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.
In honor of National Mental Health Month the Alabama Department of Mental Health will display its Capitol Showcase Consumer Art Exhibition, which includes over 100 art pieces by mental health consumers from around the state. For more information c all Lisa Franklin, 
Site Director, at 
Tuesday Evening Tours -
JUNE 20, 27
JULY 11, 18, 25
7:00 PM
For more information call 251-540-5257.
June 5-24
University of Alabama's Museum Expedition 39. Learn more at  or click  here  to download the media kit. 
June 17
French & Indian War of 1812. For more information call 334-567-3002.
June 23
"Art of the Dish," Antique & Vintage China Exhibit will feature private collections. A boxed lunch will be served on Friday, June 23. Special guest speakers will also be present. To purchase tickets and for more information call 256-381-5052. 
June 24
Alabama Archaeological Society Summer Meeting.  Learn more at  
July 1
Salute to American Independence -  Living History staff will celebrate America's Independence through firing artillery, weapons demonstrations, and special tours. Admission charged. For more information please call 251-540-5257 or 251-540-7127.
July 29
"Music at the Mansion" returns during the W.C. Handy Festival.  Popular Dixieland jazz musicians Renee' Koopman and Friends will perform from 3 pm to 5 pm.  Fried pies and sweet tea will be sold on the courtyard and admission costs to the mansion will be waived in favor of donations during the event. For more information: 256-381-5052.
August 5
Commemoration of Battle of Mobile Bay -  A one day living history event commemorating the events that happened at Mobile Bay. Admission charged. For more information please call 251-540-5257 or 251-540-7127.
August 5
True Crime Walking Tour- 
From feuding families delivering street justice to colorful characters threatening to assassinate the President, Cahawba's corruption will be revealed on this one hour guided walking tour. For more information call 334-872-8058. 
August 26-27
During the commemorative event set for August 26-27, 2017 volunteers will dress in period clothing to re-enact the Battle of Burnt Corn followed by the Battle of Fort Mims. You can witness living history as well as enjoy period music, arts, crafts, covered wagons, tomahawk throwing, blacksmithing, concessions, dancing and 1800s cooking demonstrations. For more information call 251-533-9024.
Recent Press Releases

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In the News

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Alabama Historical Commission Announces 2018 Capital Enhancements Grant Program

The Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) will administer a $300,000 state-funded Grant Program in fiscal year 2018 (October 1, 2017 - September 30, 2018), for capital improvements at historic sites throughout Alabama.
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. Also, entities must 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.
"Through this grant program, the Alabama Historical Commission will stimulate preservation in communities that have received less support in the past," said Lisa D. Jones, Executive Director of AHC. "The goal of the Capital Enhancements Grant Program is to assist historic sites throughout Alabama with improvements, which will help preserve them for future generations."
Applicants must complete an official 2018 Capital Enhancement Grant application available on the AHC website, . Grant Application Guidelines and Grant Legislation is 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, 2017. Faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted. AHC will announce the grant awards on October 2, 2017. See additional guidelines on the AHC website

Legislators Pass New Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program

The program that expired in 2016 fueled the renovation of 51 projects in Alabama for an estimated investment of $347 million.

The new Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program, which expires December 31, 2022, caps the total amount of tax credit reservations at $20 million per year, and no single project can receive more than $5 million.  Of the annual $20 million, 40% will be set aside for the first six months each year for projects in counties with populations under 175,000. The 40% will revert to other projects if credits are not allocated for projects in the specified counties.   

Other stipulations include 
  • Buildings must be listed in or eligible for the National Register and be at least 60 years old to qualify unless they are already designated as National Monuments or Parks. 
  • All rehabilitation work must follow the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.  
In addition, the new law establishes a Historic Tax Credit Evaluating Committee, made up of state officials, which would be responsible for reviewing each application. AHC will begin accepting applications for the tax credit beginning November 1, 2017. 

To stay up-to-date on the Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program visit
Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation and Alabama Historical Commission Announce 2017 Places in Peril

Traces of the material culture of earlier times persist in our state's built environment, although much of the historic architecture that survives is in poor condition and some needs urgent attention lest the hand of time erase it from Alabama's landscape. Such is the status of the five special places in peril recognized this year by the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation and the Alabama Historical Commission:

Overton Farm, Hodges, Franklin County 
Abner Overton, a tobacco peddler from North Carolina, and his wife, Judy Mae, purchased 160 acres of farm land on Bear Creek in present-day Franklin County in 1817, when the land was part of the Mississippi Territory. In 1819, the year Alabama became a state, the Overton family built a one-room log cabin. Over the course of their lives they added to the cabin and built two barns, corn cribs and other agricultural structures, many of which still stand. The farm remained in the family for a century and a half, until the Tennessee Valley Authority purchased it in 1969 as a part of the Bear Creek Water Control Project.

