The Official E-Newsletter of the Alabama Historical Commission
Volume 3 Number 7
468 S Perry St, Montgomery, AL 36104   ( 334) 242-3184
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.
May 28 - June 22
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services' exhibit, 2018 Ability Counts Poster Competition
The purpose of the contest is to promote awareness of the talents and artistic abilities that individuals with disabilities bring to the job market.
For more information contact Lisa Franklin, 
Site Director, at 
June - July
Tuesday Evening Living History Tours. History comes to life as interpreters and historians dressed in period clothing demonstrate life at Mobile Point. Learn about Fort Bowyer and Fort Morgan from The War of 1812 until the end of WWII. For more information c all 251-540-5257 .
June 7
Albany Freedom Rider Joan Browning and ASU's Professor emeritus Dr. Dorothy Autrey will speak about the last group of 1961 Freedom Riders and how they influenced The Albany Movement. Light refreshments provided For more information c all  334-414-8647.
June 7 - 10
Winston Family Reunion includes multiple events at several venuesThis event is a Bicentennial Celebration.  For more information please call 256-381-5052 or 256-383-0783
June 9
The 33rd Alabama Infantry will occupy the authentic reproduction barracks at Confederate Memorial Park. Stop by to learn more about the life of the Confederate soldier from our knowledgeable living historians. No cost to attend - donations to the museum are appreciated.  For more information please call 205-755-1990.
June 10
Meet Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a Freedom Rider, Civil Rights activist, first white student at Tougaloo College, and first white sorority sister of Delta Sigma Theta. Activities for all ages For more information c all  334-414-8647.
June 14
The meeting will be held in the Carriage House at the Alabama Historical
Commission's main office.
 For more information c all  334-242-3184.
June 16
French & Indian and War Re-enactment. For more information c all  334-567-3002.
June 21
Quarterly Meeting 
8:45am in the State Capitol Auditorium.
For more information c all  334-242-3184.
June 27
Historic Tax Credit Evaluating Committee at 1:30pm in the State House, Room 200 For more information c all  334-242-3184.
June 21 - 24
Individuals and Collectors share 200 years of antique and vintage china in tablescapes set up around the museum. This event celebrates the Bicentennial of Alabama's Statehood. A tour of historic Belle Mont Mansion, built circa 1828, is included with admission to the special exhibit. For more information please call 256-381-5052 or 256-383-0783
Recent Press Releases

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In the News

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Alabama Historical Commission Announces 2019 Grant Program

The Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) will administer a $750,000 state-funded Grant Program in fiscal year 2019 (October 1, 2018 - September 30, 2019), for improvements as well as educational programming at historic sites in Alabama.
Grants will be awarded to public or private entities who own and operate historic sites in Alabama. Grants will be awarded to entities that reflect an education-based mission, concentrate on educational programming, and reflect the geographical diversity of the state. Preference will be given to publicly-owned battlefields or  structures constructed prior to 1840 that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and historic  school structures. Grant amounts will not exceed $20,000 for any one entity.
In fiscal year 2018, the Historical Commission received over 100 applications requesting more than $4.3 million in funding.
"Last fiscal year the Capital Enhancements Grant Program helped to facilitate several types of improvements, including roof replacements, window restorations, and exterior painting," said Lisa D. Jones, Executive Director of the Alabama Historical Commission. "The goal of the 2019 grant program is to assist historic sites throughout Alabama with both improvements as well as educational programming, which will help preserve them for future generations."
Applicants must complete an official 2019 Historic Sites Grant application available on the AHC website, hereGrant Application Guidelines are also available on the AHC website.
Applications must be hand-delivered or mailed to Tryon McLaney, Contracts and Grants, Alabama Historical Commission, by August 15, 2018. Faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted. AHC will announce the grant awards in October 2018. See additional guidelines on the AHC website.

Alabama Historical Commission Announces Mobile River Shipwreck Project

The Alabama Historical Commission will begin a project to inventory shipwrecks and other cultural resources in submerged portions of the Mobile River, Mobile, County, Alabama. This project will ultimately result in a National Register Maritime Historic District and the possible discovery of the Clotilda. 

In March 2018 the Alabama Historical Commission (AHC), in coordination with the National Park Service (NPS), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and SEARCH, completed the investigation of the shipwreck remains discovered in January 2018 in Baldwin County, Alabama. After thorough testing of the wreck's architectural and construction features and using minimally invasive research methods, it was concluded that the  vessel was not the Clotilda .

