to play a role in such reviews.

Stay up-to-date on the Alabama Historical Commission's Section 106 Program at
New Properties Added to Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage

The following properties were added to the Alabama Register in August 2017:

Pike County, Tuskegee Army Airfield Hangar at Troy Municipal Airport  is one of only three documented surviving buildings associated with the Tuskegee Army Airfield, the secondary flight training facility for the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. 

It was the first major army airfield base built by McKissack and McKissack, an African-American construction company out of Nashville, TN. Also, Hilyard Robinson, one of the most successful African-American architects in Washington D.C. during this time, designed and supervised the construction of the base.

Tuskegee Army Airfield was deactivated in 1946 and its buildings and equipment deemed surplus. The Troy Alabama Municipal Airport, Dannelly Field in Montgomery, and the Chilton County Gragg-Wade Field Airport acquired the three hangers, which were disassembled and reassembled at their new locations.

Montgomery County, Union Chapel AME Zion Church held its first service in 1882 in a log cabin built by Elijah Madison, a former slave, who helped found the Madison Park Community.
Church leadership encouraged members to be involved in activities that enhanced their lives both economically and politically. In 1944, church member, Attorney Arthur Madison, filed a voting rights class-action suit on behalf of African American's in Montgomery. Through the years, members of the church were very active in the fight for civil rights. Many participated in the Selma to Montgomery march. Member Inez Steele Taylor along with Bernice Hendricks Simon, a member of Holt Street Church of Christ, taught classes under the SCLC to enable citizens to pass the literacy test that was required to become a registered voter before the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
The church became the voting place for citizens in the area for federal, state, county, and city elections in the 1960s and remains so today. 

Macon County, The Fort Davis Railroad Depot served as the cornerstone of the local community for over 100 years. The Seaboard Savannah-Americus Railroad depot at Fort Davis was built in 1904 to replace the 1892 depot that was destroyed by fire. The Depot was in operation from 1904 until 1975, when the depot was deeded by CSX Railroad (the successor of the Seaboard Savannah-Americus Railroad). This railroad ran from east to west from Savannah to Montgomery.
For years, the railroad was the center of the community. People would gather every morning and wait for the train to arrive with the mail. There was also a passenger train in the morning and again in the afternoon. During WWII the depot was utilized for transporting soldiers who were traveling to either Montgomery or Savannah to leave for their tour of duty. The train station also served white and African-American passengers, but the waiting area was segregated. Integration occurred during the early 1960's, but by this time there were no longer any passenger trains stopping at the Fort Davis Depot.
The Depot closed in 1975 and the land was deeded to Fort Davis, but trains still ran through the town until August 18, 1986. The tracks were removed in the winter of 1988 leaving only the railroad bed and the depot, which has recently fallen into a state of disrepair. The Fort Davis Historical Group is actively trying to save the Depot and restore it. It was included in the 2017 Places in Peril list.

Cherokee County, The Jordan Big Store is located on property where the Alabama House Hotel once stood.
Jeff Jordan, born in Cherokee County in 1861, was a farmer whose family originated from South Carolina. He married Josephine Newberry in 1886 and opened a small store in Bomar in 1890. Jeff Jordan continued to farm in addition to operating the store. Three years later he moved his business to the Noah community where he was the only merchant in town and also served as the postmaster.
Construction of the new large store began in 1920 and the store opened in November 1921. The Jeff D. Jordan & Company, the largest store in the county, had three floors, including the basement. A wide, grand staircase led from the main floor to the second floor. A variety of general goods and farming merchandise were available for purchase. Also, furniture, clothing, caskets, fertilizer, gasoline, kerosene, livestock, and grocery items were offered. 
After the building was put up for auction it was purchased by the Cherokee County Commission on June 18, 1983. In 1987 the Cherokee County Historical Museum opened in the building where it continues to this day.

The Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage is an official listing of buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts worthy of preservation. These properties may be of national, state, and local significance. The designation is honorary and carries no restrictions or financial incentives. The Alabama Historical Commission created the Alabama Register to provide the public with a quick and easy way to document and recognize historic places, such as houses, schools, churches, and commercial buildings that are at least 40 years old. 

For more information about the Alabama Register please contact Hannah Garmon at 334-230-2644 or
Alabama Historical Commission Gets New Roof

The Alabama Historical Commission is pleased to announce that the Teague House is getting a new roof.

During the initial phase of the project, the tin roof (circa late 1800s- early 1900s) was uncovered.