TVA converted Overton Farm into the Bear Creek Education Center, an educational program focused on showing local school children what life was like in territorial Alabama while encouraging an appreciation for ecology, but due to a lack of funding, the program ended. Today local leaders, including decedents of Abner and Judy May, have developed a partnership to revive the education center and to preserve and rehabilitate Overton Farm. 
Chilton County Training School, Clanton, Chilton County
In 1924 the first Chilton County Training School for African Americans was completed thanks to contributions of land, labor, and building materials plus financial support from the Rosenwald Fund. The school provided classes for first through ninth grades. In 1940 the county purchased five adjacent acres and added buildings for vocational education and home economics. The original wooden building burned in 1949.

In 1951, it was replaced by the Mid-Century Modern building that stands today-a long, low, flat-roofed, concrete block building faced with brick and featuring large windows to admit abundant light and natural ventilation, which was important prior to air conditioning. This style is typical of many Equalization Schools that were constructed across the South between the end of World War II and the end of segregation in public education that followed the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. 
Fort Davis Railroad Depot, Fort Davis, Macon County
The Seabord Savanna-Americus Railway Depot at Fort Davis in southern Macon County is characteristic of small town railroad stations constructed across the South at the turn of the 20th century. The simple wooden structure with board-and-batten siding was built in 1904 to replace an 1892 depot, which had burned. In the 1970s the Seabord System discontinued service to Fort Davis and gave the depot to the Fort Davis Historical Group. A decade later the railroad tracks through town were removed, leaving the quaint station isolated from its original purpose. About that time members of the local Methodist church repainted the old depot.

After that last coat of paint, the depot has fallen into a state of disrepair. The wooden foundation piers have begun to rot and fail. The building is in danger of collapsing. The Fort Davis Historical Group still owns the depot, but lacks the financial support to save the century-old local landmark and revitalize it. They are working to add the depot and the community to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Finley Roundhouse, Birmingham, Jefferson County
The Southern Railroad Company built Finley Roundhouse in northwest Birmingham to service its locomotives in 1915, when the city's iron and steel production made it a hub of railroad operations. The Roundhouse and adjacent rail yard were named for the company's recently deceased president, William Finley.

Like much other industrial architecture of the time, the Roundhouse was built with steel-reinforced concrete walls and roofs. These provided large open spaces for working on enormous locomotives. A double band of clerestory windows under the elevated central portion of the nearly flat roof washes the 25 engine berths in the spacious interior with natural light. Although the railroad tracks inside the building and the 90-foot diameter turntable that sat in the semi-circular courtyard outside have been removed, the Spartan character of the cavernous interior remains as a testament to Birmingham's industrial might during the early twentieth century.

Henderson Park Recreation Center, Tuskegee, Macon County
When the Recreation Center was built in Tuskegee's public park by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression it was intended for whites only. Jim Crow Era segregation generally prohibited blacks from using the city's recreational facilities, although many blacks were employed in the operation and maintenance of the handsome brick and stone structure that stands adjacent to the community swimming pool. In 1972 the park was integrated and in 1985 it was renamed for Edwin B. Henderson (1883-1977), the Father of Black Sports and an important member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People who died at his son's home in Tuskegee.

Today the community uses the pool, but the Recreation Center is unsafe to enter due to years of deferred maintenance. The hardwood floors, exposed ceiling beams, lofty roof, gracious porch, and other features of this Depression Era clubhouse are still salvageable if work begins promptly to protect the structure from the elements. Plans have been made for repair and restoration, but funding is still needed. 

For more information on the 2017 Places in Peril, please contact the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation at or 
(205) 652-3497. 

Click here to download the full press release.
Welcome to Our New Commissioner

Welcome to our new commissioner, Chris Blankenship.  He fills the position formerly held by N. Gunter Guy, Jr. with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). 