As the Alabama Historical Commission, it is our agency's duty to uphold the state law that manages and protects shipwrecks and archaeological sites in Alabama waters. Part of that duty involves identifying cultural resources such as shipwrecks. 

Currently, the Historical Commission has contracted SEARCH to complete the Phase I remote-sensing survey to locate significant submerged cultural resources. Advanced maritime remote sensing equipment, including a marine magnetometer, side-scan sonar, and sub-bottom profiler will be employed. 

Upon completion of the Phase I, SEARCH will conduct an archaeological analysis of the acquired data. In addition, a description of the area's prehistoric and historic context will be included in the final report as well as a shipwreck inventory. After all cultural resources in the project area are inventoried, any that have characteristics matching the Clotilda, the last known slave ship to bring captives from Africa to the United States, will be investigated further in subsequent phases of the investigation.

"We were powerfully struck by the story of the Mobile River," said James P. Delgado, PhD, Senior Vice President, SEARCH, Inc. "The river, particularly the area to be surveyed, has a number of potential stories to tell. Clotilda is one of those important stories." 

Alabama State Senator Vivian Davis Figures is supporting the research, as well. "I am thrilled and honored to help advance the next phase of exploration," Figures said. "Our children need to know and understand our history to understand better who they are. There are important emotional and intellectual connections to be made as a result of this research."

In conjunction with local and state partners, the archaeological process will occur in phases with Phase I beginning as early as the end of June. During this intense and focused archaeological survey, we respectfully ask the general public and media not to visit the site. Any disruptions during this process could result in a significant loss of information and time.  

Updates will be available on the AHC website at  and on AHC social media.

Freedom Rides Museum Acquires Greyhound Bus

The Freedom Rides Museum acquired a circa 1958 Greyhound Bus. The Greyhound Bus Museum in Hibbing, Minnesota donated the bus to the Alabama Historical Commission and an anonymous donor provided funding for its transport to Alabama. 

The goal is to restore the bus as immersive exhibit space at the Freedom Rides Museum. The bus is the same vintage used during the Freedom Rides and by the Freedom Riders during their journey to desegregate interstate transportation in the South in 1961. 

We are grateful to the partners who are supporting this project.  The Alabama Historical Commission received two African American Civil Rights Grants from the National Park Service.

The first grant totaling $365,720 will be used to develop a master plan and to complete phase I rehabilitation for the historic Moore Building located on South Court Street in Montgomery, Alabama.

The AHC also received a $50,000 grant to develop a new, interactive exhibit at the Freedom Rides Museum including the restoration of the bus. The completed exhibit will open in 2021 during the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Rides.

The 2017 African American Civil Rights grant is funded through the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the National Park Service (NPS).

AHC staff were on-hand to welcome the bus to Alabama. 
Left to right: Stacye Hathorn, State Archaeologist; Jacqulyn Kirkland, Marketing & PR Manager; Dorothy Walker, Site Director of the Freedom Rides Museum; Eleanor Cunningham, Historic Sites Division Director.

Upcoming Commission Meeting

Please join us for our Quarterly Meeting which will be held in the State Capitol Auditorium on Thursday, June 21 at 8:45am. 

State & Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits

Tourism in Alabama

In May, Lee Sentell, AHC Commissioner and Alabama Tourism Director, announced that the Alabama travel industry grew by $1 billion in 2017, to a record of $14.3 billion in expenditures, and increased jobs by 7,399 to some 186,906 employees.

"This is such great news for the state of Alabama. In 2017, we had more visitors than at any other time in our history - visitors whose spending added one billion dollars more to the state economy than the year before," Director Sentell said. "The site of today's announcement, Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, is one of the reasons for these gains. The Barber Museum and Park generated almost 100,000 hotel room-nights of occupancy in 2017 and had 352,000 visitors, an increase of more than 35 percent from the year before."

The tourism industry generates millions of dollars for state and local government. The hospitality industry was responsible for $627.5 million in state taxes and an additional $251.6 million in local revenue for a total of $879 million, an increase of five percent over the previous year, the report said. Some $70 million was generated in state lodgings taxes, of which 75 percent benefits the State General Fund.

