Aug. 19, 1966
In 1966, the U.S. Special Committee on Historic Preservation, chaired by former Congressman Albert Rains, released the report “With Heritage So Rich,” which would lead to the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The NHPA would then establish the National Register of Historic Places and other federal institutions. Alabama followed suit as Gov. George C. Wallace signed a law establishing the Alabama Historical Commission on Aug. 19, 1966. Today, the AHC owns and maintains Fort Mims, Fort Morgan, Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson, Confederate Memorial Park, Old Cahawba Archaeological Park, Bottle Creek Indian Mounds, Forks of Cypress, Belle Mont, Fendell Hall, the Freedom Rides Museum, Gaineswood, Magnolia Grove, Pond Spring, Mobile Bay Middle Lighthouse and the State Capitol.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
The Fort Mims State Historic Site commemorates the Fort Mims Battle and Massacre, an attack on a white settlement in Baldwin County by some 700 Creek warriors at the outset of the Creek War of 1813-14. The site, in Tensaw, features a reconstructed block house, well and stockade and is maintained by the Alabama Historical Commission. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photo by Claire Wilson)
The Pond Spring plantation in Hillsboro, Lawrence County, was the home of Confederate major general and U.S. Congressman Joseph Wheeler. Today, the property is owned and operated by the Alabama Historical Commission. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photo courtesy of the Alabama Historical Commission)
The Forks of Cypress house, completed in 1830, was built by planter and horse breeder James Jackson outside Florence, Lauderdale County. The home was unusual for being surrounded on all sides by a colonnade. It burned as a result of lightning in 1966 but had been fully documented in photographs and diagrams by the federal Historical American Building Survey in the 1930s. Those plans were later used to re-create the home as a bank building in Florence in 1982. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of the Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey)
Constructed between 1819 and 1834, Fort Morgan is on Mobile Point at the entrance to Mobile Bay. The fort played an important role in the 1864 Battle of Mobile Bay and today serves as a living history museum operated by the Alabama Historical Commission. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of The Mobile Press-Register)
Brick pillars are all that remain of the Cahaba home of the Crocheron family, whose steamships traversed the Cahaba and Alabama rivers during the early 19th century. The columns likely survived because the custom-shaped bricks could not be used to build other structures. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photograph by Jimmy Emerson)
Eufaula’s Fendall Hall, completed in 1860, is one of the finest examples of Italianate architecture in Alabama. The house formerly belonged to the prominent Young family and is now a museum open to the public. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photograph by Jana Chapman)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.