COVER: Home on S. Main Street If Walls Could Talk -
Historic Homes & Churches Mount Olive Celebrating 160 Years
Town of Franklin
Town of Notasulga
Town of Shorter
City of Tuskegee
COMMUNITY TOURISM NETWORK, LLC Proud Producer of Publications that Promote Tourism & Excite Tourists Contact Noah Hopkins - 205.567.6397 - email@example.com - www.tourismresource.org
acon County was created by the Alabama Legislature on December 18,1832 from territory acquired from the last cession of the Creek Indians, March 24,1832. It was named for Nathaniel Macon, a distinguished soldier and statesman from North Carolina. Macon County received its present dimensions in 1866. It encompasses 614 square miles. The county seat is Tuskegee, which means "warrior" in the Muskhogean dialect of the Creek Indian language. Tuskegee is also the site of Tuskegee University. Other towns and communities include Shorter, Franklin, and Notasulga. The Tuskegee National Forest is located in Macon County.
Macon County Courthouse
Andrew Thompson, Jr.
Louis Maxwell Chairman
Edward “Coach” Huffman
Robert “Mike” Berry
Franklin, AL • Notasulga, AL • Shorter, AL • Tuskegee, AL Come Grow With US Visit our website: www.maconalabama.com 101 East Rosa Parks Avenue • Tuskegee, Alabama 36083 • 334-727-5120 Macon County Agencies Working Hard To Serve All Citizens: Macon County Sheriff’s Department • East Central Mental Health Services • Macon County Library • Macon County Water Authority • Macon County Health Department • Macon County Elderly Nutrition Program • Macon County Rural Transportation • Emergency Management Agency • Macon County Juvenile Services • Macon County Extension Service • Macon County Community Action • Macon County Emergency Medical Service • Retired Senior Volunteer Program • Senior Aid Services to the Elderly • County-Wide Water System • County-Wide Solid Waste System • Macon County Council For Retardation and Rehabilitation
From the Publisher With a small team and limited resources, we have consistently produced these magazines. We are driven by a commitment to show people a different side to this community than is visible to the casual observer. And in addition to enhancing our image, the publications also help visitors navigate the tourist experience. Each time we release a new publication, our aspirations come to life on every page. Readers actually see this community through fresh eyes. In this edition we feature historic homes, including a mansion built in the 1800s that has been lovingly renovated by the current owners. There is also a story about Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, which was established 160 years ago during slavery and “Emancipated by the twin glories of grace and favor.” December 2018 marked the one-year anniversary of the Sister City visit to Tuskegee by a delegation from South Berwick, Maine and a Sister City participant paints a vivid picture of their tourist odyssey. As the publisher, I encourage you to read the articles and when possible, patronize our advertisers. Also, feel free to contact me by phone or e-mail. Though producing the magazines is a labor of love, receiving feedback about them, is just as rewarding.
BEAUTIFUL HoME RESToRATIoN
160 yEARS oF FAITH
TUSkEGEE NATIoNAL FoREST
A ToURIST EXPERIENCE IN TUSkEGEE
UBT & ECoNoMIC dEVELoPMENT
LoCAL ToURISM TREASURE
Noah Anthony Hopkins
EdIToRIAL dIRECToR Karin Grant Hopkins
Karin Grant Hopkins
ART dIRECToR/GRAPHIC dESIGN Noah Anthony Hopkins
Noah Hopkins, Publisher 205.837.2519 firstname.lastname@example.org
Noah Anthony Hopkins
CoMMUNITy ToURISM NETWoRk, LLC.
608 Dibble Street Tuskegee, Alabama 36083 334.725.8496
email@example.com A SPECIAL THANkS
Information Courtesy of: Tuskegee History Center
c 2018 Community Tourism Network, LLC
Alabama Tourism Department Diane Kenney Deborah Gray Harvey Maddox Sandy Taylor Andrew Smith
TUSKEGEE The Epitome of HISTORY...HERITAGE...HOSPITALITY
downtown Tuskegee, AL
USkEGEE was incorporated in 1843. The momentum that occurred during the rest of the 1800's established the City's reputation as an educational powerhouse.
TUSkEGEE has wisely preserved its history while simultaneously preparing for the years ahead. Today, it still has old world charm, with a city center dominated by the town square. There you will find a serene park, quaint storefronts and genuine southern hospitality. The future will usher in a new era of progress and prosperity that will include healthy nurturing of tourism by business and government leaders and friendly overtures to
Frank “Chris” Lee City Council - district 1
Ala Whitehead City Council - district 2
tourists. We hope you take us seriously when we say “it's time to rediscover Tuskegee.” TUSkEGEE, the home of Tuskegee University, is located 40 miles east of M o n t g o m e r y. T h e p o p u l a t i o n i s a b o u t 9 ,0 0 0 , i n cl u d i n g a p p r o xi m a te l y 3 ,2 0 0 stu d e n ts at Tuskegee University. Tuskegee is “the cradle of Black aviation” in America and home of the famous Tuskegee Airmen. Visitors will find Tuskegee a beautiful city with a topography of rolling hills, spruce pines, lakes and meadows.
