Alabama NRCS and Alabama Historical Commission Sign Agreement
Auburn, Ala, November 2010 -
(front l-r): Frank White and Dr. William Puckett sign a compliance agreement between the Alabama Historical Commission and NRCS at the Fort Toulouse Frontier Days in November. Back row: Fort Frontier Days reenactors.
Dr. William Puckett, State Conservationist of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Auburn, AL, and Frank White, Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer with the Alabama Historical Commission (AHC), in November signed an agreement to streamline Section 106 compliance between the AHC and NRCS. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act directs all federal agencies to consider the effects of their actions on cultural resources (archeological and historic properties). The State Level Agreement outlines the procedures in the partnership between NRCS and the AHC to help document and preserve important cultural resources in Alabama as well as ensure that important Alabama sites like Fort Toulouse and Fort Jackson (a National Historic Landmark) will be protected for future generations. The signing of the Agreement took place at Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson State Historic Park during the annual living history event known as “Alabama Frontier Days.”
For almost a week in November of each year, Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson comes alive with living history encampments representing Creek Indians, French Marines, American Revolutionary War soldiers, American traders and settlers, Tennessee Militia, and American soldiers under Andrew Jackson’s command. The Frontier Days event allows visitors to step back in time to experience what life and living conditions were like from 1700 to about 1820. People in authentic period dress are engaged in various professions. Visitors can talk with blacksmiths working at the forge, Native Americans dancing or preparing food in their hunting camps, and “traveling minstrels” singing or playing instruments as well as hear the blast and see the smoke as French Colonial Marines fire a cannon from the walls of the Fort.
Portions of the French Fort Toulouse and American Fort Jackson were archeologically excavated further west from the present site of the reconstructed Fort Toulouse. The size and scale of the reconstructed buildings, sheds and walls of both forts are based on archeological investigations and historic records. Fort Jackson, constructed at the end of the Creek War of 1813-14, was much larger than Fort Toulouse. Since Fort Toulouse and Fort Jackson occupied the same space, reconstructing both forts within the same foot-print was too confusing, so the French Fort was built near the park entrance; Fort Jackson is being constructed in place to the west.
Dr. Puckett said the Fort’s officer’s headquarters was a perfect place to sign a document making it easier to preserve the past. With the camaraderie of the French Colonial soldiers and the presence of other reenactors, Mr. White said that it was the most fun he had ever had at an agreement signing. Attending the signing ceremony were reenactors portraying French Colonial Marines, their wives and cooks, and historic Creek Indians from the French Fort Toulouse of the middle 1700’s.
For more information, please contact Teresa Paglione, Cultural Resource Specialist, NRCS, Auburn, AL (334-887-4561).
Reenactors fire the fort's cannon.
Reenactors inside the fort cook a daily meal in clay ovens and open fires.