Contact: Wendi Lewis, Marketing and Public Relations Manager  

wendi.lewis@ahc.alabama.gov, 334-230-2680


April 22, 2021


Old Cahawba to host Cemetery Preservation Workshop on May 1


(Montgomery, AL) Old Cahawba Archaeological Park, a historic property of the Alabama Historical Commission, will host the 19th Annual Cemetery Preservation Workshop on Saturday, May 1, 2021. The workshop is a project of the Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance (ACPA).


The workshop will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Saturday morning, followed by a box lunch provided by Orrville Farmers Market and a tour of Historic “New” Cahaba Cemetery. To accommodate social distancing, participation will be limited. Registration is $25 for ACPA members and $40 for the general public, which includes a courtesy membership for the remainder of the year for first-time attendees.


Ted Urquhart of the Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance said, “Cemeteries are a lot like buildings in the context of preservation work in that no two are alike. All have unique needs and features that set them apart. This event is geared toward the public – people who are planning on or in the process of taking care of historic cemeteries. It’s for novices and people who have been doing this type of thing for a while. Everyone can learn something.”

The agenda for the workshop includes the following topics and featured speakers: “Old Cahawba’s Perpetual Residents,” Linda Derry, Site Director for Old Cahawba Archaeological Park; “How to Properly Care, Maintain & Repair Tombstones & Monuments,” James “Rusty” Brenner, Owner of Texas Cemetery Restoration LLC, Dallas, Texas; and “The Preservation of New Cemetery at Old Cahawba: Restoring the Graves of Alabama’s First Capital,” Dr. Matthew Gage, Director, Office of Archaeological Research, University of Alabama Museums.


The cemetery tour will feature educational stations and a guided tour. Rusty Brenner will discuss and demonstrate approved techniques for maintaining and repairing tombstones, the proper use of D/2 Biological Solution, and graffiti removal from stone and other surfaces. Dr. Gage will conduct a “show and tell” of recent preservation work in New Cemetery and E. Fletcher “Fletch” Thompson of E.F. Thompson Geotechnologies, Inc., of Mobile will demonstrate locating unmarked graves using Ground Penetrating Radar.


Registration is due no later than April 26 and registration forms can be downloaded from the ACPA’s website at www.alabama-cemetery-preservation.comFor more information contact Scott Martin at BEVEL67@aol.com.


The Alabama Historical Commission's cemetery program provides assistance in identifying, documenting, registering, and protecting Alabama's historic cemeteries. Through the cemetery program, the AHC makes information on Alabama’s cemetery laws available; informs the public about general cemetery preservation guidelines; and issues permits for substantial work including, but not limited to, the relocation of human remains in cemeteries at least 75 years old. 


Old Cahawba lies at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba Rivers, and from 1819 to 1826 it served as Alabama’s first capital. From downtown Selma, take Highway 22 (Dallas Avenue) west 8.6 miles. Cross over the Cahaba River and turn left onto County Road 9 and follow this 3.3 miles until it dead ends. Turn left onto County Road 2 and follow this 1.5 miles until you see the Visitor Center on the right. Visitor Center Address: 9518 Cahaba Road, Orrville, AL 36767.

Old Cahawba is a historic property of the Alabama Historical Commission. To learn more about Old Cahawba, or the Alabama Historical Commission, please visit www.ahc.alabama.gov.


About Old Cahawba

Old Cahawba lies at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba Rivers, and from 1819 to 1826 it served as Alabama’s first capital. Today, the Alabama Historical Commission owns and operates this significant archaeological site.


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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