Lawrence “Tony” Haygood
Annie Lucas Brown City Council-at-Large
Shirley Curry City Council - district 3
For More Information Contact: City of Tuskegee • 334-720-0500 or visit: www.tuskegeealabama.gov
the city of tuskegee... PeRfect foR A BAckyARD “BReAk-cAtioN” Not so long ago, we never would have thought that driving to places that are close to where we live would amount to much of a vacation. We felt that if it weren’t several states or counties away to the beaches, in the Caribbean Islands, mountains in Montana or wine country in California, it just wasn’t a real break from the everyday grind. But now, the cost of travel makes us think twice about jumping on an airplane to get to a destination. Airline ticket prices are sky high and airline companies are charging for everything from baggage to peanuts. Driving is not much better as gas prices fluctuate unpredictably; so, it’s time to take a different approach. We don’t have to give up the pleasure of a great vacation. We just have to cut back on the number of miles we travel. Here in Tuskegee, we have something for everyone, making a perfect place for a “break-cation” right outside your backyard. We have history, culture, hiking, hunting, bird watching, festivals, museums, parks, lakes, vineyards, historic homes, national forests and many other tourism assets for enjoyment and enlightenment.
A list of Tuskegee/Macon County’s tourism assets includes: • All Macon County Day Celebration (August-Tuskegee)
• Macon County Historic Courthouse (Built in 1907)
• Bartram Trail: (Tuskegee National Forest)
• Moton Field Airport (Home of the Tuskegee Airmen)
• Booker T. Washington’s Home Church
• Rosa Parks’ Birthplace
• Tuskegee Memorial Day Fly-In (May - Moton Field)
• Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church
• Burial Site of Booker T. Washington
• Taska Recreation Area (Tuskegee National Forest)
• Burial Site of Dr. George Washington Carver
• Tsinia Wildlife Viewing Area (Tuskegee National Forest)
• Camp Watts (Confederate Soldiers Training Site/Hospital)
• Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site (Museum)
• George Washington Carver Arts & Crafts Festival (May)
• Tuskegee Downtown Historic District
• George Washington Carver Museum
• Tuskegee History Center
• Harris Barrett School (Rosenwald School)
• Tuskegee National Forest
• Historic Homes
• Tuskegee University
• Juneteenth Celebration (June-Tuskegee)
• The Oaks (Booker T. Washington’s Family Home)
• Lake Tuskegee
• The Ridge (Macon County Archaeology Project)
• Lionel Richie’s Home (Grammy Award Winner)
• Whippoorwill Vineyards
All of this can be visited on oNE TANk oF GAS. Let’s “break-cation” in our own backyard!
There Is Power In Shared
isks esources & ewards
Tuskegee Area Chamber of Commerce
visit us at: www.tuskegeeareachamber.org
tuskegee/macon County Newcomers information Tuskegee, the home of Tuskegee University, is located 40 miles east of Montgomery, Alabama. The population is approximately 9,000, including approximately 3,200 students at the University. Tuskegee is “the cradle of Black Aviation” in America. Visitors will find Tuskegee a city with many historic homes, a topography of rolling hills, spruce pines, lakes, streams and meadows.
Automobile Registration - Newcomers to the Tuskegee area should register their vehicles at the County Revenue office, 213 N. Main Street, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Bring your title or payment book and registration. 334.720.0527 driver’s License - I f m o v i n g t o Alabama from another state, you may o b t a i n a d r i v e r ’s l i c e n s e u p o n establishing residence. The Driver’s License Examiner’s Office is located in the Gomillion Building, 302 S. Main Street. Open Thursdays only. Utility Connections - Electricity, water and sewage are supplied by the Utilities Board of Tuskegee. Newcomers should apply in person at the Tuskegee Municipal Complex, 101 Fonville Street. Open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A deposit is required. 334.720.0700 or w w w. yourubt.com Applications for gas service should start by contacting SPIRE, Inc, w w w . s p i r e e n e r g y. c o m o r c a l l 1-800-292-4008 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., MondayFriday. Requirements: account holder’s name, social security number, address, If you are a renter, provide landlord’s name and contact information. SPIRE will contact you for an appointment.
