2022 Old Federal Road Storytelling Festival Booklet

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A presentation of


Our mission is to provide classroom resources and educational programs and events about our region's historical and cultural significance for the benefit of students, teachers, the local community, and visitors of all ages.

Ridge Project Interpretive Center

10735 County Rd 10 Union Springs, AL 36089

Physically located on Macon County Road 10 about nine miles south of Tuskegee


Public Humanities Panel Program supported by a grant from the Alabama Humanities Alliance. Arts & Culture Program supported by a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Advertising and signage supported by a grant from the Alabama Tourism Department.

Our Sponsors

About the Artist and Cover Art

My name is Pascale Adekpui. I was born and raised in The Netherlands, but I currently live in Old Akrade in the Eastern Region in Ghana with my husband and teenage daughter. In 2008 I got the opportunity to work as an Art Teacher and ESL Teacher at the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana. Since then I have been moving back and forth between The Netherlands and Ghana. For the last three years I have resided in Ghana and I am really focused on building a life here.

In The Netherlands I earned my Master’s Degree in Arts & Culture (1998). In addition I got a Postgraduate certificate in Community Work (2003) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education (2006). In my home country I mostly worked in the field of education and social welfare. Over the years I have taught many young asylum seekers and refugees from all over the world. I have also been involved in several local community projects in deprived neighbourhoods to serve minority groups. From the moment I came back to Ghana in 2019 I had more possibilities to explore my love for art again. I had done Dutch courses in kids’ coaching and artistic dynamic coaching that helped me to share my creative passion with young people. At this moment I organise art workshops for the local youth in our village. My husband and I founded a charity called “The Roots Foundation Ghana” and because of that we were able to establish a youth community centre to provide free after school programmes for less privileged children.

Living in Africa has always been my dream because I longed to find my ‘black roots’ and West Africa felt most close. After many years of fruitless online family research (Downer Family) in the USA I was lucky enough to connect with Dr. Shari Williams last June. Once we found out that we share a family tree, she embarked with me on an amazing journey to trace my ancestors in Macon County, Alabama. Several branches on my family tree connect to Macon County, Alabama. One, mentioned previously, is my Downer/Donner branch. The other is my Pace branch. Until recently I didn’t know that I’m a Pace descendent through the union of Jackson Downer Sr. and Andina Pace. This news got me very excited and it even inspired me more to create art for the cover of this booklet that is linked to the African diaspora.

The cover artwork depicts a combination of two Adinkra symbols that reflect the theme “Homecoming: One Road Tells Many Stories.” The first symbol is Funtunfunefu Denkyemfunefu which means 'Siamese crocodiles'. The symbol shows two conjoined crocodiles who share one stomach. In short, this symbol stands for UNITY IN DIVERSITY. It signifies the unification of people of different cultural settings for achieving common objectives despite their divergent views and opinions about the way of life. The Federal Road shaped the lives and legacies of people who experienced life similarly and differently within the region. This region’s Creek, the African American, and European American ancestors all share the same Federal Road history, but from different perspectives. So this symbol reflects my view that within the diversity of these three groups, there's unity in the Federal Road.

The second symbol is Hye-Wonhye which means 'Burn, you do not burn'. The symbol gets its meaning from traditional priests who, during ceremonies, could walk on fire without burning their feet. In short, this symbol stands for ENDURANCE AND IMPERISHABILITY. In my view this is an empowering symbol that reminds us of all that our ancestors have endured. With this symbol I want to show that they were pillars of


strength and resilience. And this connects nicely to the Festival's theme because it emphasizes the festival’s goal to “highlight the diaspora of people from all over who descend from ancestors who were enslaved at Creekwood who have lived fulfilled lives as a testament to the resilience of the ancestors. ”

In the opposite corners of the piece, I use the eye to show that depending on one’s perspective there are different stories to tell. Down in the right corner you see many eyes following a winding path. That represents the Federal Road and the various cultural groups who meandered this path towards their (new) destinations. Subsequently all the individual descendants of these various groups are following their own path of life now. I expressed that in the top left corner with the eye and the different strings towards the cowrie shells. The cowrie, which has deep roots in African culture, symbolises destiny and prosperity.

It is my honour and joy to contribute this cover artwork to the 2022 Old Federal Road Storytelling Festival. I celebrate with you the theme of homecoming for I truly feel that I am on a journey to find my homeplace in Macon County, Alabama!


Pascale Adekpui

Dear Pascale,

On behalf of The Ridge Project Board of Directors, I extend sincerest appreciation to you for the cover art for this year’s festival booklet. Your artwork is as amazing as your connection to Macon County, Alabama through your Downer and Pace ancestors. We are thankful for your talent and beautiful depiction of this year’s festival theme. May your generosity return to you one hundred fold in your work with The Roots Foundation Ghana and all your endeavors!

Sincerely, Dr. Shari L. Williams

Originally started as a small community based project in 2014 the Ghanaian Dutch couple Harry and Pascale Adekpui established Anansi Youth Community Centre (YCC) as a response to the lack of educational and social support for the underprivileged but deserving youth in the rural village Old Akrade in the Eastern Region in Ghana.

Anansi YCC falls under the umbrella of The Roots Foundation Ghana. Through their charity Harry and Pascale aim to create equal opportunities for local students regardless their background. Key focus is education since schooling can break the cycle of poverty for the most vulnerable young people in some deprived communities along the banks of the Volta River.

Every day after school and during the weekends Anansi YCC opens its doors to offer an educational after school programme that is totally free of charge and operated by volunteers. Besides homework assistance, remedial classes and exam training, the students can participate in excursions and creative workshops Most village schools lack basic learning materials like stationary, textbooks and storybooks. To fill that gab Anansi YCC is equipped with most of the necessary materials and even laptops. This gives the students the opportunity to access everything they need to make the best out of their schooling.

To date The Roots Foundation Ghana has also supported several Junior High School graduates from Old Akrade to continue their education as boarding students at different Secondary High Schools in the region. For this purpose, a small scholarship fund hasbeen setup foreligible, local studentsfrom low income families. Without any financial aid it would be very difficult for most of them to gain their diploma and pursue their dreams, especially for girls. Soon, the charity wishes to expand Anansi YCC with a small library and a new classroom to reach out to more children Besides that, there are plans to start up a ‘Hot Meal Project’. Currently every participant gets a free snack at the centre during the daily after school classes. Unfortunately, this small snack can’t fill their empty stomachs so hopefully it will be possible to provide at least once or twice a week a hot meal to the students in the near future. Together we can make it happen!

Would you like to (financially) support The Roots Foundation Ghana? Or do you have a great idea for a fundraising activity? Don’t hesitate and send an email to: therootsfoundationghana@gmail.com

You can also follow us on social media: https://web.facebook.com/anansi.youthcommunitycentre .ghana

https://www.instagram.com/akosua.art/ https://www.instagram.com/therootsfoundationghana

Empowering youth for a bright future
Small steps lead to big changes!

On behalf of the Board of Directors of The Ridge Macon County Archaeology Project, we welcome you to the 2022 Old Federal Road Storytelling Festival!

Planning began in the fall of 2021 a few months after a visit to Creekwood by Pace family descendants and Dr. Williams, who also is a descendant of Paces from Macon County, Alabama. The family weighed in affirmatively on the idea of hosting a festival at Creekwood. The Federal Road is at the center of a story of cultural evolution and the complex history of national security and westward expansion that goes back to prehistoric times when indigenous peoples first occupied present day Alabama. Moreover, Creekwood is the place where Pace ancestors toiled as enslaved people. The decision was clear that to commemorate and reclaim that legacy on behalf of the diaspora of Paces around the world, Creekwood should be the festival venue.

The Ridge continued to solicit input from the family members and from former Ridge Project board members Jocelyn Zanzot and Daniel Neil in early 2022. After months of planning based on family input and feedback from past festival attendees, here we are!

We extend our thanks and appreciation to our generous grant funders, the Alabama Humanities Alliance (AHA) for funding for the Humanities Panel Program, to the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) for funding for the Arts & Culture Day program, and to the Alabama Department of Tourism for funding advertising and the Festival booklet Thank you also to our Alabama Fever Sponsors, the Black Heritage Council of the Alabama Historical Commission, and the Utilities Board of Tuskegee. Other generous sponsors who made this event possible are the Tuskegee Macon County Community Foundation, Inc.(TMCCF, Inc.), the Alabama River Diversity Network (ARDN), the Auburn University Department of History, the Black Belt African American Genealogical and Historical Society (BBAAGHS), and the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities (CMDCAH).

A special thank you also to Dr. Lorenzo Pace, who granted permission for performing Act 2, Scene 6 of his play co authored with Philp Zwerling entitled Locked: A Full Length Play. We extend a heartfelt thank you to Ms. Georgette Norman, Director of the Reader’s Theatre, to the student performers from the Jefferson Davis High School, Montgomery, Alabama, and to their teacher Ms. Phillips. This group met for weeks leading up to the festival for rehearsals and for dialogue sessions, facilitated by Ms. Norman, to unpack and reflect on the themes of the play. These sessions along with keynote storyteller Ms. Makshya Tolbert’s virtual community arts program on October 18, and the Festival on October 28 29 constitute the consolidated projects made possible by the ASCA grant to extend the reach of the Festival.

Thank you as well to the Auburn University Department of History, BBAAGHS, the CMDCAH, Dr. Lisa Bratton, Tuskegee University Associate Professor of History, and the TMCCF, Inc. for partnering with The Ridge Project in 2022 by way of in-kind support and making possible mutually beneficial student projects. To our volunteers and all who have contributed to making the Festival a reality and a success, we appreciate you!


