McMillan Pier and Boat Ramp officially opened in Fort Morgan

Rep. McMillan’s twin brother, John, spoke about how special the Fort Morgan area is to their family.

“We had an aunt who had a cottage right on the beach,” said John McMillan, who served as the commissioner of conservation, commissioner of agriculture and industry, and state treasurer during his public service career and now continues that public service as head of the state Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission as their director. “There wasn’t much down here back then. We fished a lot back then and went for walks on the beaches. The most memorable thing we did was walk down the beach to Fort Morgan and visit Hatchett Chandler who was caretaker here for a number of years.

“We had cousins ​​who had houses on this peninsula. We spent much of our childhood fishing down here. Steve loved to fish. That is certainly a fitting recognition.”

Governor Ivey and Commissioner Blankenship were able to present Representative McMillan with a resolution naming the Fort Morgan facility in his honor before his death.

“There is nothing you all could have done that he would have appreciated more because of the lifelong connections he had with Fort Morgan and this peninsula,” John McMillan said.

The pier and boat ramp are owned by the Alabama Historical Commission, which authorized construction of the new facilities on the site of the previous pier, which was closed when it became unsafe due to age and damage from numerous hurricanes and tropical storms. Since the new pier is located on a historic site, special rules applied to the excavation of the area, which extended the construction schedule.

“We have worked through many of the preservation issues on the site,” Commissioner Blankenship said. “And now we can celebrate the culmination of this work.”

dr Jim Day, Chairman of the Alabama Historical Commission, expressed his appreciation to Governor Ivey for her support of historical preservation throughout the state of Alabama. Day said the commission is grateful for the partnership with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to honor Rep. McMillan.

“We are grateful to Steve McMillan and his family for their support of conservation and Fort Morgan in particular,” Day said. “Mobile Point, where we are today, has been part of America’s coastal defenses since Fort Bowyer was built here in the War of 1812. The construction of Fort Morgan was completed in 1834. Military occupations in Mobile Point include the Civil War, Spanish–American War, World War I, and World War II.

“Troops stationed at Fort Morgan always needed rest. Many shipyards, piers and docks have been built around the point over the years to support activities at the fort and to serve as recreational opportunities for soldiers and their families. These structures were built for transporting supplies, docking watercraft, fishing for soldiers, sunbathing, and a quarantine wharf for the hospital. We are pleased that this pier has been renovated so that the public can enjoy and continue to experience the history here.”

Patrick Bussey of GUMBO (Gulf United Metro Business Organization), a coalition promoting South Baldwin County, said Steve McMillan had been his only state representative during his 35 years on the Alabama Gulf Coast and it was appropriate to credit him with the appointment honor pier and boat ramp.

“Steve has been our leader down here in Montgomery my entire life,” Bussey said. “This is certainly an incomparable service. Steve was a workaholic. If you walked into Steve’s office, it was filled with papers on projects he was working on on behalf of this district, this county, and the entire state. Steve loved this Gulf Coast and he worked hard to ensure this resource is protected and used for the benefit of the people of the state of Alabama.”

Commissioner Blankenship said four sources of funding were used to provide the $4.5 million needed to complete the pier and boat ramp.

“That includes Sport Fish Restoration dollars and your fishing license dollars,” Commissioner Blankenship said. “Seven different federal agencies, six state agencies and others were involved in the NRDA approval and approval. It sure feels good to cut that bond as we have to deal with multiple issues like weather, shortage of materials, preservation of monuments and many other challenges.

“This facility will forever bear Steve McMillan’s name and be an enduring testament to his dedication to South Baldwin County.”