Telephone service is provided by AT&T. Call Customer Service at 1.800.757.6500 for information
about how to establish service for your home and /or business.
special activities for groups of all sizes.
Spectrum Enterprises - For cable services call 1.888.438.2427
Tuskegee National Historic Sites Are located on Old Montgomery Road on the Tuskegee University campus. The Oaks, Booker T. Washington’s home and the George Washington Carver Museum are operated by the National Park Service as administrative and exhibit areas for the visiting public. Guided Tours of the Oaks are available. Walking and driving tours of Tuskegee are available through the Tuskegee History Center downtown near the T u s k e g e e h i s t o r i c s q u a r e . Tu s k e g e e U n i v e r s i t y c a m p u s historic district tours are also available through the university. The grave sites of Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver are located on the university campus. Historic markers are located at Butler Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, where Tuskegee University was started; The Macon County Courthouse and the Tuskegee Airmen Museum at Historic Moton Field are also available for tours.
Voter Registration - To register to vote in state or local elections, apply in person at the Macon County Board of Registrars, County Courthouse, 101 E. Northside, Room 105, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A picture ID is required. 334.727.5545 Churches There are about 130 Protestant Churches and one Roman Catholic Church located in the Tuskegee area, representing most major denominations. Civic and Service Clubs Tuskegee has an abundance of civic and service organizations in the area. Among them are Lions, Rotary, Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, Red Cross, Optimist, American Association of University Women, YMCA and the Tuskegee Civic Association. Banking PNC Bank and Liberty Bank & Trust are two major banking institutions in the area. The Tuskegee Federal Credit Union also serves the community. Transportation Tuskegee has one local airport, Moton Field, five miles east of the city with a 5,100-foot lighted runway, fuel availabillity, tie downs and terminal facilities. Charter flights and private plane storage areas are available. Interstate 85, U.S. Highways 80 and 29, and Alabama Highways 15 and 81 are routed through Tuskegee. Conference Facilities The Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center is a full-service conference center with more than 17,000 square feet of meeting space, stateof-the-art audiovisual equipment. The conference service staff will arrange meetings, banquets and
Seasonal Events • George Washington Carver Commemorative Festival • Memorial Day Fly-In • All Macon County Day • Tuskegee University hosts a number of annual events. The calendar of events can be found at www.tuskegee.edu
THE EPITOME OF
H I S TO RY. . . H E R I TAG E . . . H O S P I TA L I T Y
T U S K E G E E
Tuskegee Airmen Museum • The Oaks (Booker T. Washington’s Family Home) • Tuskegee University The History Center • Historic Homes • Historic Churches • Tuskegee National Forest • George Washington Carver Museum • Lionel Richie’s Home • Whippoorwill Vineyards Macon County Historic Courthouse
The Place to Visit, Live, Work and do Business
For More Information Contact: City of Tuskegee Tuskegee, Alabama 36083 334-720-0500 or visit: www.tuskegeealabama.gov
SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP FOUNDATION
“Improving Today for a Better Tomorrow”
Promise! Purpose! Progress! SCL Foundation’s philosophy is “Quantum Responsibility.” Which means, individuals are educated, inspired and empowered to understand their personal power, and to muster the courage to apply said power to the pursuit of civil and human rights as in the past for better futures.
204 South Elm Street, Suite B Tuskegee, AL 36083 334.226.3063 office Phone 334.226.3066 Fax firstname.lastname@example.org www.sclfoundation.org
A BEAUTIFUL HISTORIC HOME RESTORATION
By Karin Hopkins
The certificate on the table in the foyer from the Department of the Interior documents that this historic home known as The Cobb House in Macon County Alabama, has been selected by the Historic American Building Survey for permanent reference in the Library of Congress.
