Railroad Depot and Commissary
Brick Store to Depot
In 1858, the Cahaba, Marion and Greensboro Railroad company laid train tracks down Capitol Street so bales of cotton could be transported from distant plantations to warehouses in Cahaba. From the warehouses, the cotton was loaded onto river boats.
Joseph Babcock's warehouse and cotton sheds were located to your right, on a bluff overlooking the Alabama River. The hole in front of you was a cellar under Babcock's brick store. His family home, kitchen, and garden stood between this store and his warehouse.
In 1860, the Babcock family sold the land between this sign and Capitol Street so a depot for the terminus of the Cahaba, Marion and Greensboro Railroad could be built.
During the Civil War, the Confederate government seized Cahaba’s locomotive and rails to complete a railroad elsewhere. Later they established a military post and a prison for captured Union soldiers at Cahaba. The vacant railroad depot was converted into a commissary where food was dispensed to both guards and prisoners of war.
Cahaba was considered a good location for a prison not only for
Erected by Alabama Historical Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & Streetcars • War, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1858.
Location. 32° 19.046′ N, 87° 5.781′ W. Marker is in Cahaba, Alabama, in Dallas County. Marker is on Vine Street north of Capitol Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Located at Old Cahawba Archaeological Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Orrville AL 36767, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to Downtown Cahawba (within shouting distance of this marker); The Mound at Old Cahawba Archaeological Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Vine Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Cahaba First State Capital (within shouting distance of this marker); Dallas County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Captive Boys in Blue (within shouting distance of this marker); A Courthouse Reduced to RubbleAlabama's First Statehouse (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cahaba.
More about this marker. This marker replaces an older marker, titled "Commissary - RR Depot" with some of the same text.
Also see . . . Encyclopedia of Alabama article on the Cahaba Federal Prison. (Submitted on June 1, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 1, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 468 times since then and 166 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 1, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.