Alabama Historical Commission Celebrated National Preservation Month

In May, BHC member Dr. Howard Robinson and AHC Staff Dorothy Walker appeared on the Alabama News Network's "Your Community This Week" hosted by Tim Lennox to provide information on AHC's National Preservation Month's project to highlight Alabama's nine four-year Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Dr. Robinson highlighted the historical significance of HBCUs to Alabama's history particularly civil rights and Mrs. Walker highlighted the variety of the types of historic architecture found on Alabama HBCUs campuses.
During the month, the AHC highlighted the state's HBCUs including Concordia College and Selma University in Selma, Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama State University in Montgomery, Miles College in Birmingham, Tuskegee University, Talladega College, Alabama A&M University and Oakwood University in Huntsville. More information about HBCUs can be found on the AHC website at 

Attorney Bruce Boynton Honored

The Friends of the Freedom Rides Museum, along with the Freedom Rides Museum, AHC, Governor's office, State Attorney General's office, the city and county of Montgomery, the Alabama State Bar, Alabama NAACP, Alabama Lawyers Association, and three Freedom Riders came together to honor Attorney Bruce Carver Boynton at the Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. Courthouse in Montgomery on May 18. Boynton, a Selma native, was being recognized for his tireless legal work supporting Civil Rights issues in the South, along with his role in sparking the 1961 Freedom Rides.

Major General Walter Givhan, Chair of the AHC Commission, presented an award and medal to Mr. Boynton in recognition for his life's work and dedication to advancing civil rights and the cause of justice, freedom, and equality for all.

AHC Sites are Blue Star Museums

It's that time of year again!  #AHCsites participating in the  National Endowment for the Arts and  U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)'s  #BlueStarMuseum program, say THANK YOU to our military families by offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

We have experiences and activities for all ages to enjoy. From the stately Belle Mont Mansion in north  Alabama to Montgomery's  Freedom Rides Museum to  Fort Morgan State Historic Site  along Alabama's coast. 

We have Real Places Telling Real Stories!

Find out more about AHC Sites at 

Where in the State are AHC Staff?

Lisa D. Jones, Executive Director of the Alabama Historical Commission, and Eleanor Cunningham, AHC Historic Sites Division Director, participated in the U.S. Lighthouse Society's tour of Middle Bay Lighthouse, a historic property of the Alabama Historical Commission. 

Mary Shell, Alabama Historical Commission CLG Coordinator and ACE Team Co-Captain, (on far right) attended the Opening Session of the Alabama League of Municipalities Annual Convention held in Montgomery, Alabama. Geneva, Alabama successfully completed the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) comprehensive three-phase approach to economic and community development. 

Also pictured (from left to right)Rufus Lee, Geneva Mayor Pro-Tem; Tracy Delaney, ACE Team Captain; Sidney Hoover, ACE Executive Director; Geneva Mayor Frankie Lindsey; Jonathan Tullos, ACE Team Member, Wiregrass Economic Development Corporation. 

Visit the ACE website:  for additional information on the program and registration for the 2018 ACE Community Reunion.  

The Montgomery Police Department and Montgomery Public Schools Leadership Tomorrow initiative provided the MPD officers an opportunity to converse with, develop and train 300 emerging student leaders from Montgomery Public Schools. 

"What's Going On?" was the first segment of an ongoing conversation between Montgomery Public Schools students, staff, administrators and Montgomery Police Department with a focus on facilitated conversations empowering youth to become leaders in Montgomery. The event was held at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl. 

The Freedom Rides Museum was the only museum that participated alongside other local agencies and nonprofits to introduce students to opportunities with their organizations such as resources, internships, jobs or services. 

Hannah Garmon, AHC Cemetery Register Coordinator, attended the Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance Workshop.

Heather Tassin, Site Director of Fort Morgan, and Dylan Tucker, Site Historian, attended the "Pilot Town" historical marker dedication ceremony.

In May, approximately 50 individuals from across the state - scholars, public historians, genealogists, community leaders, and others - including AHC Commissioner T.C. Coley, AHC Staff and BHC members, converged on the Alabama Department of Archives to discuss opportunities for collaboration in the commemoration of 400 years of African American history during 2019, the anniversary of the first arrival of Africans in the English colonies that would become the United States. 

The group was convened by Footprints of Slavery: Before & After 1619 committee, Alabama Historical Commission, Black Heritage Council of the AHC, Alabama Department of Archives & History, and the Alabama Bicentennial Commission. This meeting stems from recent conversations with Joseph McGill, founder of the Slave Dwelling Project, who is working with several partners in an effort to extend the commemoration of 1619 beyond Virginia-specific networks. One goal of the effort is to build toward strong representation of other states at a capstone conference in October 2019, "Footprints of Slavery: Before & After 1619," likely to be held in Virginia. Another goal is to stimulate commemorative activities throughout the nation through collaborations organized at the state level.