n the town where Booker T. Washington and Dr. George Washington Carver flourished, Rosa Parks was born and the Tuskegee Airmen thrived, there is even more history to appreciate. Just meander down South Main Street and see the vestiges of a bygone era--flashbacks to a time when southern aristocrats ruled Tuskegee and projected their wealth through their stately homes. Today, new residents are buying these old estates, including Sandy Taylor and her husband, Harvey Mattox who spoke about what it means to own their historic property. â€œWe believe it speaks more about the third migration of African-Americans which we are in the midst of. Unlike the two previous migrations, which began in 1916 and again in 1940 and resulted in African-Americans migrating out of the South to the North, the West and the Midwest, the current migration is of African-Americans moving to the South. A recent comparison
Beautiful Historic Home
shows that since 1980 more AfricanAmericans are moving to the South than to the North. Using that as a backdrop, we believe it is inevitable that the grandchildren and great grandchildren of the people who cleaned the houses and worked the lands are now returning to own those properties.” Their house, which was built around 1855, has 8 fireplaces, 5 bedrooms and 4,876 square feet of living space. “When we first purchased the house there were some individuals that told us we had lost our minds; those individuals happened to be our adult children. Our six-year old granddaughter said the house felt haunted. Another one said it was too big for us. The third grandchild was content to slide down the banister over and over. One friend wanted to know if we ever Living Room hear or see anything spooky. His 15-year-old daughter wanted to know if anyone had ever died in the house. Four years later the comments are more along the line of, “This is a beautiful home and it feels so warm and inviting” or “You guys have done a wonderful job.” Historical records describe the house as a mansion. One thing is for sure—it is not a museum Sandy says, “We have hosted community meetings, Christmas parties, candlelight dinners and a tea party for our 6-year old and 8-year old granddaughters. We are always open fo r a g o o d g a th e r i n g fo r weekend football games.” Harvey hand-stripped all the floors then brought them back to life with a gorgeously dark satin finish. The multi-colored walls and ceilings are an extension of the couple’s passions. “Harvey is an avid gardener and I enjoy decorating--his favorite season of the year is Spring and mine is Fall. Sitting area in dining room
Sandy & Harvey
Con’t from previous page Beautiful Historic Home
We looked at each room in the house as a jewel box. We love to go through the house and enter each room knowing we will feel energized by its furnishings and color. Each room provides a different experience. So to incorporate our interest and the beauty of not being bored, we included a variety of color in the decorating design. Very much like a garden. We especially love the dining room where the walls are painted in two different shades of lavender and the ceiling was done in silver leaf. The color of the dining room also reinforces part of the name of our home…The Lavender Inn, Tuskegee’s Historic Cobb House.” Harvey retired from work several years before his wife took the plunge, departing from the National Park Service in 2018. Recognizing the shortage of hotels in Tuskegee, they plan to convert their home into a Bed & Breakfast in 2019. In the meantime, they are savoring the moments they spend alone or with company at their home, which is a wonderful blend of old and new.
Stairwell with sky blue ceiling and Tuscany textured walls
Upstairs guest bedroom
Antique armoire in master bedroom
Historic Homes Thompson House/Flowers House South Main and Massey Street. A wrought iron fence surrounds the property of a two-story house, built on a foundation of hand-fired brick piers. This house, built in the late 1800s, has excellent craftsmanship of Queen Anne scrollwork and a bracketed balcony overhang. The property also includes a garage and servant's cottage. At first sight, this house appears to be Victorian, but closer examination reveals that it was built much earlier as a singlestory house with Greek Revival trim and smaller size of the first floor windows that suggest the second floor was added later. The vertical wood siding on the polygonal bay and windows similar to those on the second floor suggest that it was also a later addition.
Grey Columns, 399 old Montgomery Road. This National Register site is one of Alabama's finest late antebellum mansions. Built in 1857, the two story brick and stucco structure is an outstanding example of Greek Revival architecture. Recorded by the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1936, the impressive mansion features a large octagonal cupola, a three-sided tile portico with 16 columns rising the full two-stories to the roof line and a balcony enclosed by decorative ironwork. The front gates were used in the movie "Gone With The Wind." Designed and owned by William Varner, a builder, Grey Columns is the place where Theodore Roosevelt was entertained during his visit to Tuskegee in 1905. More recently, Grey Columns has been occupied by the National Park Service and currently is the private residence of the president of Tuskegee University. When you need a house for a president, “The oaks” will certainly do. Built in 1899, “The Oaks” became the family home of Booker T. Washington, the founder of what is now Tuskegee University. The Queen Anne style home was designed by Robert R.Taylor, the first AfricanAmerican to graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the designer of many of Tuskegee University’s early buildings. As it was with most of those buildings, Tuskegee’s students played a significant part in the construction of The Oaks. It was the first building in Macon County to have electricity. The nearly half a million bricks used to build “The Oaks” were made by students at Tuskegee Institute and put into place by student masons.
306 North Main Street A complete interior and exterior restoration has recently returned grandeur to this antebellum home. It was once the residence of William Alley, an Alabama State legislator from 1860 to 1873, who also organized one of Tuskegee's early dry goods businesses, Alley Mercantile Company. The house has a mixture of antebellum architectural details, including one and two story columns with composite capitals, fanlights, wood balustrade on second floor balcony, wood shutters, side porch, marble steps and wrought iron fence.
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Mt.Olive Presiding Pastor, Reverend John H. Curry, Jr.