Chris Blankenship is the Acting Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).  He has been with the DCNR since his hiring in 1994 as a Conservation Enforcement Officer.  He is also the chairman of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, chairman of the Alabama Shellfish Aquaculture Review Board, former member of the Board of Control of the Employees Retirement System of Alabama, chairman of the State-Federal Fisheries Management Committee, a member of the  Alabama Coastal Resources Advisory Committee, Association of  Fish and Wildlife Agencies-- Ocean Policy Committee Member, United States Attorney Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee Member, and a Port of Mobile-Port Security Task Force member. Commissioner Blankenship was integrally involved in the immediate response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and continues to advise and assist the former Commissioner of Conservation, N. Gunter Guy, Jr., and others on recovery and restoration activities.
Commissioner Blankenship is also the program administrator of the Alabama Seafood Marketing and Testing Commissions and is Alabama's representative on the Gulf of Mexico Regional Seafood Marketing Coalition.  He is a native of Dauphin Island, Alabama, and currently resides in Montgomery, Alabama.  

For a full list of Commissioners visit .
University of Alabama's Museum Expedition Hosted by Old Cahawba

The Alabama Historical Commission is excited to partner with the University of Alabama to host this year's Museum Expedition at Old Cahawba, Alabama's first state capital. 

AHC staff prepping for Museum Expedition 39 at Old Cahawba
"As part of the state's bicentennial, expedition participants will help professional archaeologists from the Alabama Historical Commission perform excavations in an effort to uncover the original foundation of Alabama's first Capitol," said Todd Hester, expedition leader and museum naturalist.

Cahawba was created as Alabama's first state capital by legislative act Nov. 21, 1818 and by congressional act March 2, 1819. It was carved out of the wilderness on the American frontier practically overnight for this purpose, and it is unique among state capitals because of its design. William Wyatt Bibb, Alabama's first governor, reused relic 16th century Indian earthworks as the centerpiece of his town plan.

"The exact location of the statehouse, however, is unknown," said Linda Derry, Site Director of Old Cahawba. There are no photographs of the building because it collapsed in 1833, and no drawing or painting of the statehouse done by someone who actually saw it has yet been found.
Participants of Museum Expedition 39

"We hope to locate the buried remains, determine its exact location and uncover enough details so an accurate image of this important historical structure can be reconstructed in time for the 200th anniversary of our state," Derry said.

"Until you walk where your ancestors walked, you can never truly understand the written record," Derry said. "Many of the best stories from the past, and many of the solutions to history's most intriguing mysteries are not found in any book or archive; instead, they lie buried beneath the soil, waiting for archaeology to carefully uncover them."

Learn more at  or click  here  to download the media kit. 
Where in the State are AHC Staff?

  Left to right : Lisa D. Jones, Executive Director of the AHC, Christopher   
  Maloney, Encyclopedia of Alabama,  and Lee Anne W offord, Deputy State Historic 
  Preservation Officer, attended the Alabama  Bicentennial Kick-Off Event in 
  Mobile, Alabama. 

Left to right: Frazine Taylor, Chair of AHC Black Heritage Council, and Jay Lamar, Executive Director of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission

Senator Arthur Orr, Lisa D. Jones, Executive Director, Alabama Historical Commission, and Lee Anne Wofford, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, received a tour from Leslie Ecklund ( second from left ), Chief Executive Officer, Burritt on the Mountain.

AHC Staff ( left to right) Lee Anne Wofford, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, Amanda McBride, Section 106 Program Head, Stacye Hathorn, State Archaeologist, Lisa D. Jones, Executive Director, and Dorothy Walker, Site Director of the Freedom Rides Museum, met with Dr. Reginald M. Tiller, Acting Superintendent, Freedom Riders National Monument, to discuss a future partnership between our organizations. 

Lisa D. Jones, Executive Director of the  Alabama Historical Commission, along with other AHC Staff enjoyed "Alabama's French Connection," a symposium hosted by the Alabama Department of Archives & History.  AHC Staff and Commissioners presented information on Fort Toulouse, a historic property of the AHC. See more images of this event here

Hannah Garmon, AHC Historical Markers/Alabama Register Coordinator, presented available resources to participants at the Alabama Bicentennial Commission's Community Workshop. More information about the monthly workshops is available

AHC Staff Chloe Mercer, Federal Tax Credit Coordinator, and Collier Neeley, National Register Coordinator, attended the National Park Service's workshop, Adapting Historic Buildings for Flooding, in New Orleans. 