Dr. Shari L. Williams, Executive Director

The Ridge Macon County Archaeology Project

Mr. Guy Trammell, Jr., Tuskegee/Macon County Historian, and 2022 Old Federal Road Storytelling Festival Humanities Advisor and Technical Consultant


In Memoriam

Willie James Pace, a.k.a. Sonny, epitomized the role of an ambassador with his fervent enthusiasm and support of The Ridge Project. His countless contributions to the organization’s growth and success began in 2012 when he offered to remodel one of his newly acquired properties and lease it to the organization so we could have a home for our Interpretive Center. The remodeled home and its land oozed with historic connections to the community and Federal Road history.

The home and the land belonged to the Pace family for decades. The land is located within the township, range, and section that Yargee, son of Big Warrior once owned. Big Warrior was a prominent Chief of the Creek Nation. The Creek Confederacy once owned millions of acres of land in present-day Georgia and Alabama. The Nation’s last land holdings before the 1832 Treaty of Cusseta encompassed five million acres in eastern Alabama, including the land that our Interpretive Center occupies. Our Center fronts Macon County Road 10 which is paved over the Federal Road, the 1800s interstate route that ushered in thousands of Alabama Fever land rush settlers and the enslaved people they brought with them.

Willie’s ancestral connections and the area’s rich cultural and spiritual heritage surely fueled his tireless enthusiasm for The Ridge Project and his selfless actions to build up the organization. Willie helped to plan and set up for events and recruited other helpers. He warmly welcomed all visitors and gave them tours, he taught youngsters who visited the Center on field trips, and he took advantage of every opportunity to promote our mission and vision. The photo at the top left was taken during the first “Taste of the Ridge” community potluck event in 2013. We created a “Willie poster” using the photo. The poster’s caption is a quote from Willie which reads “A seed and the sun are powerful things.” Willie James Pace planted seeds for success and nurtured our organization with his sun-like energy and power. Sonny, you are loved and missed!


In Memoriam


Dr. William Reynolds McLeod descended from Reynolds, Scarborough, Gresham, and Perry ancestors who migrated to Warrior Stand, Alabama during the Alabama Fever land rush. As a retired history professor and Alabama Fever descendant, Dr. McLeod did not pass up his first opportunity to visit the Interpretive Center in 2013. From that time forward, he and his wife Vicki Bond McLeod (now deceased) generously contributed their knowledge and expertise to propel The Ridge Project forward.

Dr. McLeod also donated circa 1800s furniture pieces to The Ridge Project that his Warrior Stand ancestors once owned. His donation will be foundational for new exhibits and programs.

We always cherish memories of the McLeods and appreciate their numerous and generous contributions!

Above: Dr. McLeod is standing in the Warrior Stand cemetery beside the obelisk grave marker of his maternal great grandfather William Alexander Reynolds.

Right: Dr. McLeod and his Perry family cousins in 2013 during his first visit to our Interpretive Center. Perry family members are working to arrange for perpetual care for the Warrior Stand Cemetery.

Photos courtesy of The Ridge Project.

The McLeods assisted with various research projects and provided oral histories about early Warrior Stand and its inhabitants. They also made family held primary source documents available to The Ridge. Their contributions increased our understanding of life on the Alabama frontier for yeoman farming families. The documentation and oral history they shared provided the basis for our permanent photo exhibit of early Warrior Stand furniture, glassware, a circa 1800s quilt, and Caledonia platters. Dr. McLeod’s family records and knowledge of early Warrior Stand history formed the basis for The Ridge Project’s first video production and companionlesson plan entitled “Pioneer Settlement in Warrior Stand and the Legend of Fannie Gresham’s Ghost.”

Grantors, Sponsors, Partners, Donors, & In-Kind Contributors


Alabama Humanities Alliance (AHA)

Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) Alabama Tourism Department

Alabama Fever Sponsors

Black Heritage Council of the Alabama Historical Commission (BHC) Utilities Board of Tuskegee (UBT)

Additional Sponsors

Tuskegee Macon County Community Foundation, Inc. (TMCCF, Inc.)

Alabama River Diversity Network (ARDN)

Auburn University Department of History Black Belt African American Genealogical and Historical Society (BBAAGHS)

Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities, College of Liberal Arts, Auburn, University (CMDCAH)

Festival Donors

Larry & Dr. Shari Williams, Columbus, Georgia Mike & Susanna Glomb, Richmond, Virginia

In-Kind Contributors and Partners

Dr. Elijah Gaddis and Dr. Keith Hébert, Auburn University Department of History Dr. Lisa Bratton, Tuskegee University

Dr. Mark Wilson, Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities Pascale Adekpui, The Roots Foundation Ghana

Art Contest Judges

Emily Blejwas, Executive Director, Alabama Folklife Association

Dr. Elijah Gaddis, Assistant Professor of History, Auburn University

Dr. Cedric G. Sanders, Independent Scholar, University of Georgia and Ridge Project Board Member


Guy Trammell, Jr., Tuskegee/Macon County Historian

Ricardo M. Johnson, ARC Productions, Atlanta, Georgia

Zion (Zee) McThomas, Auburn University Department of History


Bridges Girls Group Home, Tuskegee, Alabama

Dominique Jenkins, Tuskegee University


Schedule (subject to change)

Friday, October 28 – Humanities Panel Program, 4 - 7 p.m.

4:00 4:15 Dr. Shari L. Williams, Ridge Project Executive Director - Welcome, Federal Road and Creekwood Overview, and Panel Introduction

4:15 4:35 Turner Hunt, Preservation Officer, Muscogee Nation The Creek Nation’s Presence in Southeast Alabama and Macon County, 1800 - 1836

4:35 4:50 Dr. Kelly Kennington, Auburn University How Enslavers and the Enslaved Experienced the Landscape and the Built Environment, 1844 1865

4:50 - 5:10 Break

5:10 – 5:30 Mistinguette Smith, Executive Director, The Black Land Project - Black Land Possession and Dispossession, 1865 - present

5:30 5:50 Admetria P. Mason, Third generation descendant in Amy Pace lineage and retired RN African American Pace Family Legacies and Diaspora 1870 present

5:50 6:15 Guy Trammell, Jr., Tuskegee/Macon County Historian and 2022 Old Federal Road Humanities and Technical Consultant - Q&A and Closing Remarks

6:15 7:00 Reception catered by Kimble’s

Saturday, October 29 - Arts and Culture Day Program, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

10 -10:30 Councilwoman Norma McGowan Jackson (Umi Iyabode), Emcee and Tuskegee, Alabama City Council District 1 Opening, Ancestor and Land Acknowledgements

10:40 11:30 Makshya Tolbert, Keynote Storyteller

11:30 12:00 Bill Perry Musician

12:00 1:00 Lunch break Kimble’s, on site vendor

1:00 1:30 Tony Brook Musician

1:30 2:45 Art Contest Awards and Video Presentation

2:45 3:00 Break

3:00 4:30 Jefferson Davis High School Students Directed by Georgette Norman Reader’s Theatre Performance of Act 2, Scene 6, Locked: A Full Length Play by Philip Zwerling & Lorenzo Pace

4:30 5:00 Closing Remarks

Panelists - Humanities Panel Program

"Federal Road People, Places, and Spaces"

Turner Hunt is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. He is based at the Nation’s Historic and Cultural Preservation Department in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. Prior to becoming Preservation Officer, he worked as an Archaeological Technician in the department. Mr. Hunt recently contributed to a collaborative paper with University of Georgia Professor Dr. Jennifer Birch and the Huron-Wendat Nation of Canada entitled “The Role of Radiocarbon Dating in Advancing Indigenous Led Archaeological Research Agendas.”

Dr. Kelly Kennington is the Draughon Endowed Associate Professor of Southern History at Auburn University. She received her Ph.D. from Duke and joined Auburn’s faculty in 2010, where she teaches courses on southern history, legal history, and the history of slavery. She is the author of In the Shadow of Dred Scott: St. Louis Freedom Suits and the Legal Culture of Slavery in Antebellum America, published in 2017 by the University of Georgia Press. She is currently working on a book project entitled The Mind of Susan Wray that explores themes of slavery, divorce, and insanity through the study of a woman whose plantation was near Creekwood, on the border of Macon and Montgomery counties in what is today Barbour County.

Mistinguette Smith is the founder of the Black/Land Project, a narrative research project that amplifies and celebrates the way that Black people self define relationships to land and place. She is descended from ancestors born in Warrior Stand and Creek Stand, Alabama and grandparents who were part of the Great Migration from Macon County, Alabama to Cleveland, Ohio.


Mistinguette Smith is the founder of the Black/Land Project, a narrative research project that amplifies and celebrates the way that Black people self define relationships to land and place. She is descended from ancestors born in Warrior Stand and Creek Stand, Alabama and grandparents who were part of the Great Migration from Macon County to Cleveland, Ohio.

Admetria Pace Mason is a third generation descendant of Amy Pace and a retired RN from the state of Alabama with a career that spanned over thirty-five years. Amy Pace was the matriarch of the first generation of Ms. Mason’s Pace family branch to be born after Emancipation. According to the 1880 census, Amy Pace and her mother lived in the home of Perry Lloyd. Amy Pace’s mother worked in the Lloyd home as a servant. The census enumerator counted Perry Lloyd’s household immediately after enumerating the household of Lt. Col. William Bailey Lloyd, Perry Lloyd’s father. Lt. Col. Lloyd purchased the Creekwood Mansion in 1874 from its original owner Stephen Pace. Lloyd owned Creekwood until 1983. The close proximity of Amy Pace and her mother to Creekwood suggests that Stephen Pace likely enslaved Amy Pace’s father Ben Pace. Ms. Mason’s interests include crocheting and other crafts. She also started a personal care business for women. Ms. Pace has four children, five grandchildren and one great grandchild. She enjoys visiting her grandchildren and siblings.