160 Years of Faith and Fortitude By Karin Hopkins
Though it was birthed during the dark days of slavery, Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church broke loose from those chains to become a pillar in the community. Emancipated by the twin glories of grace and favor, Mt. Olive is the grandfather of black Baptist churches in Tuskegee. The congregation looks much different now than it did in 1842, which is the earliest record of Mt. Olive. In those days, it was a church with no home, so Tuskegee Baptist Church opened its doors to Mt. Olive parishioners. This shared arrangement lasted for 16 years. During this time, slave masters who were affiliated with Mt. Olive, allowed slaves to also attend this church on Sundays. According to the book, “Truths and Traditions of Old Tuskegee” the old Tuskegee Baptist Church was a log house that served a dual purpose, as a school and church. In 1858, white church folks were building a modern church for themselves in part to get away from “the Negroes” whose worship style was exuberant. The wooden building was given to the black churchgoers and in 1859 the white Christians held a dedication ceremony for their new Mt. Olive.
In 1872 “the colored congregation” moved their house of worship to Mt. Olive Hill, a precursor to more than 100 years of changes involving locations and head pastors. Today, Reverend John H. Curry, Jr. presides over Mt. Olive. He has earned the respect of his church members who describe him as a “man of vision.” That’s what 76-year old Amelia “Mickie” Wyckoff Peterson says about her pastor. She has been attending Mt. Olive since she began college at Tuskegee University. Many of her fondest memories are associated with this church, including her wedding to William T. Peterson in 1964. She has been church clerk since 1974. She has witnessed promises made by Reverend Curry come true, such as his pledge to construct a new church building. She uses words like “progressive” and “forwardthinking” to describe Reverend Curry and says he believes in equipping people with the tools to do their jobs, saying, “He provides leadership training to church officers and his administrative team and he is developing a strategic plan.” Sentell T. Martin officiating Reverend Curry has the spirit Rev. wedding of William & Mickie of a prophet and the wisdom of Peterson, June 1964 the elders to guide him. As you peruse Mt. Olive’s membership roles, you will find the names of many history-making individuals; Booker T. Washington, the first president of Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University); Lucius Amerson, Tuskegee’s first black elected sheriff; Johnny Ford, Tuskegee’s first black elected mayor; Mickie Peterson, Tuskegee’s first woman City Councilperson and Ora Manning, Macon County School’s first woman superintendent.
Dr. Booker T. Washington
In 2016, Mt. Olive dedicated this new church, which is located next to the historic, old Mt. Olive santuary.
Mayor Johnny Ford
Sheriff Lucius Amerson
Even its buildings have intriguing stories. Around 1912, the original structure was moved to its present site. In 1919, it was completely replaced by a building that was a scaled down version of the famed Tuskegee University Chapel. Deacon C. H. Evans, head of Tuskegee Institute's Building Construction Department, worked with students on that replacement structure. In the early 1950s, a brick façade was added to the church building and the third-story annex was added. And in an ironic twist of fate, they now own the 15
church their predecessors were expelled from for worshipping too loudly. In 2014, the congregation at the white Mt. Olive deeded their church to the black Mt. Olive. Community services are now offered at that donated building and Mickie Peterson is proud of what her church is providing there, “a food bank, clothing operation and GED classes.” Mt. Olive is the oldest black church in the community and from its seed, many other churches have evolved, including Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church, St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Mt. Calvary Christian, Mt. Sinai, Rock of Ages Baptist Church and New Bethel Progressive Church. By divine providence, 2019 is the 160th anniversary of Mt. Olive and it is also the 25th year that Reverend Curry has served as presiding pastor. Commenting on the powerful history behind the church and the formidable visionary directing Mt. Olive’s progress, Peterson says, “That’s an awesome combination.”
(Above) Mt. Olive edifice, circa 1919 - (Below) Same church building after brick veneer was added, circa 1950
Drama has been used at Mt. Olive to teach Christian lessons - This 2008 play, The Devil on Trial" featured Mickie Peterson and Wilbur Calhoun
Mt. Olive Is the oldest black Baptist Church in East Alabama and the third oldest in the state of Alabama
History came full circle when this church was donated by a congregation that has a complex relationship with Mt. Olive
Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church • P. O. Box 830711 • 410 Cedar Street • Tuskegee, Al 36083-0711 Phone: 334-727-3080 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.mtolivebaptistchurchtuskegee.org/home
Historic Churches Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church (SMBC) was organized in 1870. Since its organization, there have been 20 pastors. In 1932, following worship services, Ms. Eunice Rivers, a Public Health Services nurse, came to Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church and recruited men for a health-related research project. In exchange for their participation, they received free medical care. None were told they would be used as human experiments. They were told they were being treated for â€œbad blood.â€? Today, this research project is known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Many of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study participants were members of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist church. The Church was also used as a site to recruit other men who lived in the area, to participate. Many of the victims are buried in a cemetery adjacent to the church.