  Local residents, Bill and Aaron Short joined Chris Kinder, AHC ALDOT   
  Liaison/Architectural Historian, and Will Lowe, AHC Senior Archaeologist, for a 
  visit to a section of historic Chapman Road in Clay County, Alabama.  Chapman 
  Road is believed to be part of the military road built by Andrew Jackson's Troops 
  during the Creek War, which was later used by settlers who populated the area.
Collections management in the Alabama Historical Commission Archaeological Repository: specifically rebagging collections from the 1970's. Left to Right: Shannon Lowe (volunteer), Amanda McBride, Section 106 Program Head, David Folchi (volunteer), Will Lowe, AHC Senior Archaeologist, Eric Sipes, AHC Senior Archaeologist, Chris Kinder, AHC ALDOT Liaison/Architectural Historian. Front: Ned Jenkins,  AHC Senior Archaeologist at Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson

Eric Sipes, AHC Senior Archaeologist, attended the 16th Annual Cemetery Preservation Workshop in Auburn, AL

Section 106 consultation site visit on Weiss Lake between the Mobile Army Corps of Engineers (COE), Alabama Power Company (APC), The University of Alabama Office of Archaeological Research (OAR), Alabama Historical Commission (AHC-Stacye Hathorn, State Archaeologist) (not pictured) and Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) (not pictured). Left to Right:  Jennifer Winter, COE archaeologist; Bill Gardner APC Cultural Resource Coordinator; Matt Gage, Director of OAR.

Amanda McBride, AHC Section 106 Program Head, presented Creek Indian way of life, language, and artifacts to children at the Bertha R. Williams Library's summer program.
Happenings at #AHCsites

The Freedom Rides Museum hosted a special opening for Freedom Riders, a national traveling exhibit developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Freedom Rider Dr. Bernard Lafayette, one of the twenty-one Freedom Riders attacked at the Greyhound Bus Station 56 years ago, gave a brief presentation on his book In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma

The Freedom Riders exhibit tells the powerful, harrowing, and inspirational civil rights story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever.  It will be on display at the museum until June 22, 2017 and can be viewed during normal business hours, Tuesday - Saturday, 12:00 - 4:00 pm. Click here to read the press release. 

Daily tours, beginning at 10:00 a.m., are offered at Fort Morgan during the months of June and July. Living History interpreters dressed in period attire guide visitors through the fort. Weapon demonstrations provide an up-close experience of a soldier's life. Click here to learn more.  

Wetlands Edge Environmental Center and Austin High School visited Pond Spring, the General Joe Wheeler Home  to study the pond's biosphere

 Students from Escambia Academy toured  Fort Mims

 Talented artists participated in Belle Mont's first Plein Aire event, A Day in May

  Old Cahawba gave tours to some attendees of TBEX, the largest conference and   
 networking event for travel bloggers, online travel journalists, new media content   
 creators, travel brands and industry professionals.

 New t-shirts available for purchase at Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson Park

Left to Right : Dorothy Walker, Site Director of the Freedom Rides Museum , and Jacqulyn  Kirkland, AHC Marketing & Public Relations Manager, participated in  interviews on  WSFA for the Museum's May and June events.

On May 20, the Freedom Rides Museum hosted events for the 56th Anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides. The events were cosponsored by the Alabama Historical Commission, Friends of the Freedom Rides Museum, the Montgomery Bicycle Club along with a number of other supporters. The highlight of the day's events was the second annual "Let Freedom Ride" Bike Ride which started from the Freedom Rides Museum and took participants along a 3.4 mile route in and around downtown Montgomery. 

Later in the day, visitors to the museum were able to have one-on-one discussions with Dr. Bernard Lafayette and Dr. Rip Patton, both of whom were college students in Nashville in May 1961 and participated in the Freedom Rides as it came into Montgomery. Dr. Lafayette was among the 20 student Freedom Riders who arrived in Montgomery to the Greyhound Bus Station on May 20, 1961 and were attacked by an angry mob. Both Lafayette and Patton went on to participate in the Freedom Rides as it traveled into Mississippi and they both were arrested and sent to Parchman Prison.

Each year on or around May 20, the Freedom Rides Museum hosts a commemoration of the events that took place in Montgomery in 1961.  See more images of this event  here .

On May 7 Gaineswood welcomed photographer Sarah Beaugez with an afternoon tea to open her exhibit. 

Gaineswood was the venue for the premiere of the recently republished book, The Eleventh House , by Hudson Strode. On May 18, Gaineswood welcomed Dr. Don Noble from the Alabama Public Television "Bookmark" series for a book signing.