Happenings at #AHCsites

Old Cahawba welcomed C-SPAN to film for their  2018 Cities Tour . If you missed the programming,  be sure to watch it at 

Old Cahawba received a delivery of six new Regions Bank bicycles.  Regions Bank, a loyal supporter of Old Cahawba, donated the famous "green bicycles," which are available for visitors to use to explore the many trails throughout the site.  The initial donation of bikes from Regions Bank was in 2012. In the past 6 years hundreds of people have taken advantage of the free bicycle program at Old Cahawba. This partnership has successfully served to promote recreation, tourism, and preservation within the Black Belt.

Belle Mont Mansion staff participated in the Oakville Indian Mounds Multicultural eventan annual festival held in May and sponsored by the Lawrence County Native American Student Club.

Fendall Hall hosted a beautiful Mother's Day Brunch.

Don't forget Dad this  #FathersDaySpoil Dad with a gift from the  Goat Hill Museum Store (located inside the Alabama State Capitol).  From bow ties to mugs and cooking aprons we have that perfect gift!

Freedom Rider Dr. Ernest "Rip" Patton (not pictured) and author B.J. Hollars gave a powerful and engaging presentation at the Freedom Rides Museum on May 19, to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the Freedom Riders' volatile arrival in Montgomery. 

Patton shared his own stories of being a Civil Rights worker in his youth, while Hollars read excerpts from his new book of interviews with Freedom Riders, called The Road South.

The author is pictured here with Dorothy Walker, Site Director of the Freedom Rides Museum.

During Fort Morgan's Living History Memorial Day Tribute staff were dressed in uniforms from various periods of Fort Morgan's occupation. Demo nstrations interpreted and remembered the lives of those who served at the fort.

Black Heritage Council Update

The South Macon Community Foundation hosted its first annual Freedom Day on Saturday, May 26, in Roba, AL. It took place at the site of the former Macon County Training School, a circa 1927 Rosenwald school which later became an equalization school known as South Macon High School and South Macon School. The South Macon Community Foundation maintains the historic property and is drumming up community support to keep it preserved and to share its story.

Members and the community have been working to clean and maintain the property for the past 3 years. They are seeking to raise awareness of and interest in the site as a former equalization school, as well as for preservation grants. 

The original Rosenwald School on the site was built in 1927, with assistance from Tuskegee University. It was later used as a round-up site for participants in the U.S. Department of Public Health Syphilis Study, infamously known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. The home of the last survivor of the Study, Mr. Ernest Hendon, is located in the Community Historic District next to the Foundation site. For more details, please email 

Black Heritage Council member Elvin D. Lang was on hand for a clean-up program at Oaklawn Memorial Cemetery in Mobile. The clean-up was part of "Operation Overload" led by the 92nd Infantry Division Buffalo Soldiers Association WWII AL Chapter. They are a volunteer group of U.S. Veterans who travel around the country cleaning up and placing flags at burial sites of U.S. Veterans. As of May 5, more than 600 soldiers' graves have been identified at Oaklawn Memorial Cemetery.

Happenings Around the State


June 7  - Alabama Recreational Trails Leadership Workshop from  8:00am to 5:00pm at the Orange Beach Community Center. This is a fun and informative gathering for those who plan, develop, and manage recreational trails in Alabama. For more information download the flyer here

June 14 The public is invited to  Historic Pottery of the Deep South: A Symposium  on Thursday, June 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities at Pebble Hill.  Speakers at the symposium include Joey Brackner, Donnie Barrett, John Burrison, Gary Price, and Phil Wingard. The topics covered will be an overview of Georgia pottery, potteries of Randolph County, Alabama, the Edgefield Diaspora of southern potters, the pottery of Edgefield, South Carolina and the pottery of Baldwin County, Alabama.

June 20Your Town ALABAMA will hold a special event celebrating the past 20 years. The celebration will be at Camp McDowell.  For additional information, visit the Your Town Alabama website.   


August 22At the 5th Annual aLABama Downtown Laboratory, all of the points of the Four Point Approach will Come Together in Eufaula. Topics covered will range from Embracing the Maker Movement to Supporting Minority Entrepreneurs and Fostering Inclusion on Main Street.   Registration is now open for the conference.  


October 13-14 - The Old Claiborne Pilgrimage promises a rare glimpse into the settlement of the forgotten town of Claiborne and Monroe County. This event will feature docent tours of antebellum homes, churches, and sites of historic significance along the Alabama River in Monroe and Clarke Counties. For more information contact the Old Courthouse Museum in Monroeville at 251-575-7433 or visit their website
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 here.  

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