Arts & Culture Day Program Performers and Participants

Festival Emcee and native of Tuskegee, Alabama, Tuskegee City Council woman Norma McGowan Jackson (Umi Iyabode) is a retired public school educator, founder and director of Baobab Journey Rites of Passage for Girls, a founding member of the Core Group of Infinite Possibilities, and one of three founding members of the South Macon Community Foundation. Norma served more than two decades as the chapter Coordinator for the Amandla Chapter of 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement. She received her B.S. degree from Tuskegee Institute, (now University) in 1978, and the M. Ed. from Auburn University at Montgomery in 1987. She was employed by the Macon County Public Schools for 25 years as the kindergarten teacher at South Macon Elementary School. Since her retirement in 2003 she has served as director of Tiger Tots Daycare Center in Opelika, Alabama. She retired from Lee County Youth Development Center, also located in Opelika, in January of 2020.

In August of 2020, Norma was elected to the Tuskegee City Council for District 1, which primarily represents the Village of Greenwood, and Tuskegee University. She hopes to be the catalyst for the revitalization of the community where she was born and raised and continues to reside. Married to her high school sweetheart, Grover Jackson, Sr. for 48 years, Norma is the proud mother of two adult children, and the proud grandmother of ten amazing grandchildren.

Makshya Tolbert (she/they) is a poet, cook, and potter who just found her way back to Virginia. Her recent poems and essays have been published in Interim, Narrative Magazine, Emergence Magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, Art Papers, The Night Heron Barks, Ran Off with the Star Bassoon, For the Culture, Earth in Color, Odd Apples, Queer Poem a Day, and RHINO Poetry. Makshya is currently based on unceded Monacan and Manahoac land in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she is a second year Master of Fine Arts student at the University of Virginia. Makshya serves on the Charlottesville Tree Commission and is a 2022 23 Lead to Life Curatorial Fellow. In her free time, she is elsewhere what Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. calls ‘that physical or metaphorical place that affords the space to breathe.’

Bill Perry is a composer, arranger, producer, pianist, and entrepreneur. He began formal training at age 8 with piano. His first recording opportunity came at age 12 on trumpet. At Tuskegee Institute he joined the Greater Saint Mark Missionary Baptist Church and its music department and performed with local and regional musical, theatrical and entertainment groups, and with Tuskegee Institute (now University) marching, concert, and jazz bands. Bill met two incredible teachers, Warren Duncan, former Tuskegee University Director of Band, and the late Bobby “Bob Tail” Owens, a guitarist who is an Alabama Jazz Music Hall of Fame honoree. James Anthony, producer for the "Commodores" and Lionel Ritchie were great influences as well. Bill performs at the Tuskegee Repertory Theater, the Tuskegee History Center, and other venues. He has shared the stage with the legendary Harry Belafonte, Grammy Award winner Jennifer Holiday, and R & B legend Peggy Scott Adams. Bill perceives the total embodiment of music as something embracing not just a single genre, but rather a blending of all in a tasteful, creative, and spiritual way.

Native Alabamian Tony Brook will release his eighth album this winter. Tony’s songs have been recorded and covered by many of his songwriter peers The diversity of his music spans the emotional spectrum and is in tune with genres such as rhythm & blues, country, folk rock, and jazz blues. Opening for the likes of Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, and Government Mule, Tony has seen a few good stage times and continues to through his own music. You can find music and info at www.tonybrook.net as well as the mainstream platforms Apple Music, CD Baby, Amazon, and iTunes, etc.


Georgette Norman is an accomplished historian, thespian, and activist. After graduating from the Alabama State University Laboratory School in Montgomery, she attended the pre college political science institute at Hampton Institute. She enrolled in Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee as a history major and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She joined the Teacher Corps and simultaneously received a Master of Education degree from Hampton Institute. Afterwards, the Government of the Virgin Islands recruited her to teach in its public schools on the island of St. Croix. In 1973, she received a postgraduate certificate in Humanistic Education from the University of Miami, Florida. Between 1975 and 1985, she taught at the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix campus, and at St. Joseph Catholic High School. She also choreographed dances and directed plays at Island Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of the University of the Virgin Islands, and Courtyard Players. After 15 years, Georgette left the Virgin Islands and returned to her birthplace, Montgomery, Alabama. In 1992, she founded the Alabama African American Arts Alliance under the auspices of the Alabama State Council on the Arts. In 2018 Georgette directed August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama work Fences at the Cloverdale Playhouse in Montgomery. The following year, 2019, she collaborated with Priscilla Hancock Cooper on the lecture/demonstration, “Past, Present, and Future: Our Civil Rights Legacy and Community Revitalization ” In 2021, she presented “Traveling While Black & Going Down South” at the Shakespeare Garden, Auburn University. In April and May 2022, Ms. Norman directed multiple performances of the play “A Lesson Before Dying” presented at the Cloverdale Playhouse in Montgomery.

Congratulations to Ms. Phillips and her students from Jefferson Davis High School’s “eVOLve” Drama Club for your debut Reader’s Theatre performance!

Guy Trammell, Jr. is the 2022 Old Federal Road Storytelling Festival Humanities and Technical Consultant. He is well-known for his historical research and interpretation; for his historic tours and presentations, and his economic development work in conjunction with historic preservation. He and Amy Miller from Tuskegee’s sister city South Berwick, Maine were featured on CBS News in 2022 for writing a joint column called "Color Us Connected." They write about the same everyday life topic he from an African American perspective, and Amy Miller from her perspective as a white woman. In 2018, Guy served as the chairman of the Macon County Bicentennial Committee. Guy was born and raised Tuskegee and has lived there for most of his life. He studied Music Theory at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies/Community Planning from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He is a 2020 recipient of the Tuskegee National Bioethics Center Community Service Award, a 2019 recipient of the Community Service Award from the Tuskegee Macon County Community Foundation, Inc, and the Amelia Platts Boynton Robinson Village of Hope Legacy Award. He was chosen for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Man of the Year in 2014.

Ricardo M. Johnson is the 2022 Old Federal Road Storytelling Festival videographer and editor. During his career, he has worked as a director, technical director, and videographer. He currently works freelance as the proprietor of ARC Productions, a company that he has operated for over 42 years while also working for Georgia Public Broadcasting and Black Entertainment Television. His work includes news programs, the NAACP Image Awards, NFL games, college football, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, Tyler Perry’s Why Did I get Married? (the play), and Teen Summit

Zion (Zee) McThomas is a master’s student and teaching assistant in the Auburn University Department of History. She is author of Ramblings of an Ain't, a book of poetry published in 2018 that unwraps her ventures through relationships, friendships, and life in general. Zee holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a concentration in English Literature from Alcorn State University. Her research Interests include Black Feminism, Hip Hop, Queer Studies, and Music.


Ridge Project Board of Directors and Executive Director

Corlis Dallas Clark is virtually a life long resident of the south Macon County, Alabama community. She is an alumna of the historic South Macon High School (also called the Macon County Training School). After graduation, Ms. Clark completed coursework at Tuskegee University. She earned Lab Technician credentials from Alexander City Jr. College and went on to begin a career with the U.S. Postal Service as a Rural Route Mail Carrier. Her career spanned 30 years. After retirement in 2007, Ms. Clark worked as an adjunct data collector and instructor with an agriculture and nutrition program for youth that was housed at Tuskegee University. Ms. Clark is a member of the Sweet Pilgrim Baptist Church, Roba, Alabama.

Gary Cox is an accomplished technical support professional with extensive experience the IT system environment as a systems administrator and specialist. His professional experience also includes business manager and financial reporting specialist.

Dr. Cedric G. Sanders is a descendant of ancestors from Creek Stand in Macon County, Alabama. He is an Instructional Designer in the University of Georgia’s Finance and Administration Department. Dr. Sanders’s research focus is African American men’s experiences in obtaining graduate level academic degrees in higher education. His dissertation, “Counternarratives of African American Male Doctoral Students at Predominantly White Institutions,” highlights the significance of this work and the need for intentional mentorship support, and meaningful interventions to increase the enrollment of African American men in higher education. He obtained his Ph.D. in Learning, Leadership, and Organizational Development with an emphasis on adult education from the University of Georgia. Dr. Sanders is a former police officer. In addition to a doctoral degree, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Master of Science degree in Adult Education Instructional Technology, both from Troy University.

Mary Jo Thompson is an educator, curriculum, and cross curriculum development specialist. She is a former teacher with the Lee County, Alabama School System. Ms. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Education degree from Auburn University and a Master of Education degree from the University of West Georgia.

Dr. Shari L. Williams is a Public Historian, independent scholar, and the Ridge Project’s Executive Director. She is the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in History from Auburn University. She is descended from Pace, Berry, Hubbard, and Ellison ancestors from Macon County, Alabama. Her research interests include the past, present, and future of rural historic landscapes and cultural traditions in Alabama’s Black Belt with an emphasis on social history through the lens of race, gender, and class. Her interest in the Modern American South and Public History began with her non-profit volunteer work in historic preservation in Macon County. She was inspired through this work, to establish The Ridge Macon County Archaeology Project Dr. Williams currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Black Belt African American Genealogy and Historical Society (BBAAGHS), and as Vice President on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Folklife Association (AFA)


“The People of Creekwood”


Alabama Fever, the name for white settler mass migration from the eastern United States into Alabama, peaked after the Creek Nation ceded the last of its territory in eastern most Alabama in 1832 with the signing of the Treaty of Cusseta. A travel writer named George William Featherstonhaugh crossed this densely forested territory in January 1835 as he traveled eastward on the rutted and perilous Federal Road from Montgomery, Alabama to Columbus, Georgia. After crossing Persimmon Creek in Macon County on his way to Creek Stand and Warrior Stand, both stagecoach stops on the Federal Road within fifteen miles of the Macon Russell County border, Featherstonehaugh wrote that he passed by 1,000 exhausted enslaved people “trudging on foot” with their white owners.1

James Pace, an African American Civil War veteran claimed that in 1835 he forcibly migrated through vast frontier land to arrive in Macon County, Alabama with his mother Ailsy, his father, and an older brother and younger sister. If James recalled this experience correctly, he would have observed the same dense forests as Featherstonhaugh as he entered former Creek territory while traveling on the Federal Road from Georgia across the Chattahoochee River into Alabama. James and his family eventually arrived at the site that was to become the sprawling 1,200 acre plantation known as Creekwood located in Creek Stand, Macon County, Alabama located near the present day juncture of Macon County Roads 10 and 79. The plantation, owned by the planter and enslaver Stephen Pace (1802 1872), included several contiguous land parcels located north and south of the plantation house. On the north, the plantation land was located near the city of Tuskegee along the Opintlocco, Big Swamp, and Kelly Creeks that furnished an “abundant water supply” to Macon County.2 Today, the plantation house, known today as the “Creekwood Estate,” remains on its original site. The Federal Road that carried James and his family to Alabama, tells many stories, some good, some bad, and some ugly, from the perspectives of indigenous, enslaved, and free peoples.