During the fall of 1865, Rev. J.M. Butler organized Butler Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in the new Zion Hill community. Rev. Butler was sent to Tuskegee by Bishop J. J. Clinton for the first Alabama Conference held in Mobile. The first church was built in 1867. It was renovated and extended in 1869 and 1875. The plans for a new edifice were made in 1887. Rev. Solomon Derry succeeded Rev. Butler. He was Macon County's first Negro teacher. The Rev. F. F. Thweatt was the first Superintendent of Butler Chapel's Sunday School. He was succeeded by Lewis Adams, the son of a slave master and plantation owner. Lewis Adams grew up in the home of his father's slave master with his half brothers and sisters and through his evening duties of helping them to study, Lewis became an educated boy. He learned to speak three foreign languages-French, German and Spanish and became a mathematician in his own right. He learned and became very proficient in four trades-locksmithing, tinsmithing, shoemaking and harness making.
Tuskegee First United Methodist Church Exquisite European-made stained glass windows installed at the turn of the 20th century and two asymmetrical bell towers dominate this gable front church. Initial construction began in 1860 and completed in 1872, with renovations in 1929. The architectural style of this church is Romanesque Revival. A place of Civil War and Civil Rights activities, in 1865, Wilson's Raiders used the church as a stable and storage garage and in 1965, Tuskegee Institute students selected the church as a site for demonstrations. The church held its last worship service on June 17, 2018. By this time the congregation had dwindled to just a handful of members. Ownership of the building was transferred to Alabama Rural Ministry (ARM), an organization with close ties to the United Methodist Church network.
By: Adrinece Beard
Tuskegee National Forest--America’s Smallest “Backyard” The Tuskegee National Forest, that was home to one of the most neglected wastelands in east-central Alabama, is now the smallest forest in the United States. Established in 1959, by President Dwight Eisenhower, the forest sits on roughly 11,000 acres comprised of wildlife, trails, hunting and fishing areas and campsites. Take a hike! Running through the center of the forest, the Bartram Trail is an eight-mile scenic view of the wildlife habitat, wild flowers, and flowering trees. It was named after William Bartram, a naturalist and author who explored the present-day national site in the 1770s. Hold your horses! If you are adventuring through the Bold Destiny/Bedford Cash Memorial Trail, then you will see the plaque that displays the story behind Bedford V. Cash and Bold Destiny. Bedford Cash is the name of the District Ranger who was conducting prescribed burns in the Tuskegee National Forest when he died from a fatal heart attack on February 26, 1994. Brian Bourne, a Forest Service volunteer, designed the trail and was honored with the W. Kelly Mosley Award for environmental achievement in 1997. In addition to Cash, the trail was also named after Bourne’s favorite horse, Bold Destiny, who died before the trail was finished. Enjoy a bike ride. Designated as the mountain biking trail, Pleasant Hill is about four miles of the forest. Welcome, wildlife enthusiasts. Although fishing and hunting activities are permitted in the forest, the Tsinia Wildlife Viewing Area is off-limits. Wildlife enthusiasts can explore 125-acres of natural bliss, which is managed by the Forest Service. Nice shot! Firearm enthusiasts and hunters can target practice at the Uchee Shooting Range in the northeastern corner of the forest. Targets are placed at 20, 50, and 100-yard increments.
125 National Forest Road 949 Tuskegee, AL 334-727-2652 18
MY TOURIST EXPERIENCE IN TUSKEGEE By Amy Miller December 2018 marked the one-year anniversary of the Sister City visit to Tuskegee by a delegation from South Berwick,Maine.
