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December 22, 2021


 


Fifteen properties added to Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage


 


(Montgomery, AL) The Alabama Historical
Commission added 15 properties to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and
Heritage on December 13, 2021.    


 


The
Alabama Historical Commission created the Alabama Register of Landmarks and
Heritage to recognize buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts of
historical, architectural, and/or archaeological significance. Nominations may
be submitted by anyone to the Alabama Historical Commission. A staff review
committee determines if the nominated property meets the established criteria
and the property is added to the register if the criteria is met. The
designation is honorary and does not restrict what a property owner can do with
the property.


 


Properties
added to the Alabama Register are:


 


Rice Creek Cottage, Stockton, Baldwin
County


Founded in 1834, the community of Stockton was part of the Tensaw
Settlement and among some of the first settlements established in Baldwin
County. Nestled along the banks of the beautiful Tensaw River, Stockton served
as one of the main shipping ports, welcoming the tall mast schooners that
sailed up the Tensaw River to load cargo bound for foreign ports. The growth of
the community depended on the timber business for many years. Time has not
changed the community much over the years. It maintains a charming small-town
atmosphere with its landscape dappled with many of its original old homes and
families. The Rice Creek Cottage is a prime example of the small original homes
that remain in Stockton. The cottage was constructed c. 1940 and is located on
a one-acre lot approximately one mile from Rice Creek Landing. Rice Creek
Cottage has been home to many African American families over the years, making
the property a multi-generational piece of Baldwin County’s Black History. This
common cottage style offered affordable housing following World War 1I. Rice
Creek Cottage is listed in the Alabama Register for its architectural
significance.


 


Saint Luke A.M.E. Church, Eufaula,
Barbour County


In the early 1840s, the Baptist Congregation of Alabama
constructed the building now owned by Saint Luke AME Church. Early white
settlers worshipped at the structure until they built the First Baptist Church
of Eufaula in 1869. In 1877, 10 years after they were organized, St. Luke
African Methodist Episcopal Church raised money to purchase the 1840s building
from the First Baptist Church congregation. ln the 1950s, the church hosted
reading and writing meetings to educate the community and its members to combat
voting rights discrimination. The congregation was deeply involved in the Civil
Rights Movement and worked to improve education and Christian development in
the community. The church encouraged voting rights and worked with the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The church held voting rights meetings
and informed its members about voter suppression. The church still has an
active congregation. Saint Luke A.M.E. Church is listed in the Alabama Register
for its religious and social history and for its architectural significance.


 


Clarke County Training School,
Coffeeville, Clarke County


Beginning in 1916, Coffeeville Colored Industrial School held
classes in the Masonic Lodge until the Coffeeville Rosenwald School was
constructed in 1922. The school added the agriculture and handicraft building
in 1927. In 1954, a fire destroyed the Rosenwald School and by 1959 the school
was rebuilt and renamed the Clarke County Training School. The school was
constructed as an equalization school, which were schools built in the 1950s
for African American children in a last-ditch effort to stave off integration
in the South. The school consisted of 12 classrooms for grades 1-12, a library,
administrative offices, gymnasium, and restroom facilities. The school is one
story with interior block walls and an exterior wall of windows in each
classroom. The cafeteria was accessed through double doors from the school
lobby or through exterior doors from the gym. In the mid to late 1960s, a
two-classroom brick building with office space was constructed. This school
served as the Black high school until integration in 1970. Following the
integration of the school, the building became Coffeeville Elementary until it
closed in 2007. The school held the Title 1 program for the county and taught
remedial reading and held the kindergarten classes. Clarke County Training
School is listed in the Alabama Register for its educational significance as a
mid-20th century African American school. 