As the U.S. population spread westward, the Creek Nation experienced tremendous pressure from the national government to conform to a civilization plan and adopt European culture, for example, row crop farming methods and slave owning. This pressure caused a complex schism within the Nation between conformists and resistors. In 1830, the U.S. government enacted the Indian Removal Act which set the stage for the forced removal of the Creeks to lands west of the Mississippi River. In 1832, the Creek Nation succumbed to pressures exerted both diplomatically and militarily by the government because of this policy. The Creeks ceded the last of tribal lands east of the Mississippi River in east Alabama totaling five million acres, with the signing of the Treaty of Cusseta on March 24, 1832. Macon County, and the adjacent counties of Barbour and Russell came into being in 1832 as a direct result of this major land cession.

Alabama Fever provided the impetus for nineteenth and twentieth century social and economic change in Macon County that mirrored changes over time within a State that depended primarily on cotton agriculture and an enslaved black labor force to drive prosperity and growth. An example is found in the proportion of the black population to the white population. In response to a growing global cotton economy, cotton planters and yeoman farmers migrated westward to the Alabama Territory, leaving behind soils in the eastern states that were depleted of their nutrients from intensive cotton farming in favor of fertile Alabama soils. Planters and farmers took enslaved people with them and imported enslaved people marketed and sold during the domestic slave trade in cities like Montgomery, Alabama, and Columbus, Georgia. In 1840 when James Pace was about ten years old, Macon County’s population consisted roughly of 5,369 free whites and 11,247 enslaved persons. In 1850, those numbers increased to 11,286 free whites and 15,605 enslaved blacks In 1860, Macon County’s population consisted of 8,624 free white people and 18,176 enslaved African Americans.3

1 Jeffrey C. Benton, ed., The Very Worst Road: Travellers’ Accounts of Crossing Alabama’s Old Creek Indian Territory, 1820 1847, (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1998), 119.

2 Alabama and Motisi Associated Engineers, “Macon County Sanitary Sewerage Facilities CDBG: Environmental Impact Statement,” Engineers CH2M Hill, Montgomery, , Waugh, Alabama, 1982, Chapter 2, Section 4, pp. 2 9. Accessed April 19, 2022, https://books.google.com/books?id=Edk3AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA9&lpg=PA9&dq=Opintlocco&source=bl&ots=1IsifIbwoa&sig=ACf U3U1rUH5SQJ6H78SnPgPZaKAnlBKAHw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi9m rytaH3AhUNd98KHe4yA8QQ6AF6BAgZEAM#v=onepage&q=Opintlocco&f=false

3 United States Census Bureau, “1840 Census: Compendium of the Enumeration of the Inhabitants and Statistics of the United States,” 52 53, accessed August 22, 2022, https://www.census.gov/library/publications/1841/dec/1840c.html, and United States Census Bureau, and “1850 Census: The Seventh Census of the United States ,” 421, accessed August 22, 2022,

Despite the existence of a majority black population in Macon County, rigid race social and political relations based on white dominance prevailed. In 1850 a total of 16 free blacks were counted on the census, but by 1860 the number dwindled to one which suggests renewed enforcement of Alabama’s Act 44, a law that banned free blacks from residing in the state.4 Even with the opening of the Tuskegee Normal School in 1881 and its subsequent growth and prominence, white social, political, and economic dominance would continue throughout the first four decades of the twentieth century. African Americans in Macon County as a bloc successfully challenged this dominance with the Tuskegee Merchant Boycott 1957 1961 when they fought against racial gerrymandering of city boundaries that excluded all but a handful of eligible black city residents from voting in Tuskegee’s municipal elections. Blacks resisted in the form of a selective buying campaign whereby city and county blacks refused to shop at the establishments of whites who supported gerrymandering. Their activism resulted in the 1960 landmark Supreme Court voting rights case Gomillion v. Lightfoot, which overturned the gerrymander and restored voting rights to Tuskegee’s eligible black voters.5


The Tuskegee Boycott followed a consistent pattern of social, political, cultural, and economic tension and conflict in Alabama that reflected divided views along racial and cultural lines about who should control land. The earliest example is the long standing conflict during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries between the Muscogee Creek Nation and the national government over lands possessed by the Creeks in Alabama and Georgia. Politicians, land speculators, wealthy planters, and yeoman farmers who believed in territorial expansion to the west adhered to a belief system that prefigured “manifest destiny,” the popular belief in the mid 1800’s that aggressive and continuous westward expansion across the North American continent by white people was God ordained.

Stephen Pace, the prosperous planter from Harris County, Georgia took advantage of the 1832 cession as he planned his own relocation to the west. In 1840, Pace resided in Harris County, Georgia and owned thirty three enslaved persons. In 1850, he owned fifty three enslaved persons. Sometime during the next five years, Pace decided to seek his fortune in Macon County. In 1855, he began acquiring land parcels in Macon County and by 1860, he resided there at Creekwood. The number of enslaved persons owned by Pace in 1860 had increased to seventy seven, most of whom no doubt constructed the plantation house, seventeen slave cabins, barns, a gristmill, kitchen, and other structures on the plantation. Their labor on “perhaps the richest lands along Big Swamp Creek,” made possible a substantial and successful agricultural enterprise that generated wealth for Stephen Pace and his second wife Mary (maiden name Gregory), daughters Mary, Georgia, and Anna, and sons John, Thomas, and Elkanah. Enslaved laborers tended livestock including milk cows, horse, mules, oxen, cattle, sheep and pigs, and produced crops of wheat, rye, corn, oats, and cotton.6

Before the Civil War ended, Ailsy, her son James, and his siblings who likely belonged to the community of the enslaved at Creekwood, blended with another enslaved family headed by a man named Jim Pace. Jim was born in 1813 in North https://www.census.gov/library/publications/1853/dec/1850a.html, and Joseph C.G. Kennedy, Population of the United States in 1860; Compiled from the Original Returns of the Eighth Census Under the Direction of the Secretary of the Interior, (Washington, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1864, “Classified Population of the States and Territories, by Counties on the First Day of June 1860, 3, 7, accessed August 22, 2022, https://books.google.com/books?id=e8RLAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=%22Classified+Population+of+the+States+and+Te rritories+by+Counties+on+the+First+Day+of+June+1860%22&source=bl&ots=j4e5kCGnk4&sig=ACfU3U1lqBTybLSJ7 F_CwaM0OgJ2U itw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjI6sqgjO76AhW RjABHY2WC54Q6AF6BAgFEAM#v=onepage&q=%22Classified%20Population%20of%20the%20States%20and%20Territories%2 0by%20Counties%20on%20the%20First%20Day%20of%20June%201860%22&f=false/.

4 Ibid, “1850 U.S. Census”, and Population of the United States in 1860, and Equal Justice Initiative, “Alabama Legislature Bans Free Black People from Living in the State,” accessed October 20, 2022, https://calendar.eji.org/racial injustice/jan/17

5 Shari L. Williams, “Tuskegee Boycott,” Encyclopedia of Alabama, accessed October 21, 2022, http://encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h 4275

6 Mary Mason Shell, “National Register of Historic Places Registration Form,” Section 8, pages 1 2, accessed March 14, 2022, https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/bff173cc 7c5c 4c8b ae66 1a57b01b4c58


Carolina. Jim’s first wife Beckie born nine children: Nat, Andina, Sarah, Harriett, Jim, Jr., Henry, Adaline, Sandy, Eliza, and Arch. Beckie died before Emancipation, and Jim remarried to Ailsy by 1866. Ailsy presumably was a widow.7

Stepbrothers James and Henry named Stephen Pace as their enslaver in affidavits and depositions they recorded after serving from 1865 1886 in the Union Army’s United States Colored Troops (USCT) Infantry. Both men joined Wilson’s Raiders troops as they approached Columbus, Georgia after waging a tactical campaign across Alabama to destroy Confederate supply and munitions depots and other material assets of the Confederacy. James and Henry Pace both filed applications for Union Army pensions and the application files of both men include few, but precious details about their lives as chattel slaves. Regarding his enslaver, James Pace attested,

I was born in Harris County Georgia July 1830. My parents were brought to Tuskegee when I was five years old and I grew up on a plantation near the town. I was living on this place when the war began and enlisted when I was quite a way. No records were kept of births of slave children except by their owners. I am unable to get access to these records if indeed they be still in existence. My master told me a number of times before his death that I was born in July 1830 and I have always understood that this was correct.8

Anna Pace Fort, daughter of Stephen Pace substantiated James Pace’s sworn statement in a General Affidavit also found in James Pace’s pension file:

James Pace was a slave of my father, Stephen Pace. I have been told that he was born July 10, 1831. I am not sure of his age however, but think he is between 76 and 77. The bible in which the names and ages of my father’s slaves were recorded is supposed to have been destroyed by fire fifteen or more years ago.9

