November 4, 2019

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Historical Commission

ALABAMA FRONTIER DAYS BRINGS HISTORY TO LIFE AT FORT TOULOUSE-FORT JACKSON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Andi Martin, Marketing and Public Relations Manager  

andi.martin@ahc.alabama.gov, 334-230-2680

November 4, 2019


Alabama Frontier Days Brings History to Life at Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson

 

(Montgomery, AL) The Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) and the Friends of the Forts-Fort Toulouse Foundation invite you to the 24th annual Alabama Frontier Days November 6-9, from 9:00 am – 4:00pm, at Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson in Wetumpka, AL.

Celebrated as one of Alabama’s largest and most authentic living history events, Alabama Frontier Days brings the early 18th century frontier to vivid life. This event puts into focus the south as it transitioned from Creek Indian lands to military forts and civilian homesteads from 1700 to 1820. Using Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson as a historical backdrop, the public can experience living historians who will bring the fort to life through military reenactments with booming cannon fire and captivating demonstrations of frontier crafts and trades. 

"Alabama Frontier Days is the keystone event for Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson Park and is the largest education based living history program in the state,” said Ove Jensen, Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson Site Director.  “The wonderful thing about this event is that it takes what students have read about or studied in the classroom and brings it to life in a beautiful outdoor setting."

This snapshot of frontier life includes Creek Indians, French soldiers and their families, British traders who lived among the Creeks and American soldiers who fought in Andrew Jackson’s army during the Creek War. There will be period entertainment featuring an eighteenth-century magician, merchants, strolling balladeers, and musicians.

Alabama Historical Commission Executive Director, Lisa Jones said, “Alabama Frontier Days is a signature event for AHC. Each year, we welcome thousands of school children who come away with an enhanced understanding of what life was like three hundred years ago. We’ve been proud to continue this educational outreach for more than two decades.”  

 Living history food vendors like Two Eagles Kitchen, The Hang Around Café, and Forest Brew will be on site throughout the event.  Boy Scouts of American Troop 50 will host a modern refreshment stand.

 Alabama Frontier Days admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children (ages 6-18 years). The Saturday ‘Family Day’ is a terrific opportunity for families to experience the forts together and learn more about the rich history on site.

 A new addition for 2019 Alabama Frontier Days year includes an Alabama Indigenous Mound Trail Sign Dedication on Saturday, November 9 at 1:30pm, immediately following the Creek Stomp Dance. All members of the public are invited to attend the dedication. The Alabama Indigenous Mound Trail (AIMT) celebrates the long presence of Native Americans in Alabama’s landscape through highlighting the ancient monumental earthworks they built. The AIMT provides an opportunity for Alabamians and out-of-state visitors to enhance their understanding and appreciation of the purpose, function, and significance of these mound centers by highlighting sites that are either publicly accessible or have public parks nearby that offer opportunity to educate visitors about each site.

The program is administered by The University of Alabama Museums and The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, which are working in collaboration with the operators of each site, regional councils of government, consulting tribal nations, the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, and other partners to inform citizens and visitors about the rich indigenous cultures that populated Alabama for thousands of years predating statehood. 

The program provides information about each site through interpretive signage installed at each location, brochures available at tourism information centers around the state, the program’s Facebook page, and the program’s website at alabamamoundtrail.org. Additional dedication events will occur around the state through this fall and spring.

Alabama Frontier Days 2019 is officially endorsed by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.

 While Alabama celebrates its journey to statehood, Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson commemorated its tricentennial just two years ago. The French founded Fort Toulouse in 1717, naming it for Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, comte de Toulouse, son of King Louis XIV. The fort was established on the then-far eastern border of the Louisiana Colony as a means to counter the growing influence of the British colonies in the South. The site was referred to as Post of Alabama, a nickname that referenced the Alabama tribe of Upper Creek Indians, who like the fort, resided just at the convergence of the Coosa, Tallapoosa and Alabama Rivers.

For nearly 50 years, French Garrisons remained on site. In 1763, The Treaty of Paris signaled the end of the French and Indian War, and troops abandoned the post. Decades later, General Andrew Jackson encamped his troops on the site of Fort Toulouse during the War of 1812 and Creek War. At that time, Jackson ordered a larger fortification to be constructed near the former-French post, a fort which would be named after him in recognition of his military victories in the Creek War.

 Apart from its human history, the park has also been long-recognized for its natural beauty. Naturalist William Bartram noted visiting the area in 1775, while studying native flora and fauna. Visitors today can enjoy The William Bartram Trail located within the grounds on site.

Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson was declared a National Historic Landmark by the Department of Interior in 1961 and was acquired by the AHC in 1971.

To learn more about Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson, or the Alabama Historical Commission, please visit www.ahc.alabama.gov.

About Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson Park

A historic property of the Alabama Historical Commission, the forts are located at 2521 West Fort Toulouse Road, 2 miles west of U.S. Highway 231. Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson Park is a significant archaeological site. This area, where the Coosa and Tallapoosa meet to form the mighty Alabama River, has been occupied for 10,000 years. Prehistoric and American Indians, Spanish explorers, French marines, English and Scottish traders, and American settlers all left their mark on this National Historic Landmark.

About the Alabama Historical Commission

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



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