Tuskegee gave us the royal treatment - meals with the mayor, orchestra seats at the Golden Voices Christmas Concert and private tours of the Tuskegee Airmen’s Museum. Amy Miller of South Berwick B ut even without our describes the visit in this special article. exalted status as members of a Sister City delegation from Maine, this historic Alabama city that played a key role in the civil rights movement offers a rare treat to visitors. The mission for nine of us visiting Tuskegee was grand: to make friendships between an almost all white town in New England and an almost all black town in the Deep South with hopes of being a teeny tiny part of some sort of national racial healing process. I won’t judge the success of our extraordinary mission, except to say we gained rich new friendships. I will say without hesitation, though, that, to the person, we delighted in our four-day stay in a community that offers historic landmarks unavailable anywhere else in America. Tuskegee is hallowed ground concerning the evolution of civil rights. Rosa Parks was born in Tuskegee; Booker T. Washington founded Tuskegee University; the Jewish retail titan, Julius Rosenwald teamed with Booker T. Washington to found schools throughout the South to teach Black children reading, writing, math and science; famed peanut farmer and scientist Washington Carver began Tuskegee University’s agricultural program, and the
renowned Tuskegee Airmen of World War II were trained here, just for starters. Tuskegee was home to student unrest in the 1960s that led to major civil rights advances. And on a less pleasant note, Tuskegee was the site of the tragic federal syphilis experiment. Our pre-arranged visit to this city of just under 10,000 people, more than 95 percent of them African American, gave us enough time to capture a slice of this history that is central to our nation’s story. The sister city relationship between Tuskegee and my hometown of South Berwick began when some people in South Berwick invited officials in Tuskegee to join us in what we believed was the first domestic sister city project. We chose Tuskegee because of its similarity in size to South Berwick and its racial homogeneity. Residents in Maine don’t have much chance to make friends with African- Americans, let alone understand our country from the vantage point of the descendants of enslaved Americans. We hoped this exchange would widen our horizons and create a relationship that might begin to close the gap. The sister city status was approved unanimously by both municipal councils and shortly afterwards travel plans were made. A month after we called Mayor Tony Haygood to tell him our plans, we received a copy of a full itinerary planned by the mayor’s assistant, Kalaful Williams. When we arrived at the Quality Inn in Auburn, Mayor Haygood and Ms. Williams were there to greet us with open arms and welcome gifts. We then rushed to Tuskegee University, formerly Tuskegee Institute, for one of the most beautiful holiday concerts I have ever experienced, the annual Golden Voices Christmas Concert. Vester Marable, a lifelong Tuskegee resident and a park ranger, was waiting for us bright and early the next morning at Moton Field, home to the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site (though this is the official name, the facility functions as the Tuskegee Airmen Museum).
Newly minted friends fellowship at Blue Seas restaurant in Tuskegee
The Tuskegee History Center, formerly known as the Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center, includes the history of the region’s three main cultural groups - the Creek natives; the European immigrants and the African-Americans, most of them brought in to work the plantations. We learned about Sammy Younge, an African-American student shot in the back of the head when he tried to use a “whites only” restroom at a local gas station. We learned about Gomillion v. Lightfoot, the US Supreme Court case that blocked a 28-side border created by white leaders in town and returned Tuskegee to it original borders, thus keeping the majority African-American voting base of the city. But perhaps the most powerful part of our history lesson came from Guy Trammell, a local historian and Tuskegee native, who walked us through town talking about his childhood during segregation. Trammell, 64, grew up amid civil rights history as it was happening. He pointed out Booker T. Washington’s home, Lionel Ritchie’s home and the part of town that was off limits to Black residents. Growing up in the 1960s, Trammell was there when the courts ordered the integration of the swimming pool, when white people put glass on the diving boards, then threw acid in the water and finally disposed of their garbage in the pool, all to keep him and his friends from swimming in "their" pool. As we walked around town, we could see the familiar struggle facing local businesses. Like downtowns in South Berwick and across America, Tuskegee’s center competes with nearby chain stores and malls. Yet, local businesses are fighting to compete. We met many of them when the local Chamber of Commerce hosted "Local Hands" featuring Tuskegee and Macon County artisans showcasing their products and services. Our Tuskegee friends opened their world to us until the final moments of our visit at a bon voyage reception. We will remember the many special moments, all of which were enhanced by Tuskegee’s brand of Southern hospitality.
Macon County school administrators roll out the welcome mat to the sister city delagation en route to the Career Tech Center
The Tuskegee University Golden Voices Christmas Choir Concert was a highlight for the sister city guests
By Karin Hopkins
his magazine celebrates Tuskegee’s glorious past in the context of historical homes and buildings. But we are also spotlighting the prospect of new construction, near the heart of Tuskegee, initiated by the Utilities Board of Tuskegee (UBT). In 2018, UBT purchased 96 acres of land on MLK Highway between St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church and Booker T. Washington High School. The goal is to build smart housing on this property and energize growth within the stagnant middle class. Envision teachers and professors living there alongside banking, university and government administrators. New homes also would appeal to college graduates, emerging professionals, young families and spry retirees— demographic groups that often seek modern amenities.
development arena, motivated by a goal to add new commercial customers. The project at Exit 38 is all about revving up the number of commercial businesses operating in the UBT jurisdiction. Located off Interstate 85, thousands of cars pass Exit 38 every day. In collaboration with other entities, including the Macon County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA), City of Tuskegee and Macon County Commission, UBT is engaged in a comprehensive plan to convert that interstate traffic into customer sales. A diagram on the UBT Website shows restaurants, a hotel and travel center with a convenience store and truck stop at Exit 38, transforming an underutilized interstate ramp into a bustling site for rest and refueling.