In his pension deposition, the stepbrother Henry Pace who was born in 1840 stated, I was born, so I was always told, in Harris Co. GA. Was born the slave of Mr. [first name redacted in original document] Ardis but he sold all of us before I can remember and when I can first remember I was living near the little village called Ouchee [Yuchi] in this county I suppose. Where I can first remember I belonged to Steven Pace and lived near Ouchee no you misunderstand me. Mr. Ardis moved from Harris Co. Ga to Ouchee in this state and kept me until I was about seven or eight years old then he sold us all to Steven Pace. My parents were Jim and Beckie Pace. Mr. Ardis owned them both and sold them and their 9 children to Steven Pace and all of us belonged to Mr. Pace or his children until death or emancipation.10

Stephen Pace Federal Road Migrant from Harris County, Georgia

Stephen Pace, the planter and enslaver from Harris County, Georgia was born in 1802 in the Edgefield District of South Carolina, a descendant of one of the earliest immigrant families in the U.S. His father was William Pace, born 1773 in North Carolina and his mother was Mary “Polly” May, born 1770 in North Carolina. They named their son after his paternal grandfather, Stephen Pace, born 1747 in North Carolina. This Pace line descended from Richard Pace, born 1583 in England. Richard Pace, of colonial Jamestown, Virginia, was an original land grant settler. Richard Pace established the Pace’s Paines Planation and is credited with saving the lives of Jamestown’s white settlers from a Powahatan Indian attack in 1622. Supposedly a Powahatan youth named Chanco who lived with the family warned Pace about the impending attack. Pace reportedly rowed a boat across the James River to Jamestown to alert the governor of the impending raid in time for settlers to evacuate and escape the attack.11

7 National Archives, Pace, Henry Pension File, VC 2463.364. James Pace stated the following in his 1911 deposition for Henry Pace: “Henry and I are no kin but his father had my mother for his wife after Henry’s mother died.”

8National Archives, Compiled Military Service Record, Private James Pace, 136th USCT Infantry, Company K, Box 23, M1999.

9 Ibid., James Pace Service Record.

10 Pace, Henry Pension File

11 Freda Reid Turner, Pace Society of America Bulletins, Volume, II, (Wolfe Publishing: Fernandina Beach, Florida, November 1999), 1 4.

William Pace migrated with his family from Anson, North Carolina to Putnam County, Georgia. His son Stephen married Mary McCoy Ardis (1st wife) in 1827 while living in Putnam County. Mary died and Stephen married Mary C. Gregory in 1850. Shortly thereafter he made his way to Harris County, Georgia.12

According to Henry Pace, Stephen Pace purchased his family when Henry was a small boy and then migrated to Salem, Lee County, Alabama around 1851 when Henry was seven or eight years old.13 In 1852, Stephen Pace began purchasing Macon County land parcels to establish his plantation. In February 1852, he purchased land in sections 25 and 35 of Township 16N, Range 25E totaling 320 acres. In February 1855, he purchased 320 acres in section 26 of the same township and range.14

Henry Pace stated that Stephen Pace relocated to Macon County, Alabama around 1854. Although sources estimate Creekwood’s construction date to be between 1841 and 1850, it was 1855 when Pace purchased the parcel of land that became the location of Creekwood. Pace purchased this parcel from James M. Davis and his wife Jane Ellison Davis where he and enslaved laborers built the Creekwood Plantation house. On March 24, 1855, James and Jane Ellison sold forty acres to Stephen Pace for $650 located in the SE1/4 of the NW1/4 of section 7, T15N, Range 26E. This is the parcel where Creekwood is located. Pace also purchased from James and Jane Ellison “all the portion of land north of the Old Federal Road in the E1/2 of the SW1/4 of section 7 in the same township and range.”15 These records contradict James Pace’s testimony that he and his family arrived as slaves in Macon County in 1835 and lived near Tuskegee on the Stephen Pace plantation until 1865 when James went off to war unless James grossly miscalculated the timeline. In 1857, Stephen Pace purchased forty acres located in the NW1/4 of the SW1/4 of section 7, Township 15N, Range 26 E from Richard Burt for $400.16

The image below shows the parcels in Township 15N, Range 26E, Section 7 that Pace purchased in 1855 and 1857.


13 Pace, Henry Pension File. Henry Pace stated that Stephen Pace, “Carried us to Salem where he lived about three years then moved here to about 3 miles east of Warrior Stand and kept me there until I went off with the raid.”

14 Macon County, Alabama Deed Book O Feb. 3, 1852, John Ellison and Eliza D. Ellison and James Ellison and Jane A. Ellison to Stephen Pace, pages 110 111. Feb. 19, 1855, James Ellison and Jane A. Ellison to Stephen Pace, pages 112 113.

15 Macon County, Alabama Deed Book O March 24, 1855, James M. Davis and Jane E. Davis to Stephen Pace, pages 108 109. Pace and his family are included in the historical summary of the National Register nomination form in Section 8 which provides the historical backdrop for their emigration to Macon County, and in the section that gives architectural details about Creekwood. A 1974 publication entitled Macon County Preliminary Inventory of Historic Assets: South Central Alabama Region states that the barn near the mansion was a “stand” or waystation along the Federal Road. It also states that Stephen Pace was the original owner, having acquired the land by trading liquor for it with unidentified Creek Indians. It claims that Pace obtained most of the lumber for the mansion from Columbus, Georgia and that it was transported to the site by an oxcart, and that enslaved people performed construction labor.

16 Macon County, Alabama Deed Book O, Richard M. Burt to Stephen Pace, October 10, 1857, pages 109 110.

“Married,” Weekly Columbus Enquirer, Columbus, Georgia, August 13, 1850, accessed October 21, 2022, newspapers.com.

Map not to scale Creekwood Plantation house NE1/4 of N1/2 NW1/4 of N1/2

1857 NW1/4 of SW1/4

1855 SE1/4 of NW1/4 1855 All the portion of land north of Fed Rd in E1/2 of SW1/4 SW1/4 of S1/2 SE1/4 of S1/2

Pace purchased land again in 1858 and 1859. In 1858 he purchased 20 acres in Section 36, Township 16, Range 25, and in 1859, he purchased 160 acres in Section 18 of Township 15, Range 26. The map below shows all the parcels of land that Pace acquired between 1852 and 1859.

23 Pace Hill R25 R26 T16 T16 T15 T15 R26 R25 1855 1852 1852 1858 1855 1859

Few records exist to describe Stephen Pace’s temperament or his treatment of the enslaved persons at Creekwood. In April 1859, Pace placed a runaway slave advertisement in the Columbus Daily Times. He offered a reward for the capture and confinement of an enslaved man named Israel.

Columbus Daily Times, (Columbus, Ga.), April 30, 1859, Vol 5, no 131, page 2

The Hatcher & McGehee slave trading firm located in Columbus, Georgia recorded in its “Negro Book” that Stephen Pace purchased an enslaved man named John for $1,000 in September 1859, perhaps to replace Israel.17 Stephen Pace’s name appeared again in documents produced after the Civil War. He signed as a witness in 1865 to a summary of an agreement made between Manervy, the “former servant” of James Ellison. The agreement or contract, shown below specified the conditions for work and wages for Manervy’s employment with Ellison.18

17 Callie B. McGinnis transcription, “Hatcher & McGehee Negro Book pages 16 17,” Muscogiana, 4, nos.3&4 (Fall 1983), 59.

18 Alabama, Freedmen’s Bureau Office Records 1865 1867, Montgomery (Subassistant Commissioner), Roll 25, Fair Copies of Contracts Vol. 2, 1865, pp. 184 185, accessed June 24, 2017, familysearch.org.


In 1870, Pace ran a notice for several days in the Daily Sun newspaper, Columbus, Georgia, to order potential employers to refuse to hire an African American woman named Emily Ellison who allegedly absconded with advanced wages without fulfilling her labor contract. He ran the same notice in 1871 in the Weekly Sun, Columbus, Georgia, against a man named Hilliard Pace.

These advertisements invoke an image of Stephen Pace as a strident planter who held elitist beliefs about the obligations of wage laborers. But the advertisements do not reveal the working conditions or treatment by Pace that Emily Ellison and Hilliard Pace experienced.

Right: Stephen Pace headstone. Photo by J.B. Chrismond, Findagrave.com, accessed October 20, 2022, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/73837963/stephen pace

Pace died in 1872. His family buried him in the cemetery adjacent to the tiny present day replica of the original Mount Zion Methodist Church that settlers built around 1850. The church replica and the cemetery still occupy the property which is located on Macon County Road 10 less than one mile from Creekwood. A remnant of the original Federal Road skirts the church property’s northern boundary which runs parallel to Macon County Road 10.

Left: Original Mt. Zion Church. Photo courtesy of Larry Floyd.

Circa 1896 photo of members of the Lloyd family. Lt. Col. William Bailey Lloyd purchased Creekwood in 1874 from the John Pace, Executor of his father Stephen Pace’s estate. Source: National Register Nomination Packet compiled by Francis. Jacques Bouilliant Linet, 1988.

The planter Stephen Pace’s wife second wife, Mary (maiden name Gregory), died in 1880 in Lee County, Alabama. Several Pace children remained in Macon County and the region. Other siblings, like their father, migrated to lands elsewhere to seek prosperity. Thomas Pace migrated from Creek Stand to Cedartown, Polk County, Georgia and became a prominent citizen there. Pace Street in Cedartown is named after Thomas Pace. The son Elkanah also migrated to Polk County, Georgia. The son John married Sarah Dawkins. Their son Mathew Downer Pace served Troy University from 1891 to 1941 as Professor of Mathematics, Dean, and President.