 


George Washington Carver Apartments,
Selma, Dallas County


Completed in 1952, George Washington Carver Homes (GWC) is the
second oldest public housing development in Selma. Located in east Selma, the
GWC Homes sit on a 17-acre site and includes 48 two-story brick apartment
buildings. The site also features an office building and one community
building. The GWC Homes housed many civil rights activists and became a major
center for civil rights activism in Selma. Numerous community organizer
meetings were held there and offered organizers shelter while in Selma. During
the Black teacher- and student-led voting rights demonstrations in January and
February 1965, several marches formed at GWC Homes and included many of the
residents. Black students protested the lack of voting rights in Dallas County
by kneeling along the public sidewalks at the apartments. On March 7, 1965, the
march known as “Bloody Sunday” formed in the GWC recreation yard. Protestors
gathered in response to the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson of Marion by an
Alabama State Trooper a few weeks earlier. Members of the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee
(SNCC) used GWC’s recreation yard to marshal the marchers into squads in
preparation for the march. Many GWC residents joined the “Bloody Sunday” march.
Hundreds of civil rights demonstrators who arrived in Selma to participate in
the marches stayed in the apartments of GWC residents. Communal kitchens were
created by organizers at the apartments to feed and shelter the protestors.
George Washington Carver Homes is listed in the Alabama Register for its role
in providing a place of rest to marchers during their participation in Bloody
Sunday and for its architectural significance.


 


Columbia Presbyterian Church,
Columbia, Houston County


Columbia Presbyterian Church was organized in January 1888 at a
meeting held in the Columbia Baptist Church building. Both the Baptist and
Methodist churches in Columbia assisted the Presbyterians to form a
congregation in Columbia. Without a church building, the congregation held
services in the back of the general store owned by Henry Miller Beach, one of
the lead organizers of the Presbyterian Church. Later in 1888, the Methodist
Church in town constructed a new building and sold their old church on
Washington Street to the Presbyterians. In the summer of 1899, the Presbyterian
Church board of trustees purchased a vacant lot at the comer of River and N.
Davis Streets, and by late 1902, they had raised enough money to construct a
new building. The church was completed in 1903. The sanctuary in the new church
was uniquely built as an amphitheater, with a 3-degree sloped floor and curved
pews. Entry was at the rear of the sanctuary, which was the highest point of
the amphitheater. It allowed those seated in the rear of the sanctuary to see
over those seated at the front. The church has not seen any significant changes
except a storm in the mid-20th century destroyed the belfry on the east side of
the church. Columbia Presbyterian Church is listed in the Alabama Register for its
religious history and for its architectural significance.


 


Frank Lankster House, Linden, Marengo
County


On June 15, 1853, Edd W. Shields was born into slavery and lived
as an enslaved person until the age of 12. At the age of 10, he began taking
lessons and learned how to read. He worked on the farm in the mornings and took
lessons at night. Later in life, Rev. Shields entered the ministry and by 1880,
he pastored his first church. In 1882, he began to teach public school. In
1890, he purchased a 70-acre estate in Linden, Alabama. In 1903, Rev. Shields
deeded 12 acres to school trustees for Linden Academy. The school was built to
educate the descendants of the enslaved in Linden. In 1928, Shields’ grandson
Robert Adams built a house on a portion of the original property. Following his
military service and his homecoming from World War II, Mr. Adams moved to
Huntsville to attend Alabama A&M. While in Madison County, Mr. Adams
established schools to help African Americans prepare for voting literacy tests.
In 1952 his home in Linden was converted into a four-bedroom dwelling to serve
as a home for teachers who taught at the nearby Linden Academy. After the
school was consolidated, the house reverted into a primarily private family
residence. Frank Lankster, a great-great grandson of Edd Shields, purchased the
home in 1991. The house is listed in the Alabama Register for its African
American history.


 