Do you know the history of the Teague House, a Greek Revival built in 1848?

The historical marker, located in front of the building, reads: "In 1865 federal troops, known as 'Wilson's Raiders,' approached the city. Lacking means of defense, city officials agreed to surrender the city. From the front portico of this house was read the order of Gen. James H. Wilson, USA, placing the First Capital of the Confederacy under martial law on April 12, 1865. This house, typical of many homes of the period, was home successively of the Owens, Ware, Walker, Graham and Teague families."

Beginning in 1955 the home served as the headquarters of the Alabama State Chamber of Commerce. The Teague House now serves as the main office for the Alabama Historical Commission.

Where in the State are AHC Staff?

Chloe Mercer,  AHC  Federal Tax Credits and Alabama Ad Valorem Coordinator, made a presentation at Main Street Wetumpka's Tax Credit Seminar for community residents and business owners. Photo courtesy of The Wetumpka Herald.

AHC staff were invited to Courtland to provide info on a number of topics including tax incentives, preservation planning, and easements. Staff also participated in a gathering of property owners and members of the Courtland Development Organization, a non-profit historic preservation organization. Pictured left to right: Melvin Brandenburg, Collier Neeley, AHC National Register Coordinator, Brett Dennis, President, Courtland Development Council, and Chloe Mercer, AHC  Federal Tax Credits and Alabama Ad Valorem Coordinator. 

Lisa D. Jones, AHC Executive Director, Clara Nobles, AHC Assistant Executive Director, Chloe Mercer, AHC  Federal Tax Credits and Alabama Ad Valorem Coordinator, and Taylor Stewart, AHC Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program Coordinator, attended The Alabama Conference of Black Mayors (TACBM) Quarterly Meeting in Hobson City. TACBM is actively involved in many worthwhile and needed projects for enhancing  Alabama's communities.

Lisa D. Jones, AHC Executive Director, attended the 2017 Alabama Governor's Conference on Tourism in Birmingham.

Tourism professionals gathered to learn about the economic impact of the industry on the state and learn new strategies for marketing local attractions and amenities to visitors.
Alabama Tourism Director Lee Sentell said Gov. Kay Ivey paid the hospitality industry a major compliment by opening the annual Governor's Tourism Conference

AHC staff attended the dedication of "The Rainbow Soldier" memorializing the National Guard WWI 167th U.S. Infantry Regiment.

A century ago, 3,677 Alabamians left Montgomery's Union Station to serve their country in World War I.

On August 28, 2017, exactly one hundred years to the day of their departure, a bronze sculpture designed by world-renowned British sculptor James Butler, RA, was dedicated in their honor in front of Montgomery's Union Station.

The public was invited to attend the event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 167th U.S. Infantry Regiment's departure from Alabama to fight alongside the French in World War I.

This memorial bronze sculpture by James Butler stands in honor of the 42nd Rainbow Division. This sculpture is located to the south of the French city of Fère-en-Tardenois on the site of the Battle of Croix Rouge Farm. The Montgomery sculpture dedicated on Aug. 28 is a second casting of the one in France. Photo courtesy of James Butler. 

Collier Neeley, AHC National Register Coordinator, and Taylor Stewart, AHC Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program Coordinator, attended Main Street Alabama 4th Annual aLABama Downtown Laboratory in Florence. Participants examined how focusing on details can catapult revitalization efforts.  
Happenings at #AHCsites

In preparation for Frontier Days and Fort Toulouse's 300th Anniversary Celebration, new signage is being installed.

New signage for the Fort's admission gate

Will Lowe, AHC Senior Archaeologist, and Linda  Derry, Site Director of Old Cahawba, working on the site of Alabama's first statehouse. Recently, they uncovered what appeared to be the remains of an 1833 oyster roast among the rubble of the collapsed statehouse. Also, a nearly intact pane of window glass was found nearby. 

Belle Mont's upper portico is currently undergoing r estoration, but the site is still open to visitors. Please enter at the side/yellow door for a tour. 

The Freedom Rides Museum shows off its new sign (on left) as they welcome visitors to the site. As a participating Blue Star Museum, military members and their families get in free until Labor Day.
Fort Mims Re-enactors, photo courtesy of Gulf Coast News
On August 26 and 27 Fort Mims came to life for the 31st Annual Re-enactment in the north Baldwin community of Tensaw at the site of the tragic event that occurred 204 years ago on August 30, 1813.

Living historians traveled from all over the South - Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi - to join the commemoration of the attack on Fort Mims by warring Redstick Creek Indians. 