Ties between Creekwood and the descendants of its original owner Stephen Pace seem to be long ago severed. John Pace, executor of his father’s estate, sold Creekwood to Lt. Col. William Bailey Lloyd in 1874. This sale coincided with the Pace family’s apparent break with the property and the legacy it holds. The Lloyd family sold the property in 1983 to Francis Jacques Bouilliant Linet and his wife. In 2020, Bouilliant Linet’s widow sold the property to the current owners. In writing about Creek Stand, the settlement town nearest to Creekwood, the journalist J.M. Glenn stated in 1953 that


“Creek Stand is now largely a memory.”19 He described Creek Stand’s decline and fall from memory in terms of the outmigration of the descendants of early white settlers and his own memories of the place extending back to 1879.20 Glenn counted among those in Creek Stand’s historical memory the Creek Indians, the famous itinerant Methodist preacher Lorenzo Dow, and the French General the Marquis de Lafayette, noting how they all at one time traversed the Federal Road. He excluded the African American descendants of the enslaved and freedmen from the historical memory of Creek Stand and the Federal Road. Yet, those descendants had engaged since Emancipation in building a community of schools, churches, and fraternal organizations having been highly influenced by Booker T. Washington’s ideals for black self determination and landownership.


Golden Henderson, a now deceased keeper of oral black family history in Creek Stand claimed that the persons enslaved by Stephen Pace and his nearby Pace relatives, all chose the surname Pace after Emancipation. Henderson claimed that four distinct, non blood related African American Pace family lines descend from African American male Pace patriarchs.21 The claim that these family lines are not blood related is yet to be proven. Several black heads of household who chose the surname Pace appeared on the 1870 census. They include Abraham Pace, Ben Pace, Isaac Pace., James Pace, (son of Ailsy), Jim Pace (husband of Beckie then Ailsy), and Steve (a.k.a. Steven/Stephen) Pace.22

The table below shows several African American Pace families that resided in Macon County’s Precinct Four in 1870 and 1880. Precinct Four includes Warrior Stand and Creek Stand. Today, some descendants of Jim, Ben, and Steve Pace still reside within 200 miles of Creekwood, with the closest known relatives living in Tuskegee. The number of family members who know of the connection to Creekwood is slowly increasing but most descendants are scattered throughout the United States and the world and it is likely that most are unaware of their ancestors’ connections and contributions to Alabama Fever settlement and the existence of Creekwood.

19 J.M. Glenn, “Glimpses of Yesterday: Tales of Old Creek Stand,” The Tuskegee News, September 17, 1953.

20 Ibid.

21 Golden Henderson interview, Shari Williams, Creek Stand, Alabama, October 26, 2009.

22 1870 and 1880 United States Federal Census Records.Henry Pace and Nancy Thomas marriage information provided during Frankie Julkes Freeney interview, Shari Williams, Columbus, Georgia, 2000. Also, Gilbert Pace and Ellen Marshall in Alabama, U.S., Select Marriage Indexes, 1816 1942, and Beedie Boram in Denis Pace, U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936 2007. Eliza Brudlere (presumed to be Breedlove) in Lizzie Pace, Alabama, U.S. Deaths and Burials Index, 1881 1974. Also, Jane Brown and Jim Pace in the Alabama, U.S. Select Marriage Indexes, 1816 1942, Steve Pace and Sallie Thomas in Nancy Buelah Pace, West Virginia, U.S., Deaths Index, 1853 1973, Ben Pace and Eady Burt in 1880 United States Federal Census. Residing in the household is Lou Burt listed as mother in law of Ben Pace. Census, Marriage Indexes, Social Security Index, Deaths and Burials Index (Alabama and West Virginia). All sourced on Ancestry.com.


1870 Census 1880 Census

Head of Household Last Name

First Name and Spouse by maiden name (MNU=maiden name unknown)

Year & State Born Per 1870 Census

X X Pace Jim (Ailsy MNU) 1813 NC

X X Pace Hilliard (Winney MNU) 1840 GA

X X Pace Reuben (Charlotte MNU)

1830 GA

X Pace Andy (Lucy MNU) 1847 GA

X X Pace Isaac (Hattie Foster(?)) 1835 GA

X X Pace Jake 1840 GA X X Pace Henry (Nancy Thomas) 1825 GA

X X Pace Gilbert or Gilliard (Ellen Marshall)

1835 GA X X Pace Margret or Margaret 1825 GA

X X Pace Emanuel (Beedie A. Borom)

1851 GA X Pace Abram (Eliza Breedlove) 1815 GA X X Pace Henry (Matilda MNU) 1830 GA X Pace Jimmie (Jane Brown) 1835 X Pace Sandy (Louisa MNU) 1848 GA X Pace Tildy 1845 X Pace Steve (Sallie Thomas) 1830 GA

X X Pace Frank (Lucinda MNU) 1835 GA X Pace Ben (Eady Burt) 1833

Formerly enslaved people who adopted the surname Pace possibly wanted to maintain a connection to each other, or to the white Pace family, or both. Oral histories told by descendants of the freedman Steve Pace provide a less harsh characterization of Stephen Pace the enslaver and offer possible reasons for this surname choice among the formerly enslaved. As told by family historians, the formerly enslaved Steve Pace supposedly was pious and “favored” by his enslaver. Records are elusive to establish Stephen Pace as the enslaver of Steve Pace. Some African American Pace descendants say that after Emancipation, Steve Pace’s enslaver gave him “forty acres of land, a covered wagon, and a big


house.”23 Other family members say that he purchased 480 acres of land for $1 per acre. But the first deed record found for Steve Pace indicates that he purchased 80 acres in 1877 for $500 from Elkanah Pace.24 Three years later, John Pace held a sale of his father’s estate and Steve Pace purchased a broad axe, a chop axe, a box of sundries, a handsaw, a box of old irons, a crosscut saw, a safe, four chairs, an old wash pot, a table, and a bedstead.25 His purchases totaled $12.65. How Steve Pace came to possess this disposable cash within five years of the Civil War’s end is unknown, except that he and several other black farmers with the surname Pace, owned or rented farms by 1880.

The tables below provide information from the 1880 Agriculture Census for Precinct 4, Warrior Stand, which included Creek Stand and surrounding areas. In the absence of any known journals, diaries, or personal papers that belonged to the Pace freedmen, property records provide some clues about how each fared economically within fifteen years of Emancipation in terms of land owned or rented and the value of farm production.

Beat 4 Enumeration District 117, Warrior Stand

Page # Name Owned Rent ed for fixed money rental

#Im proved Acres

#Un im proved Acres

Farm Value Farm Imple ments & Equipment Value

Live stock Value

Est. value of all farm pro duc tion 19 Joe Pace X 80 22 $800 $10 $50 No figure listed 22 Ben Pace X 150 250 $800 $75 $200 $225 22 Frank Pace X 150 150 $1500 $15 $75 $325 24 Sandy Pace X 72 40 $500 $10 $100 $300 25 Emanuel Pace X 72 40 $150 $10 $150 $300 26 Steve Pace X 40 40 $240 $50 $275 $950 28 Henry Pace X 40 No figure listed

$200 $5 $75 $299 23 Family oral history as told by Jewel Garlington, descendant of Margaret Pace Berry, daughter of Steve Pace. 24 Deed Book B, Macon County, Alabama, 151. 25 Stephen Pace in the Alabama, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1753 1999, Macon County, Alabama, accessed October 21, 2022, https://ancestry.com.


Page # Name Owned Rent ed for fixed money rental

# Im proved Acres

#Un Im proved Acres

Farm Value Farm Imple ments & Equip ment Value

Live stock Value

Est. value of all Farm produc tion

3 Henry Pace X 25 No figure No figure No figure $15 $150

3 Jim Pace X 200 150 $3500 $100 $300 $800

22 Pace & Herbert (Steve Pace & George Hubbard)

X 800 870 $1200 0 $96 $50 $1500

24 Sandy Pace X 40 No figure No figure $15 $150 $300

The Agricultural Census for Macon County’s Warrior Stand Precinct Four indicates that Steve Pace owned 121 improved acres and 40 unimproved acres in 1880. The 1880 census also reported that Steve Pace owned acreage jointly with George Hubbard, another formerly enslaved man from Creek Stand. They jointly owned 800 improved acres, 800 unimproved acres, and 70 other non improved acres. The Agricultural Census reported in 1880 that Ben Pace owned 150 improved acres, and 150 unimproved acres. Joe, Frank, Emanuel, Sandy, Reuben, and Jim Pace, and possibly two different men each named Henry Pace rented the land they farmed in 1880.26 Land and tax records for these men do not reveal if or how they were kinfolk, except for Sandy (brother of USCT veteran Henry Pace) and Jim, who were stepbrothers.

After the Civil War, many freedmen were able to acquire land through the Southern Homestead Act of 1866. Even with this law, African Americans still faced opposition from entities such as the Ku Klux Klan and the federal government. The demise of the Freedmen's Bureau and the withdrawal of federal troops in 1877 from the South led to immense difficulties for African American landowners.

Plessy V. Ferguson's decision of “separate but equal” policies laid the foundation for Jim Crow laws to emerge during the late 19th century but the biggest issue that contributed to the African Americans’ loss of land was the practice by former masters of conveying property to freedmen through informal arrangements without documentation to prove that the land now belonged to its black inhabitants. This meant that relatives of the former master or just anyone who actually purchased the land could force the black inhabitants to leave. If the black inhabitants would not leave, angry white mobs would beat and/or murder them in order to secure the land for themselves.

In some cases where a legal, documented sale occurred between a former enslaving family and a freedman this threat still existed. According to Golden Henderson, Steve Pace faced this threat around 1915. Between 1876 and 1915, Steve Pace owned an aggregate 480 acres spanning three sections in Township 15N, Range 26.27 Henderson stated that all the Paces were smart people and nobody took their land or beat them out of their money. He said that Steve Pace was independent and industrious. One day while Steve Pace was “up on a hill cutting bushes, a white man rode up and declared that he was going to take Steve’s land. Steve told the man, “You a damn lie!” The incensed white man jumped off his animal and

26 U.S., Selected Federal Census Non Population Schedules, 1850 1880, accessed October 11, 2021, https://ancestry.com.

27 Deed Book B, 151, Deed Book 5, 121, and 190 191, Assessment of Taxes on Real Estate and Personal Property, 1877, 1879, 1899, 1885, 1889, 1893, 1894, and 1896. All records, Macon County, Alabama.