Semmes High School, Semmes, Mobile
County


Semmes School was named for the town of Semmes, which was named for
Admiral Raphael Semmes, a confederate Civil War veteran. The first Semmes
School was founded in 1874 and was located about 1.5 miles west of Semmes.
Classes were first held in the First Baptist Church building. Later this school
was re-located to three different sites in the Semmes and Crawford area before
a one-room schoolhouse was built in 1902. This Semmes School building was
located on the west side of Wulff Road on property that later served as a
parking space for school buses and faculty. In 1917, a four-room stucco
building with two outhouses was built facing west on Wulff Road. The 1902
one-room building was moved across Wulff Road to the south end of the stucco
building. In 1938, the red-brick Semmes School building was erected in front of
the stucco building to house the growing number of elementary students.
Construction on a new high school building was completed in 1949. The new
Semmes High School contained seven classrooms, conference room, principal’s
office, general office, teacher’s lounge, janitor’s room, and separate
restrooms for boys and girls. Enrollment increased considerably after students
from Wilmer High School and Tanner Williams High School were bused to the new
Semmes High School. In 1949-1950, the agriculture building was constructed on
the southeast side of the high school building. The agriculture building was
considered one of the finest in the county. In 1966, the Mary G. Montgomery
School was constructed and became the new senior high school. At this time the
Semmes School was restructured to accommodate the Semmes Elementary and Semmes
Middle School. In 2002, the Semmes Middle School moved to a new location and
the former middle school became the location of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club. The
Semmes High School is listed in the Alabama Register for its educational and
social history.


 


First Presbyterian Church, Decatur,
Morgan County


The Tuscumbia Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in the United
States of America formed this church in 1853. The first building was located on
the southeast corner of Bank and Church Streets in Decatur. It was a single
story, plastered and painted structure with large windows and a brick
foundation. The Civil War interrupted services, and in 1864 the building was
dismantled by the Union Army. After the Civil War, having worshipped with the
Methodists in a log structure that was used as a church and school, Rev.
Alexander Penland and others assisted in the reformation of this Presbyterian
Church. By 1873, a small frame church was built on this site, and the
Presbyterian Church of Decatur was incorporated in 1903. The first brick
structure was erected in 1904 but was demolished to construct the current
sanctuary in 1953, with additional expansion in 1978. The church was designed
by Alabama architect Horace Miller Weaver. Born in 1885 in Collinsville,
Alabama, Weaver focused primarily on commercial architecture and designed a few
county courthouse annexes. From 1853, this congregation has worked to fulfill
its mission to “make disciples of Jesus Christ, who love God, love one
another, and serve the world.” The First Presbyterian Church is listed in
the Alabama Register for its religious history and for its architectural
significance.


 


Wyatt-Malone Building, Decatur,
Morgan County


The Wyatt-Malone Building was constructed in the community of
Albany, Alabama, in 1920 on what was then known as “Main Street.” Since Albany
was separate from Decatur, it developed its own commercial district. While the
town merged with (Old) Decatur in 1927, evidence of the two separate cities
still exists as the street layouts are vastly different and most of the
original street names remain. The Wyatt-Malone Building housed various retail
businesses from 1920 until 1963 and included a sign shop, dry goods store,
sheet metal shop, and clothing stores. In 1964, Chenault and Chenault,
Attorneys purchased the building and converted it for office space. While
changes have occurred to the building over the years, attorney offices continue
to occupy the building more than 50 years later. The Wyatt-Malone Building is
listed in the Alabama Register for its commercial history and for its
architectural significance.


 


Saint Paul A.M.E Church and Cemetery,
Brundidge, Pike County


St. Paul AME Church in Brundidge, Alabama, began in 1861 when the
forefathers of the church were still enslaved and held their meetings amongst
the brush arbors. In 1880, members succeeded in raising funds to purchase the
land to construct their own church building. Members raised the funds
“penny by penny” over several years until the project was complete
around 1900. For over 141 years, the church has provided a sanctuary of
spiritual fulfillment and a place of community life. St. Paul AME Church also
represents a significant landmark in the history of emancipation by offering
the Black community the freedom to worship in an unhindered manner. The church
offered the congregation freedom to speak out and allowed their voices to be
heard. During the Civil Rights Movement, the church was a significant stopping
point for noted civil rights activist John Lewis, who was known to speak there
on several occasions. Saint Paul A.M.E Church is listed in the Alabama Register
for its civil rights and religious history and for its architectural
significance.


