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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cahaba in Dallas County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Hole That Was Once a Row

 
 
The Hole That Was Once a Row Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, January 6, 2018
1. The Hole That Was Once a Row Marker
Inscription.
1822 - Crocheron's Row
Cahawba's First Shopping Center


This large hole was dug in 1822 to be the basement beneath Cahawba's first brick store.

In the 19th century the word "row" described a building that consisted of several similar storefronts, all arranged in a straight line or row. This building built by brothers David and Nicholas Crocheron contained eight different stores or offices. It measured 80 feet by 42 feet and had two floors above the basement.

The Crocherons were merchants from Staten Island, New York. They were very familiar with commercial rows in New York City. Before starting their own brick "row," they completed another brick building in Cahawba, Alabama's first statehouse!

1854 -The "Old Brick Store" Cahawba's First Superstore

The capital was removed in 1825, but Cahawba survived and prospered. Eventually, many brick stores were built in Cahawba, so by the late 1850s, townspeople were calling this building the "Old Brick Store."

Col. Sam M. Hill purchased the Old Brick Store, and turned the once subdivided row into a single huge dry goods store where shoppers could buy just about anything like a modern Walmart.

Most of the merchants in Cahawba traveled to New
The Hole mentioned can be see just behind the marker. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, January 6, 2018
2. The Hole mentioned can be see just behind the marker.
York each season to replenish their stock. They would travel by steamboat down the Alabama River, then by steamship from Mobile to New York City via Cuba In 1859, Col. Hill was able to make the return trip from New York in less than four days!

The Crocherons, the New York family that originally built the Old Brick Store, had a cousin named Edward M. Perine. Perine was probably Hill's biggest competitor. His store was called the "New Brick Store." It was located nearby on the southwest corner of Vine and Second North Streets.

Frontier Conditions

When Cahawba was chosen to be Alabama's first capital, it was uninhabited. A town had to be carved out of the wilderness.

In time Cahawba grew into one of the wealthiest communities in the nation. During the capital era (1819 - 1825) however, conditions were very primitive. Before the Crocheron's built their brick store, Cahawba's merchants lived and worked in small log cabins.
 
Erected 2015 by the Alabama Historical Commission.
 
Location. 32° 19.159′ N, 87° 5.73′ W. Marker is in Cahaba, Alabama, in Dallas County. Marker can be reached from Second North Street east of Vine Street. Touch for map. Located within the Cahawba Archaeological
Entrance sign to the Cahawba Archaeological Park. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, January 6, 2018
3. Entrance sign to the Cahawba Archaeological Park.
Park (nominal fee required). Marker is at or near this postal address: Second North Street, Orrville AL 36767, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Crocheron's Row (a few steps from this marker); The Old Brick Store (within shouting distance of this marker); Cahaba Drug Store (within shouting distance of this marker); The Crocheron Columns (within shouting distance of this marker); Death in the Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Yankees in Cahawba (within shouting distance of this marker); Saltmarsh Hall (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Courthouse Reduced to Rubble (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cahaba.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable BuildingsSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 13, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 13, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 105 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 13, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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