Attorneys and summer associates from the Balch & Bingham Montgomery office attended a guided tour of the  Freedom Rides Museum  with Freedom Rider, Rip Patton.  
The Marengo County History and Archives Museum, the Demopolis Public Library, and the Alabama Historical Commission hosted historic preservationist Joseph McGill, founder of the Slave Dwelling Project, for an overnight stay in Magnolia Grove's extant slave cabin. Click here to read about the participants' experience sleeping in a slave cabin. 
 Maxwell Elementary visiting the Alabama State Capitol during Preservation   
Claudia Campbell, Site Director of Fort Mims and Chair of the Baldwin County Historic Development Commission's (BCHDC) Historic Marker Committee, along with Baldwin County Commissioner Frank Burt, Baldwin County Commission Chairman Chris Elliott, Committee Member Creighton C. "Peco" Forsman, and BCHDC President Bob Glennon, unveiled the Mims Ferry and Holley Creek/Montgomery Hill Landing historic marker, along with three others, Tensaw/The Black Crossing; Old Federal Road/Early History of Tensaw; and Boatyard Landing and Aaron Burr Spring/Peirce's School and Mill.

The markers are part of the state of Alabama's more than two-year-long celebration which kicked off May 5 in Mobile and culminates in the state's bicentennial on December 14, 2019.
AHC Welcomes New Employees

Stacey Mills joined the Alabama Historical Commission 
as the  Executive Assistant to Lisa D. Jones.

Mrs. Mills, who is a native of Connecticut, previously served as an Executive Assistant at Calvary Baptist Church in Montgomery. She holds a BS in Exercise Science from Samford University in Birmingham.

Mrs. Mills recognizes the importance of preserving history and is excited to join AHC in completing its mission. 

Stephanie  Hamil, who has 25 years of experience in accounting, joined the AHC Finance Department in May . She will also  assist with the Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program.

Mrs. Hamil received a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Spring Hill College and her MBA from Troy University. 

AHC welcomes Heather Tassin as the new Site Director of Fort Morgan. A native of Fairhope, Alabama, Heather attended Auburn University where she received degrees in anthropology, elementary education and a Master's in Education. She was employed by the National Park Service for eleven years at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park as an Interpretive Ranger. Heather later served as the Chief of Interpretation at Horseshoe Bend for three years.
Black Heritage Council Welcomes New Student Intern

In June the Alabama Historical Commission's Black Heritage Council welcomed Alexis Hughley as a new student intern. Alexis is a senior history major at Alabama State University (ASU). After graduating from ASU she plans to obtain a Master's degree in Education and become a certified secondary education teacher. 
BHC Intern, Alexis Hughley

The Black Heritage Council developed a program in the 1990s to offer a paid internship through the Alabama Historical Commission to engage African American students about historic preservation, especially related to African American historic places. Although the majority of who students have participated in the program who are history majors, students have come from an array of disciplines including communications, political science and English.

The program also introduces students to the work of the Alabama Historical Commission, the Alabama State Historic Preservation Office, and historic preservation as a career option. More than a dozen students have participated in the Black Heritage Council internship program with at least three students now having careers in the historic preservation field. 

For more information about the Black Heritage Council, visit the Alabama Historical Commission website at
Announcement of Availability of Historic Bridge

Lee County in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) proposes the replacement of a bridge that has been determined to be eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places .   For various reasons, the bridge is not planned to be preserved in place.  The bridge is located on Lee Road 014 over Choctafaula Creek in Lee County, Alabama.
As stipulated in section 123(f)(4) of the surface Transportation Act of 1987 and the Memorandum of Agreement with the Alabama Historical Commission, Lee County is announcing the availability of this bridge.  The structure will be donated to the appropriate recipients and Lee County, FHWA and ALDOT will pay the expense of moving the bridge and associated reestablishment costs up to the expense of bridge demolition.  For this service the recipient will agree to preserve the historical integrity of the bridge and to properly maintain the structure. 

The bridge is a one-lane metal Warren Pony Truss bridge constructed in 1930.  Presently the bridge has a National Bridge inventory System Sufficiency Rating of 21.9.  The bridge is rated as structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.  The structure is 80 feet in length and carries one lane of traffic with a lane width of 12.0 feet.

Any potential recipient interested in further information concerning acquisition of this bridge, please provide a written request within 14 days of the placement of the advertisement to:
Joey Hundley
Special Projects Coordinator
Lee County
PO Box 1007
Opelika, AL 36803-1007
Happenings Around the State  

June 29  Renovators' Happy Hour , Landmark's Foundation of Montgomery

June - September - Regional Workshops, Alabama Bicentennial Commission


August 21-23 - aLABama Downtown Laboratory, Main Street Alabama Annual Conference

August 30 - Your Town Alabama Workshop, Alabama Communities of Excellence


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 apply to host the exhibit, visit  

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