David Breland, a retired Morgan County judge and avid historian, has been appointed by the governor to the Alabama Historical Commission.
Gov. Kay Ivey appointed Breland to the post last week.
Breland, who is director of historic resources and events for the city of Decatur, called his appointment “a profound honor at an extraordinary time.”
“It’s just before the state’s bicentennial, and I’m not surprised at all at the vast knowledge of the commissioners on the commission,” said Breland, 65. “It’s a very diverse group. It’s an exciting time for the history of the state.”
Nominated by state Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, Breland was appointed as a member at large, and said the commission is in charge of the funding and grants of historical places across the state. His tenure on the commission ends in 2024, he said.
"His wealth of knowledge and expertise is an exciting addition to our agency," said Historical Commission Executive Director Lisa Jones.
Breland said he attended his first meeting last week in Montgomery and told other board members about Friday’s Celebration of the Early Old Town with Art at the Turner-Surles Center in Decatur. The exhibit features the artwork of Frances Tate, who has painted buildings and people from memory.
“The meeting gave me a chance to talk about our area and a chance for me to learn more about history from across the state,” he said.
According to its website, the commission is “responsible for the acquisition and preservation of state-owned historic properties and education of the public on historic sites in Alabama.” The commission owns and manages 15 sites in the state as public attractions such as forts, battlefields, historic houses and museums. The Joe Wheeler Plantation in Lawrence County is among the properties it manages.
The commission meets quarterly, Breland said. "I plan on being very active with the group," he said.