Alabama ranks 16th among states and provinces with markers in this database. Alabama is a state in the United States of America located in the American South. It is also in the East South Central region. Alabama is some 52 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 4.9 million people. The state is divided into 67 counties and all of them have entries in this database. In Alabama we have discovered historical markers in 514 cities and towns lying in 475 different ZIP Codes.
There are at least 3,419 historical markers in Alabama, by our count. We have cataloged 3,411 historical markers and 306 war memorials—each individually presented on 3,674 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this state make up 1.8% of our total. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another eight historical markers in Alabama that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.
The first Alabama marker in the database, Site of Highland Home College, was added August 29, 2006. It was photographed in Highland Home in Crenshaw County and was erected in 1977. The last one added was submitted on February 5, 2023, and titled Thomas McAdory Owen. It is near Bessemer in Jefferson County and had been erected in 2019. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Alabama was erected in 1880. It was this one: Confederate Dead of Wilcox County, and one of our correspondents found it in Camden in Wilcox County on August 28, 2013.
Alabamians don’t want to forget their Settlements and Settlers history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Alabama about Settlements and Settlers—726 of them—than about any other historical topic. A close second is African Americans with 660 markers.
The first marker added to the database with the Settlements and Settlers topic was Chambers County, added April 21, 2009. It had been erected in 1972 in LaFayette in Chambers County. The last one submitted was submitted on February 5, 2023, and titled Edwards House. It had been erected near McCalla in Tuscaloosa County. The earliest marker erected with the Settlements and Settlers topic that we have listed was erected in 1906. It is To Jean Baptiste LeMoyne, found in Mobile in Mobile County on August 5, 2015.
What is the most interesting historical marker in Alabama? What we know is that Fryar Field is the most viewed entry in the database from Alabama since it was added in 2008. It is located in Fort Benning in Russell County. This year so far, the most viewed Alabamian entry is located in Montgomery in Montgomery County. It is The Montgomery Slave Trade / Warehouses Used in the Slave Trade.
The Alabama county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Montgomery County, with 363 of them. It is followed closely by Jefferson County with 348 markers. The Montgomery area of Montgomery County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 253. In Jefferson County the area with the most markers, 257, is Birmingham.
Checking the database for the city or town in Alabama with the most markers we again find Birmingham at the top of the list with 257 markers in or near it. And Montgomery also shows up again in next place, just missing out with 253 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 35630 at the top of the list with 166 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 35630 is assigned to Florence AL including the North Florence, and Saint Florian delivery areas.) It is followed closely by ZIP Code 36104 with 153 markers. (36104 is assigned to Montgomery AL.)
Getting back to Montgomery County, the first marker added to the database from there, United States Flag Raised Over Alabama Capitol, was added December 16, 2007. It was erected in 1996 in Montgomery. The last one submitted was uploaded on September 19, 2022, and is titled Militaires Francais Decedes Aux Etats-Unis Au Cours de la Guerre 1939-1945, in Montgomery. The earliest marker erected in Montgomery County that we have listed was erected in 1893. It was Civil War Laurel Oak Tree, found in Montgomery on May 28, 2016.
And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Birmingham. The first: Julius Ellsberry, was added October 14, 2007. The last: In Memory of the Pioneers added on September 19, 2022. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1905: United Confederate Veterans, added on October 8, 2008.
The Alabama Historical Association is currently in charge of the familiar dark blue and gold official historical markers found all over the state and the Alabama Department of Transportation typically installs and maintains those that are roadside. You will also find official markers erected by the Alabama Historical Commission, a predecessor. We have 882 of their markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.
Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.
You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Alabama have been marked with history. Check out Coosa County, Choctaw County and Cleburne County. We've only found, respectively, 3, 3, and 2 historical markers there. Visiting one or more of these parts of Alabama might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!