jllian is dedicated to “Protect and Preserve” our historic resources, and welcomes any opportunity to enrich the lives of communities through her work.

Jillian Rael

31 Old Lynchburg Hwy NE; P.O. Box 72 JR Logo Image

Mulberry, TN 37359

Phone: 931-307-9255, cell; 931-433-7813, home



My objective is to actively participate in the preservation of historical sites and buildings in order to maintain and add to the local historical record for generations to come.


Metro-Moore County Codes Manager/ City Planner


As Codes Manager/City Planner, I issue building permits for all types of residential, commercial and industrial building projects. Moreover, I am responsible for maintaining proper records thereof, and handle the collection of fees. I also periodically check to be sure that permits are being used legally and properly. As City Planner, I advise the local Planning Commission on questions of rezoning and subdividing. I also act as intermediary between the public and the Commission. I maintain updates on the plans of surrounding cities and counties to help with planning decisions in Lynchburg. I also decide and/or advise on the allocation of grant money and other funds. I work in close conjunction with the Lynchburg Historical Commission and advise on Certificate of Appropriateness.

Tennessee Valley Archaeological Research, Huntsville, AL


While at TVAR, I held several posts simultaneously. I was the accounts specialist, handling project budgets and company finances and bookkeeping. I also served as the architectural liaison and my duties included determining potential NRHP eligibility. I have analyzed and reported on hundreds of buildings in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. The reports I have issued are published and sent to the states’ corresponding historical commissions. To date, all of my findings have been in concurrence with these commission bodies. Lastly, I was TVAR’s photographer responsible for archaeological artifacts, sites/digs, and architectural structures.

Tome on the Range Books, Las Vegas, NM


Tome on the Range is a locally owned, independent bookstore. During my tenure there, I initially served as a bookseller; however, I quickly advanced to store manager. My duties included ordering, opening/closing, bookkeeping, human resources, scheduling, inventory control, and marketing (radio, print ads, and email campaigns). Tome on the Range is housed in an historic building in Las Vegas’ Old Town District. While employed there I served as our representative to this body and served on the Advertising Board.

Friends of the City of Las Vegas Museum & Rough Rider Collection


Before leaving Las Vegas, I was elected for a one-year term as the treasurer of the board for the museum’s Friends organization. This was a voluntary service position that allowed me intimate involvement with the inner workings of the museum. The Friends of the Museum organization is responsible for fund raising, and my job was to maintain accurate and detailed records of our multiple accounts and to allocate money for event planning.


The University of Alabama, Huntsville


I returned to UA Huntsville in 2011 to begin work on my Master’s Degree in History. I specialize in American History with a concentration in Public History. My thesis topic will relate to early nineteenth century religious activities, particularly the Second Great Awakenings, and southern migrations. Of particular interest is a church located in Lincoln County, TN that was established in 1809. I am attending Graduate School part-time under a departmental scholarship.

The University of Alabama, Huntsville


Graduated Suma Cum Laude with a B.A. in Art History and a minor in Photography. I am a member of Phi Kappa Phi Academic Honors Society, Kappa Pi International Honorary Art Fraternity, and am a National Honors Scholar. Senior Research Thesis: “Whitaker House: Following the Road to Restoration of an Antebellum Home in Lincoln County, Tennessee”. I received the Art & Art History Award for Undergraduate Excellence for my research. I have held several solo and collaborative photography exhibitions, and my work typically centers on historic buildings and/or images of decaying structures. I attempt to use my work to raise awareness for preservation.

Moore County High School, Lynchburg, TN


Graduated fifth in my class with honors and was a member of the Beta Club, varsity basketball team, and received multiple academic honors and awards. I was the Vice President of the FFA chapter, and earned my state degree as well as several leadership honors and awards at regional and state camps and training retreats.


As an art historian, I have been extensively trained in critical thinking, investigative research, and writing. The training I have received in the field of both digital and darkroom photography has enabled me to not only take photographs but also to understand proper archival management of photographic materials and the processes necessary to restore and preserve such materials. My training at TVAR has only enhanced my knowledge of curation and restoration standards. Moreover, my studies in the field of Public History has allowed me to learn how to work with the public and to bring local history to center stage in an understandable and often interactive manner. Most importantly, I am extremely organized and am accustomed to working under deadlines both with a team and individually.

In November of 2011 I succeeded in having a property listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and am planning to begin work on other sites this year. In June of 2012, my first publication will be released. Entitled, Around Lynchburg, this photographic history of Moore County and the surrounding areas is a part of Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series. As an undergraduate, I presented research at the South Central Historic Archaeology Conference and Archaeofest, and established a blog that aims to bring preservation awareness and local history to a younger, broader audience. www.dotsonthemap.blogspot.com is my way of bringing my passion to the world around me.

Upcoming Projects

  • March 2012 I will be speaking to UAH’s Phi Alpha Theta Honors Society about methodologies in conducting local history and National Register of Historic Places nominations.
  • Spring/Summer 2012 I will begin work on a part-time internship that seeks to expand the NRHP district of Twickenham Village.
  • As a personal project, soon I will begin work in cooperation with Tennessee Valley Archaeological Research to prepare a National Register nomination for an archaeological site in the Decatur/Hartselle area.
  • I will also begin work advising on the restoration and preservation of the Iron Kettle Restaurant in historic Lynchburg, Tennessee.
  • In conjunction with the Lynchburg Historical Commission, I am planning to seek funds to conduct the necessary work in expanding the National Register historic district there.


Dr. Keith J. Little, Ph.D. Tennessee Valley Archaeological Research 256.705.4545 keith@tvaresearch.com

Dr. John F. Kvach University of Alabama in Huntsville 256.824.2570 John.Kvach@uah.edu

Sloan Stewart Metro-Lynchburg, Moore County Mayor 931.759.7076