 


Trotter Home and Farm, Goshen, Pike
County


Samuel E. Trotter built this residence in 1892 and the Trotter
family has occupied it for over 100 years. The house was constructed as a
traditional wood frame farmhouse and Mr. Trotter selected the timber used in
the construction from his land. He owned 5,000 acres of land, which included
acreage for timber and farming. The Trotter Farm was used for many different
agricultural purposes. Since the founding of the farm, the Trotters have grown
many different crops including corn, cotton, and peanuts. They also raised
cattle, hogs, and poultry. The Trotter Family owned one of Goshen’s two cotton
gins and used it to process their cotton yields. Mr. Trotter passed away in
1943 and the farm passed to his son, William Moses, and his wife Mary Louise,
who occupied the farm until their deaths in 1987. Following their deaths, their
son, William Peavy Trotter, inherited the property and continues to utilize the
land for logging. The home has not seen many changes over time, except the
removal of its two chimneys, which were damaged by Hurricane Opal in 1995. The
Trotter Home and Farm is listed in the Alabama Register for its agricultural
history and its architectural significance. 


 


Lincoln Theatre, Bessemer, Jefferson
County


Sam Raine built the Lincoln Theatre in 1948 and it is situated in
the Downtown Bessemer Historic District. Architect Charles McCauley designed
the theatre. He is best known in Birmingham for designing the City Hall, Temple
Beth-El, and the Avon Theater. McCauley’s final design of the theatre yielded a
steel-framed, air-conditioned venue that seated approximately 500 people.
During the first half of the 20th century, First Avenue North was the heart of
Bessemer’s Black business district. In addition to the Lincoln and the Frolic
Theatres, residents remember a jewelry store, pool room, two photography
studios, hotel, and a series of barber shops. The Lincoln was built as a
first-run picture house for Black audiences who were restricted from entering
other theatres downtown. In addition to the movie business, the Lincoln served
as a community center for the Black citizens of Bessemer, hosting fashion shows
and church socials. In 1955, the theatre hosted a movie party for the Cub
Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Explorers for the “Negro scouts of the
Bessemer-Fairfield Division” of the Boy Scouts of America. Raine shared
management duties of the theatre with his son-in-law Sam Maples throughout the
1950s, until he leased the building to Theodore Jones Jr. for $400 a month. In
1968, the theatre was sold to Sarah LaSala. The theatre continued to operate
throughout the 1970s, screening occasional movies as late as 1983. LaSala sold
the Lincoln Theatre to John and Marian Boyd in 1987. The Boyd family converted
the Lincoln lobby and auditorium to an upholstery shop and other businesses,
including a storage area in the old theatre. The building changed hands several
times before it was purchased by Actor André Holland in 2017. He began making
plans to restore it as a community asset. Along with several family members,
the actor created The Holland Project, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
Restoration efforts are currently ongoing with plans to use the building as a
cinema and performing arts space. The Lincoln Theatre is listed in the Alabama
Register for its commercial and social history and for its architectural
significance.


 


Auburn Girl Scout Hut, Auburn, Lee
County


The Auburn Girl Scout Hut, also known as the Little House, has
served as a meeting place for local Girl Scouts since its construction in 1937.
The small, frame building stands on land owned by the City of Auburn. The
design of the rustic building was based on a sketch by architect E. Walter
Burkhardt, who also oversaw the Historic American Buildings Survey in Alabama
in the 1930s. The first Girl Scouts in Auburn began meeting in the early 1930s.
While many of the Auburn Girl Scout troops met in the hut, others met in
private homes, schools, and churches. The girls participated in a variety of
activities. They hiked and camped, learned practical skills, studied foreign
countries, and performed community service projects. When the hut was
constructed, Girl Scout troops in Auburn and throughout Alabama were for whites
only. By 1952, there were two African American troops in Auburn. The national
Girl Scouts began an effort to desegregate troops throughout the country in the
1950s, and by the early 1970s, racially integrated troops were meeting in the
Auburn Girl Scout Hut. The Auburn Girl Scout Hut is listed in the Alabama
Register for its social history and its architectural significance.


