Bicentennial to be celebrated at Old Cahawba
From the article by Brannon Cahela on

Friday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., the Alabama Historical Commission (AHC), in collaboration with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission will host a free and open to the public Alabama 200 event honoring the first permanent state capital at Old Cahawba.

As Alabama became a state in 1819, Cahawba was carved out of the wilderness to become the first state capital before it was moved in 1826.

“Old Cahawba is a very special place. The beautiful ruins and landscape tell the story of Alabama’s early beginnings. In this bicentennial year, we know it’s important to honor where you’ve been, so you know where you’re going,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “We celebrate Cahawba and honor those who came before us to establish the foundations of our great state. Alabama’s success story is her people, the resilience and dedication of all the men and women who have brought us to this point and the future Alabamians who will carry us for generations to come.”

As part of the celebration on Friday, elected officials and dignitaries will take part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the future sight of a ghost structure representing the first statehouse.

The ghost structure will be a steel outline and will serve as a trail head pavilion for a new multi-use trail funded through an Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) grant.

“Over the last year, we have been celebrating our 200th anniversary of statehood throughout the state, but few places are more historically significant than Cahawba. It is very special to be able to visit our state’s first permanent capital in this bicentennial year,” said District 3 Sen. Arthur Orr, R-AL, Alabama Bicentennial Commission Chairman. “It is even more impressive to see how much we have learned about the original capitol building, thanks to the efforts of the Alabama Historical Commission. The statehouse ghost structure will give people a rare glimpse into what our seat of government actually looked like 200 years ago.”

In addition to the groundbreaking ceremony, Friday’s celebration of the state’s first capital will also include the premiere of an Old Cahawba orientation video and reenactors representing notable figures from Cahawba’s past.

Attendees of the celebration will also have the chance to interact with organizations who have worked to preserve Old Cahawba over the years including: The Cahaba Foundation, the Cahaba Advisory Committee, the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, The Black Heritage Council, The University of Alabama’s Museum Expedition, Alabama Public Television – Project Archaeology, Troy State University Anthropology Department, Alabama Archaeological Society, Forever Wild, Cahaba Blue Way and The Nature Conservancy.

“The bicentennial is a good time to reflect on the imaginative and symbolic town plan and the statehouse that Governor Bibb created for us,” said Old Cahawba Site Director Linda Derry. “And, as the kick-off event for Archaeology Month, it’s appropriate that we learn what early Alabama mysteries are being solved through archaeological research.”

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