By doing this, UBT can grow new utility customers who will need electricity, water and sewer services. This is a bold move by UBT leaders who often hear complaints about perceived high utility rates. The most effective way to stabilize rates is to increase the customer base so that utility costs can be spread among a larger number of customers. The land purchase could jumpstart the residential customer count. UBT General Manager, Gerald Long says, “This community has not had new homes built on a large scale in more than 40 years. Consequently, the houses that our customers live in often are older structures with poorly sealed windows and insufficient insulation. Rooms are often drafty causing residents to crank up the AC in summer months to stay cool. Unfortunately, a large portion of their air conditioning is escaping through multiple leak spots. This wasted energy is costly. But we want everyone to know that we are constantly looking for ways to lower utility expenses for existing customers. We are pleased to report that the new subdivision will be a model for energy savings concerning consumption and costs.” UBT is also a strong partner in the economic
UBT is fully aware that its primary job is to provide utility services and Long emphasizes that, “UBT has a 99 percent reliability record. Also, our crews rapidly restore power during outages.” UBT also has a strong commitment to job creation, qualily of life and capital investment. These commitments are fulfilled through strategic, economic and resource contributions. While UBT is redefining the business environment, UBT also is shaping the future through new homes that may stimulate a long-awaited revival.
Streets being put in at Exit 38 in preparation for development
benjamin Newhouse, PhD, CPA Managing Director
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Local tourism treasure...
The Tuskegee History Center
the history of the study is presented in videos and in an exhibit recounting the study, which has been described as the longest non-therapeutic experiment on human beings in medical history. This memorial to the men of the study exists as a testament to what has happened in the past, in hopes that it will never happen again. Listed in the United States Civil Rights Trail, as well as the Alabama Civil Rights Trail, the Tuskegee History Center outlines Macon County’s role in the civil rights movement, including legal battles from Booker T. Washington, to groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court litigation, and Tuskegee community and student activism in voting rights. The Center also spotlights modern culture. An open f you’re a history buff seeking a good find, or are traveling along I-85 approaching Tuskegee looking for gallery, on the second floor, at times exhibits art, and at times presents history makers telling their personal stories a stopping point, look no further. that have made positive changes to improve the state of AlYour air-conditioned, restroom equipped, abama, and America. destination spot in Macon County is only a few In the Center’s lobby is a salute to the state miles away. From Exit 38 or Exit 32, travel bicentennial with 1912 photography and a to downtown and stop at 104 South Elm presentation of ‘2 Centuries of Macon Street. County Art, Literature and Culture’. The Tuskegee History Center’s mission is to recognize and preserve the For more information, contact the legacies of Native Americans, African Tuskegee History Center at (334) 724Americans and European Americans, that 0800 for a seasonal schedule of hours to were influential in establishing Macon visit the museum, or get a sneak peak County. In fact, the center’s logo depicts online at www.tuskegeecenter.org. the faces of the county’s three founding cultural groups. The museum, designated the Used and excerpted with permission from the Utilities Board of Tuskegee. official visitor’s center for Macon County and the City of Tuskegee and located in downtown Tuskegee, also assists in guiding tourists to other points of interest in the county. Founded in 1997, it unlocks the well-kept secret of Macon County’s rich history. The Tuskegee History Center’s presentation of the small county’s big history begins 65 million years ago, specifying the first plant and animal life in the area. The early history continues with the arrival of Native Americans, Europeans and Africans and how they interacted with one another to form modern day Macon County. A focal point of the Tuskegee History Center, also known as Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center, is the middle gallery which features the history of the tragic Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Man’s inhumanity to man is on display as c 2018 Community Tourism Network, LLC.
VISIT THE NEW
DIAMOND Macon County, Alabama Shaped by a rich history through pressure and time, Macon County’s perpetual spirit of beauty and brilliance is diamond strong.
Come see why Macon shines. Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site (Museum) George Washington Carver Museum • Tuskegee University Tuskegee National Forest • The Tuskegee History Center Moton Field Airport (Home of the Tuskegee Airmen) Whippoorwill Vineyards • Camp Watts Civil War Historical Site VictoryLand • Hunting & Fishing Year-Round
UBT is a ďŹ nancially sound, professional organization providing benchmark quality electric, water and wastewater services to residential, commercial and industrial customers within the Macon County service area. UBT seeks to be a proactive leader in delivering utility services throughout Macon County Alabama.
101 Fonville Street Tuskegee, AL 36083 Phone: 334.720.0525 www.yourubt.com
Showcasing structures that tell important stories about Tuskegee and Macon County