Old Cahawba earns state distinction

Published 8:34 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Those in and around Selma and Dallas County have probably had a visit to Old Cahawba Archeological Park at some point, but now people all over the state are going to have a chance to hear about the park’s history.

The park was named best prehistoric/ archaeological site by Alabama Living which reaches 400,000 electric cooperative consumers throughout the state, according to its website.

“I was very excited. I was so pleased,” said Linda Derry, site director at Old Cahawba. “We have some very loyal visitors that have voted for us. And now it’s going to reach 400,000 households throughout the state.”

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Derry said she found out that they were in the running for it several months ago, but it came as a surprise when the park won.

“In the middle of last year, they proposed different categories, and we were in one of them. We don’t know how they selected us, but of course when we saw that we encouraged [Facebook followers] to vote for us,” Derry said. “We couldn’t have done it without the Alabama Historical Commission and all the wonderful visitors that come and visit us and give us feedback. I think it’s just awesome because it’s a state-wide competition. So we’re very pleased to know that we ranked first for the whole state.”

Derry said she hopes the exposure will bring about more visitors, especially with the state’s bi-centennial coming up in two years.

“It’s means state wide recognition for us, and it means that there’s enough people out there that have loved their experience at Cahawba that they took the initiative to vote for us,” Derry said.

“We’re hoping that it will bring us a lot more visitors.”

Derry said she enjoys having people back again and again, but it’s always exciting to have a new face and be able to show them around the park and tell them the rich history that exudes from the site.

“It’s a real pleasure to show people Cahawba that haven’t been here before or haven’t realized what a treasure Cahawba is,” Derry said. “It’s even more of a pleasure to see people that have visited, tell other people that you need to come. It’s such a great experience.”