 


Shoal Creek, Shoal Creek, Shelby
County


Mr. Hall W. Thompson constructed Shoal Creek Golf Course in 1974
fulfilling his dream of building his own golf course. Thompson hired
professional golfer and emerging course designer Jack Nicklaus to route the
course. Nicklaus had collaborated on the design for his home state course,
Muirfield Village, in Dublin, Ohio, which opened in 1974, and had designed a
course in Toronto. However, Shoal Creek was the first course Nicklaus designed
on his own in the United States. The property and its buildings are an
excellent example of the New Traditional Colonial style that was popularized in
the mid to late 1970s by the nation’s bicentennial celebration. Shoal Creek is
also a good example of a highly engineered planned landscape. Shoal Creek was
designed to be a golf club first and a real estate development second. Thompson
prioritized the course routing and wanted house sites scattered organically
around the course. . Shoal Creek revolutionized golf greens in the Southeast by
being the first to prove it could be done and demonstrating how. Thompson
engineered the landscape to support the growth of bent grass, a highly desired
grass for golf greens but considered previously unsustainable in the
southeastern climate. A combination of ingenuities in irrigation and drainage,
manmade lakes and dams with a pump system that could redirect water uphill,
made this possible. As a result, Augusta National followed suit and replaced
its greens with bent grass in 1981The period of significance runs from 1974
when design and construction began until 1990 when the club hosted the
Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of America’s 72nd annual tournament. The
media surrounding the event highlighted the fact the course had never been
fully integrated. This media coverage led to the racial integration of private
clubs and golf courses throughout the country including Shoal Creek. Despite
minor alterations and additions to the property over time, Shoal Creek retains
a high degree of integrity as a premiere golf course and club. Shoal Creek is
listed in the Alabama Register for its recreational and social history and for
its significant design.


 


Rural Training and Research Center,
Epes, Sumter County


The Rural Training and Research Center has a complicated past
steeped in the not-so-well-known Civil Rights Movement in west Alabama,
overshadowed by the events in Montgomery, Selma, and Birmingham. A legal battle
played out between African American tenant farmers and white landowners that
resulted in the tenants’ evictions from the land. The community united and
formed the Panola Land Buying Association (PLBA). The goal was to build a place
that was theirs. As part of that movement, the Federation of Rural Co-ops
supported the farmers along the way. In 1970, the PLBA formally purchased 1,100
acres in Epes, Sumter County. The newly acquired land included a barn and
farmhouse affectionately nicknamed “The Big House.” The structure, constructed
c.1960, served as the Federation’s first training center office and meeting
facility until the group built other new structures on the property. The
Federation of Rural Co-ops opened the Rural Training and Research Center
supporting and educating farmers across the South. The staff and local
contractors began work at the training center facilities. They decided that the
Training Center needed an Administrative Building, cafeteria/classroom,
dormitory to accommodate 80 people, and a print shop. The staff also developed
various demonstration farming projects including a feeder pig farrowing and
feed barn, a cattle herd, and vegetable crop projects in greenhouses. Most of
these facilities remain at the Center to this day. This site demonstrates the
triumph of a resilient community and draws focus to the effort to preserve
rural farming communities. The Rural Training and Research Center is listed in
the Alabama Register for its agricultural, social, and civil rights history and
for its architectural significance.


 


“The
Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage is an important resource for
recognizing and preserving the stories of important places in Alabama,” said
Lisa D. Jones, AHC Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer.
“This is central to our mission to protect, preserve and interpret Alabama’s
historic places.”


 


For more information
about the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, contact Rebekah Reader at
334-230-2699 or
Rebekah.Reader@ahc.alabama.gov. Also visit our interactive GIS
map of Alabama’s Historic Properties located at
https://ahc.alabama.gov/historicpreservationmap.aspx.





About the Alabama Historical Commission


Located in historic downtown Montgomery at 468 S.
Perry Street, the Alabama Historical Commission is the state historic
preservation agency for Alabama. The agency was created by an act of the state
legislature in 1966 with a mission to protect, preserve and interpret Alabama’s
historic places. AHC works to accomplish its mission through two fields of
endeavor: Preservation and promotion of state-owned historic sites as public
attractions and statewide programs to assist people, groups, towns, and cities
with local preservation activities. For a complete list of programs and
properties owned and operated by the AHC, hours of operation, and admission
fees please visit
ahc.alabama.gov  


 


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