30 Township 16 Enumeration
Warrior Stand
District 117,

approached Steve to fight. Steve raised the ax and struck the man, nearly breaking his shoulder. The altercation angered the white community. Steve Pace “went walking” for a while, which means that he disappeared until it was about time for the taxes on his land to be paid. Henderson explained that Pace came back, paid the taxes and then on the same day, deeded all his land to his children. He claimed that later, when the children’s land was sold, it was never against their will. They always had control. Henderson stated that Steve Pace deeded 32 acres to each of his children, except that the son George Washington Pace acquired 40 acres total because after the land was equally divided, there were eight acres remaining and George Washington purchased them from his siblings.28

Deed records substantiate Henderson’s story about the division and deeding of Steve Pace’s land among his children in 1915 but they do not confirm that Steve Pace conveyed the properties. Instead, deed records show that the Pace siblings engaged in multiple land conveyances on April 30, 1915 that involved the sale of 32 acre land parcels from sibling to sibling for $1.00 each.29 Steve Pace and his children did encounter land loss against their will despite Henderson’s claim that they never lost control of the land they owned. The Tuskegee News advertised a tax sale in 1886 of Steve Pace’s land totaling 240 acres. Pace owned a total of $8.25 in taxes.30 Whether Pace paid the taxes is unknown, but in 1897, he sold one of the imperiled parcels to his wife Sallie.31 Several Pace children defaulted on mortgages during the 1920s. In 1915, the same year that multiple land conveyances took place between the Pace siblings, The Tuskegee News advertised the mortgage sale of Steve Pace, Jr and his wife Mattie Pace. The couple evidently defaulted on a loan with mortgagees Banks and Davis. The advertisement does not include the terms of the mortgage, but it was likely a crop lien. Crop liens were common arrangements between black farmers and a lender whereby farmers put up their crops, livestock, and sometimes their land as collateral against a cash loan that enabled them to purchase seed and equipment to plant and harvest a crop. Perhaps Steve Pace took out the mortgage, but died in 1915, and it fell to Steve, Jr., and Mattie to make good on the loan.

Heir property also posed a typical threat to African American landowners. Heir property ownership involves land that has multiple owners who are descendants of a deceased family member whose estate did not clear probate. In other words, the descendants can use and/or live on the land but a clear title to the land does not exist. When land continues to be passed down without a deed or will attached to it, confusion breaks out as more heirs are born into the family. The heirs lose out on potential federal benefits and are vulnerable to partition sales by third parties. These partition sales could net lower revenue than what the descendants expected. Often, unsuspecting the heirs lose their land in the process.

Heir property ownership is one of the main causes of black land loss historically in the United States. Other causes include systemic racial discrimination in the inequitable administration of government farm programs.32 In 1910, Black Americans owned 16 million acres of land and

28 Golden Henderson interview, 2009.


Deed Book 16, Macon County, Alabama, 264 (Ned Pace et al to Margaret Berry), 266 (Ned Pace et al to Lula Myhand), 268 (Ned Pace et al to Joe Pace), 270 (Ned Pace et al to George W. Pace), 381 382 (Pace heirs to Ned Pace), 514 515 (Margaret Berry et al to Anderson Pace), 522 (Mary Holmes to Albert Pace. Some Pace family historians counted Albert as sibling).

30 The Gazette, Tuskegee, Alabama, May 1, 1886.


Deed Book 5, Macon County, Alabama, 190 191.

32 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, “Equal Opportunity in Farm Programs: Excerpts from an Appraisal of Services Rendered by Agencies of the United States Department of Agriculture,” CCR Special Publication Number 3, March 1965. This publication outlined findings of racially discriminatory practices by the USDA Cooperative Extension Service, the Farmer’s Home Administration, the Soil Conservation Service, and the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service.


in 2017, Blacks only accounted for 4.5 million acres of land owned. Between 1910 and 1997, over 90% of Black landowners lost their land.

African American land ownership fluctuated between 1865 and 1930. The introduction of Jim Crow laws during the late 19th century produced restrictive farm contracts and limited the voting rights of African Americans. This caused issues of discrimination and financial inequality for Black landowners and farmers. Farm education and advocacy by Booker T. Washington and the Tuskegee Institute provided new ways of self sufficiency for Black farmers. Dr. Washington taught crop diversification and extension agents such as Thomas M. Campbell taught Black farmers and landowners a way to keep their crops from being undersold. Agents launched a movement of communal dependency between farmers and other African Americans within Macon County.33 Food insecurity and lack of support from the local, state, and federal government inspired Dr. Washington to host meetings during the late 19th century and into the 20th century. Groups such as Tuskegee Farmers Conference and the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance and Cooperative Union (CFNACU) created a safe space for Black farmers and landowners to learn more about the trade from other farmers across the Black Belt, protect their assets, and provide for their families. The emergence of small Black owned banks and Black institutions such as Tuskegee, The Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes (Now Alabama A&M), and The State Normal School in Montgomery established more opportunities for African American land ownership during this time period.34 African American landowners surrounding Creekwood benefited and thrived from Booker T. Washington’s and Tuskegee Institute’s promotion of self sufficiency through land ownership, construction and management of rural schools, and a gospel of thrifty and moral, independent living.35

In the midst of some successes, African Americans were still migrating north or to urban centers like Birmingham and Atlanta to find better opportunities during the first and second waves of the Great Migration (1910 1970). The African Americans who stayed in the rural areas and became landowners and farmers faced legal and environmental opposition during this time. Environmental opposition speaks to the natural infestations and weather issues of the early 20th century. There was the boll weevil invasion of 1916 and weather almanacs recorded severe thunderstorms destroying cotton crops in Alabama and Mississippi. The USDA’s report on climate change and agriculture reported that “high temperature extremes increased 10 fold in the first three decades of the 20th century (1900 1929)”36 The topography of the soil has also changed drastically since 1900 as farms have become bigger and include many types of crops.

Along with the continuation of Jim Crow laws, the years following World War I dismantled the upward climb to economic freedom for Black farmers and landowners. Most Black farmers and landowners produced cotton as their main crop. This did not fare well economically for African Americans who were in debt. The storekeepers would tell Black farmers to produce only cotton because of its store value. However, this overproduction drove the price of cotton down and African-American farmers made little to no money from it.37 During World War I, the loss of cotton business from transatlantic sales crushed the pockets of Black farmers and landowners. This left many with no means of income to pay the mortgage and/or taxes on their land as was the case with Steve Pace, Jr.. 1916 proved to be a very difficult year for farmers and landowners as severe rainstorms and the boll weevil invasion led to many farmers abandoning their farms altogether.38 With all of these troubles coming to a head with the stock market crash in 1929, many black farmers and landowners could not afford to own land and did not have the means to own land.

33 United Stated Department of Agriculture, “Black Farmers in America: 1865 2000,” (Oct 2003): 8.

34 Marable, Manning, “The Politics of Black Land Tenure:1977 1915 ”Agricultural History 53, no.1 (Jan 1979): 142 152, accessed October 8, 2022, https://www.jstor.org/stable/3742866.

35 Shari L. Williams, Silent for Awhile, But Not Idle: African American Self Determination Ignites Educational Opportunity in South Macon County, Alabama 1906 1967, (Williams: Columbus, GA, 2017). This publication describes the rural school building program initiated by Clinton J. Calloway of Tuskegee Institute and documents Paces from the Warrior Stand Precinct who patronized and participated in drives to build schools and fund teachers to extend the school year. Also, the historic marker at the Creek Stand A.M.E. Zion Church in Creek Stand, Macon County which acknowledges the church’s adjacent historic cemetery, lists Steve Pace, his son George Washington Pace, and other freedman from the area as founding church trustees. 36 USDA. “Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States” United States Department of Agriculture (Feb 2013): 111.

37 Ibid., 144 38 Ibid., 148 50


From 1840 to Emancipation, the planter Stephen Pace acquired great wealth through his purchases of land and the labor of enslaved persons. In 1860, seventy seven enslaved people sustained the wealth and comfort of the white Pace family. That year, Stephen Pace reported real property valued of $12,000 and personal property valued at $57,000.39 Pace plantation records and family Bible do not exist to reveal the names of all persons who were enslaved Creekwood. Stephen Pace died in 1872 after Emancipation so his estate records do not include an inventory and appraisement of enslaved people that could reveal the names of Creekwood’s enslaved population. Population and agricultural census records, oral histories, newspaper accounts, and probate records nevertheless offer clues about the lives of those who we know and speculate lived as enslaved persons at Creekwood and those who descend from Creekwood’s enslaved population. The diaspora of Creekwood’s enslaved extends worldwide and one member of that diaspora offers a story of their resilience.

Through his art, authorship, and sculptures, Dr. Lorenzo Pace is working to increase knowledge among the African American Pace descendants and the general public about Steve Pace, his great great grandfather and the family’s legacy of enslavement and freedom. Oral historians on the Steve Pace line claim that Steve inherited the lock that shackled him during slavery and that he passed the lock down to his son Joseph Pace, who then passed it to Julius Pace, Dr. Pace’s paternal uncle. Dr. Pace acquired the lock in 1991 during the repast for his father’s funeral. but he resisted the charge from his 80 year old Uncle Julius to be the heir and steward of the Steve Pace slave lock. Back home in his Brooklyn, New York studio, Pace questioned this turn of fate. He asked, “Why did the family entrust me with this responsibility? What good can I do with this icon of enslavement? What does Steve Pace, the slave, have to do with me?” Unwilling to bother with resolving these questions at the time, Pace stuck the lock into a closet and tried to forget it.40

In the same year that Dr. Pace inherited the Steve Pace lock, a forgotten African burial ground was rediscovered at the construction site of a federal office building in Lower Manhattan, New York City. In 1992, the New York City Parks Department and the Office of Cultural Affairs publicized the intent to commission an artist to design and erect a monument to commemorate the site. Pace interviewed for the job and received the commission after spending six months meditating in his studio and researching African arts and culture. He presented a design for a 60 foot tall black granite sculpture that was inspired by the female form of the African Chi Wara antelope. The monument, called “Triumph of the Human Spirit,” was unveiled in 2000 in the center of Foley Square Park in Manhattan. Pace buried a replica of the Steve Pace lock at the base of the monument and inscribed the base with a message to honor his parents and his great great grandfather Steve Pace. He also buried a lock replica at the base of the historic cemetery marker at the Creek Stand A.M.E. Zion Church.