Beginning in 1983, 31 years ago, the event has become one of the most amazing re-enactments in the southeast as participants strive to provide an accurate view into the lives of early 1800s pioneers and the Creek Indians who lived here. This includes correct attire and weaponry for those who were inside the fort and those who attacked them. 

Crafters located throughout the fort provided demonstrations and goods that were popular during this era. This included flint-nappers (arrowheads), blacksmiths, quilters, pottery making, jewelry, weaving, spinning of yarn, archery, and more! A Native American camp was also set up for viewing.

On Saturday a Memorial Service was held by the Fort Mims Chapter DAR. There was also a wonderful presentation about "Historic and Medicinal Plants of the Tensaw Country" given by local botanist Fred Nation. The Alabama Historical Commission staff set up an exhibit showcasing the artifacts that have been found over the past 50 years during archaeological digs at Fort Mims.  The day also featured the Battle of Burnt Corn re-enactment and a speaker's forum.
Robert Thrower at the 2016 Fort Mims Re-enactment, photo courtesy of Gulf Coast News

For many years, Robert Thrower, the Poarch Creek Tribal Historic  Preservation Officer (THPO) , gave passionate and moving presentations about the Creek Indians during the annual re-enactment. Sadly, Robert passed away this summer but he was fondly remembered at Fort Mims this year.

Beginning this year, descendants came forward to present "Family Stories" with a short account of their ancestors' involvement at Fort Mims. All descendants of settlers and of Creek Indians were recognized. 

On September 14-17, Demopolis will celebrate its 200th with a Bicentennial Pilgrimage and Gala. Kick off the weekend at Gaineswood with a reception beginning at 7:00 pm. At 7:30 pm guests are invited to adjourn to the drawing room to enjoy a short theatrical drama of the history of Marengo County, Demopolis, the Whitfield family, and Gaineswood presented by the Gaineswood Belles & Beaux.

For more information, please contact Marengo County Historical Society at 334.289.9644,, or PO Box 159, Demopolis, AL 36732. 

Please note that Gaineswood's hours of operation are changing slightly.

The new hours of operation will now be 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. They will be closed on Sunday and Monday except by special appointment or for special Gaineswood events. 

For questions, or to arrange a special or group tour, please call (334) 289-4846.
Black Heritage Council Vice Chair Named Citizen of the Year

Mr. Lang receiving the award from Dr. Valda Harris Montgomery, President, Patrons of the National Center
In August, the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African American Culture at Alabama State University held its 14th Annual Patrons and Donors program. The program honors those individuals who have served as volunteers on the Patrons of the National Center. The program also honors individuals who have donated material collections to Alabama State University's Archives.
BHC Vice Chair, Mr. Elvin Lang, serves as a Patron of the National Center and volunteers with Alabama State University's Archives helping to process collections received by the university.
The National Center awarded Mr. Lang its "Citizen of the Year" award for his willingness to always volunteer at nearly every National Center or Patron event to take pictures. Not only does Mr. Lang take pictures but he also provides a copy of the images to the Alabama State University Archives as well as to the Black Heritage Council for its files.
The Black Heritage Council of the Alabama Historical Commission wishes to congratulate Mr. Lang on receiving this well-deserved recognition and distinction. 
Happenings Around the State  

August - September 30 - Classic Seating: Chairs in 19th Century Alabama, Landmarks Foundation at Old Alabama Town 
August 30  -  Your Town Alabama Workshop Your Town Alabama  

August 30 - Gulf South History & Humanities Conference Call for PapersGulf South Historical Association 


September 14-17- Demopolis Bicentennial, Marengo County Historical Society

September 22Preservation Forum in Andalusia, AlabamaBlack Heritage Council

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

September 23 - Part One: Trekking through the past with Mary Ann Neeley, Landmarks Foundation at Old Alabama Town

September 29 - Deadline for African American Civil Rights Grant Program (AACR), National Park Service


October 2 -  Alabama Colloquium , Alabama Humanities Foundation

October 6-8 2017 Annual Meeting of the Center for French Colonial Studies Archaeology Museum at University of South Alabama 

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


November 5 -  Black History in Shelby CountyShelby County Historical Museum

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

December 15Deadline 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.
Want to Share Your News and Events to a Statewide Audience?

Send news and event information to the Alabama Historical Commission.

Email submissions  to .  
Please mark as "Attention: E-News."

468 South Perry Street
Montgomery, AL 36130-0900