The Ridge Project recently received generous grant funding from the Macon County Commission to offer field trips at no charge to Macon County’s fourth grade students and teachers and the general public. This project will facilitate our recovery from an extended closure due to the pandemic and it aligns with The Ridge’s mission 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. Additionally, it will allow us to continue to provide educational and cultural enrichment programming that aligns with and augments classroom learning to develop student knowledge and critical thinking skills in the areas of social studies, history, and culture. The Macon County School District announced its designation of The Ridge Interpretive Center as a required field trip site for 4th graders during the summer of 2019. Due to the pandemic, we had to cancel plans to begin offering field trips Spring 2020 and have not been able to offer them to date. We will begin offering field trips again beginning fall 2022.
During the fall of 2021, The Ridge Project nominated the historic Warrior Stand Cemetery located in Macon County, Alabama for inclusion on the Alabama Historical Commission's Historic Cemetery Register. The Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) added the cemetery to the Register in November 2021. Our nomination packet did not include a comprehensive survey of the cemetery at the time. Thanks to a collaboration with Tuskegee and Auburn University professors and students, we are nearing completion of a survey project that entailed documenting the cemetery's overall features and each grave's specific location and features, and creating a plot map and map of the cemetery boundaries.
Auburn University students from Dr. Elijah Gaddis's race and landscape history course partnered with The Ridge Project on January 29, 2022 to begin the project. Dr. Keith Hebert's public history fieldwork class from Auburn University, Professor Mark Tatum, PE from The Auburn University McWhorter School of Building Science's College of Architecture, Design & Construction, and a student from Dr. Lisa Bratton's History class at Tuskegee University joined the project in late March. Professor Tatum conducted a drone aerial survey that will enable us to produce a map of the cemetery. The work of these enthusiastic participants makes it possible for The Ridge Project to submit a survey spreadsheet, photos, and maps to the AHC for inclusion in its file for the Warrior Stand Cemetery.
Image above right: students attending an orientation session at The Ridge Interpretive Center.
The Ridge Project received grant funding from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation to purchase a National Register of Historic Places plaque for the Creek Stand A.M.E. Zion Church cemetery, Macon County, Alabama. The Pomeroy Foundation awarded funding through its generous historic marker program. In 2016, the National Park Service added the cemetery to the National Register for its importance to Ethnic Heritage and African-American Social History. For more information, see https://www.wgpfoundation.org/historic-markers/creek-stand-a-m-e-zion-church-cemetery/
The plaque is mounted just above the church cornerstone in close proximity to a post-mounted Alabama Historical Commission approved marker erected in 2011 which commemorates church history and the cemetery's listing on the Commission's Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.
Self-determined freedmen trustees built the original Creek Stand A.M.E. Zion church building around 1895. During the twentieth-century, the congregation financially supported two of the community's first primer schools for African-American children, the Creek Stand School and the Piney Wood School. Nurse Eunice Rivers and officials from the U.S. Public Heath Service used the Creek Stand A.M.E. Zion Church as a "round-up" location during the infamous USPHS Syphilis Study. Several men who unwittingly were subjects of the study are buried in the Creek Stand cemetery.
Shown above with the bronze plaque proudly displayed are (right) Rev. Mozelle Moore, Pastor, and (left) Mr. Lougene Henderson, Trustee, Below: Ridge Project volunteer Larry Williams (right) installed the plaque with assistance from Mr. Albert Daniels, Trustee (left).