39 Stephen Pace in the 1860 United States Federal Census, accessed October 21, 2022, https://www.ancestry.com.

40 “Dr. Pace on Legacies: Contemporary Artists Reflect on Slavery,” accessed 10/21/2022, https://lorenzopace.com.


As these events transpired, Pace’s eight year old daughter posed the tough question, “Daddy, are we from slaves?” In response, Pace crafted an age appropriate response in the form of a book about Jalani, a small boy who is kidnapped from Africa and then shackled by locks and chains as a slave in America. After Emancipation, Jalani passes the lock that shackled him on to his children so they and their descendants will always remember his journey and be proud of the family’s legacy. The book, entitled Jalani and the Lock, was published in 2001 by Rosen Publishing Company, New York City. It was honored as "One of the Best Children's Books for 2001” by the Los Angeles Times and was a 2001 "Skipping Stone Award" recipient. The book is included in the collections of 247 libraries throughout the United States, has been published in Dutch, English, French and Spanish, and is found in library, school and government collections in France, South America, West Africa, and The Netherlands. Dr. Pace has exhibited the lock at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, Alabama, and other venues.

Previous Page: photo top page: Pace Family slave lock Photo middle right: Triumph of the Human Spirit monument. This page: Cover of book Jalani and the Lock Courtesy of Lorenzo Pace



In 2016, 2017, 2018, The Ridge Project sponsored an art contest for Macon County students. This year, The Ridge Project invited students from Barbour, Bullock, Macon, Montgomery, Pike, and Russell counties, and children from the Anansi Youth Community Centre in Ghana, Africa to participate in a contest that focused on Alabama history, people, places, events, and folkways. We invited students in grades 4 5 to submit 8.5 x 11 inch entries for an art contest and students in grades 6 12 to submit entries for an infographic contest. First, second, and third prize winners, and honorable mentions from each participating location had the opportunity to receive prizes for entries that strongly and creatively depicted a historic person, place, event, or folkway that represents the Federal Road history of Alabama.

With direction from their teacher, Ms. Pascale Adekpui, students from the Anansi Youth Community Centre in Ghana, Africa submitted colorful drawings for the art contest. Ms. Kailea Floyd’s seventh grade students at Tuskegee Institute Middle School submitted entries for the infographic contest. Contest judges, Emily Blejwas, Dr. Elijah Gaddis, and Dr. Cedric Sanders met with Dr. Williams moderating to select a first, second, and third place winner from the Anansi students’ entries, and a first, second, and third place winnerfrom Tuskegee Institute Middle School. The three judges also designated the Honorable Mention winners from each group.

From the Anansi Youth Community Centre, the judges selected:

First place Pamela Serwaa Bonsu

Second place Mawusi Adjua Adekpui Third place Miriam M. Wodoame

Honorable Mentions: Andrew Appiah, Ewurama Ottuwah Ayitey, Nancy Effah Nyarko, and Rufaida Mumuni Watarah

From the Tuskegee Institute Middle School, the judges selected:

First place Barbryanna Kitt Second Place Ke’VonJones Third Place Jaiden Murry Honorable Mention: E’Asia Huffman

Each first place winner will each receive $75 and the book set called “The African American Quartet,” consisting of four books authored by Lorenzo Pace Jalani and the Lock, Harriet Tubman and My Grandmother’s Quilts, Marching with Martin, and Frederick Douglas and the North Star). Each second place winner will each receive $50. Each third place winner will each receive $25. Honorable Mention winners will receive certificates.

The winning first, second, and third place entries and honorable mention entries in each category are shown on the pages that follow.

Congratulations Winners!



First place Pamela Serwaa Bonsu
Second place Mawusi Adjua Adekpui
38 Third Place Miriam M. Wodoame
39 Honorable Mentions
Andrew Appiah Ewurama Ottuwah Ayitey , Nancy Effah Nyarko Rufaida Mumuni-Watarah



First Place Barbryanna Kitt
Second Place Ke’VonJones
Third Place Jaiden Murry
Honorable Mention E’Asia Huffman

Alabama Fever Sponsors

The primary mission of the Alabama Black Heritage Council (BHC) is to advise the Alabama Historical Commission on and advocatefor thepreservationofAfricanAmericanhistoricplaces and their associated history, artifacts, and culture in Alabama. The Council is the only statewide and state related organization whose primary focus is the preservation of African American Historic Places, Artifacts, and Culture in our state. Its volunteer Councilmembers, who are located in each of the 7Congressional Districts in Alabama, along with the BHC Coordinator who is a member of the AHC Office Staff, play key roles in assisting communities throughout the state to document, interpret, preserve, and promoteAfrican American historicplacesand their associated history, artifacts, and culture. The BHC is happy to partner with The Ridge on this occasion and looks forward to participating in other historic preservation efforts.

Black Heritage Council of the Alabama Historical Commission 468 South Perry Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36130 (334) 230-2678 (State Historic Preservation Office) (334) 240 3477 (State Historic Preservation Office Fascimile) ahc.alabama.gov/blackhertiagecouncil.aspx


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The Tuskegee Macon County Community Foundation, Inc. (TMCCF), founded in 2002 in Tuskegee/Macon County Alabama, is an IRS designated 501(c)(3) public charity organization. The Foundation’s primary focus is to enhance the quality of life in rural and other communities facing economic and social challenges. The TMCCF, Inc. offers a variety of programs designed to support the needs of the communities we serve, whether local or more broadly defined. Common areas of support include health and human services, education and vocational training, economic and community development, the arts, recreation, and telecommunications. Dr. Lucenia W. Dunn, Founder and CEO Website: https://tmccf.org

The Alabama River Diversity Network is a coalition of partners dedicated to seeing and supporting diversity throughthe eyes of diversity in one of North America’s most biodiverse and historic river basins. We are a statewide sponsored project of The Ocean Foundation championing a network dedicated to reconnecting communities to their home landscape and rebuilding the connections between our region’s rich natural resources, human history, and cultural diversity. Our stewardship collaborative network is focused within the Alabama River region, spanning more than 7 million acres (an area the size of New Jersey), and covering 23 counties in from southwest to east central Alabama. Leaders include Dr. Tina Naremore Jones and Alabama Partnership Coordinator Destiny Williams. Website: https://alabamarivernetwork.org/

The Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities in Auburn University’s College of Liberal Arts creates opportunities for people to explore our individual and collective experiences, values, and identities through the creativity of the arts and the wisdom of the humanities. The Center is located in the historic Scott Yarbrough House, known as Pebble Hill, an 1847 Greek Revival style cottage that illustrates the important lives of Creek Indians, enslaved persons, and founders and builders of the town of Auburn. Thousands of visitors and program attendees each year enjoy conferences, workshops, lifelong learning classes, field trips, writing retreats, and other opportunities to reflect on the human experience in an environment that inspires and instructs. Dr. Mark Wilson, Director. Website: https://cla.auburn.edu/cah


The Department of History has long been an important institution at Auburn University. Hired in 1891, George Petrie (1866 1947) was a professor of both history and Latin. His position was the first non scientific professorshipattheAgriculturalandMechanicalCollege. Petrie founded Auburn's history department and helped establish other enduring Auburn traditions. In his first year, Petrie introduced football to the school. Half a century later,he wrotethe Auburn Creed.We excelinthe following research areas: Southern history, History of technology, Public history, Race, rights, and inequalities. We create a nurturing environment for creative and insightfulhistoricalresearch.Wedothisthroughresearch seminars ranging in topics from early American history to European studies. This sense of community allows our faculty and students to produce work publishable in notable journals and with leading academic presses. We serve the broader university community through engaging undergraduate core curriculum courses. As membersofaland grantinstitution,ourfacultyparticipate in public outreach and community engagement. Department Chair: Dr. Melissa Blair. Website: https://cla.auburn.edu/history

The Black Belt African American Genealogical & Historical Society, Inc. (BBAAGHS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study and exchange of information and ideas among people interested in African American genealogy, family history and historic preservation of the twelve counties of Alabama's Black Belt Region Bullock, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter and Wilcox. We invite you to join us in our regular meetings, workshops, and conferences. Network with us and become further integrated into the richness of our Alabamian culture. Debra Harton Love, President. Website: https://bbaaghs.com


Help us to stimulate young minds, inspire young hearts, and invest in our community’s well-being

Since 2011, The Ridge Project has worked to bring cultural enrichment to students and visitors like the fourth graders from Notasulga High School who did archaeological excavation and identified seeds while learning about paleoethnobotany during their field trip to the Ridge Interpretive Center this fall. We like to think that we are also helping to launch the next generation of historians, historic preservationists, archaeologists, and perhaps even a paleoethnobotanist!

You can support our work with a generous donation. Details are at https://digtheridge.com/donate Your tax deductible gift will enable us to meet our operational expenses and present engaging programs for students and visitors of all ages

Support The Ridge Project each time you shop on Amazon! Use The Ridge's unique charity link to below shop on Amazon. For eligible purchases at AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to The Ridge Project! https://smile.amazon.com/ch/46 0755534

We are moving full speed ahead to present “hands-on Alabama history!

We are thinkers. We are collaborators. We are facilitators. The Alabama Humanities Alliance team helps drive creativity and inquiry. We believe our state is better when people are engaged in storytelling, lifelong learning, and civic purpose.


The mission of the Alabama State Council on the Arts is to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality for all Alabamians by providing support for the state’s diverse and rich artistic resources.


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