Courtland in Lawrence County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Early Roads / One of the South's First Railroads 1832
Tennessee Street along the north side of the square was originally part of Gainesí Trace, a horse path laid out in 1807 under the direction of Capt. Edmund Pendleton Gaines of the U. S. Army. From Meltonís Bluff on the Tennessee River, the trace ran westward to Cotton Gin Port on the Tombigbee, in present-day Mississippi. Another important early thoroughfare was the Byler Road (1819), which ran southward through Courtland and linked the Tennessee Valley to Tuscaloosa and lower Alabama.
Seeking a means to ship cotton and other goods around the treacherous Muscle Shoals of the Tennessee River, area planters and merchants met at Courtland in 1831 to consider a rail line. On January 13, 1832, the 50-mile long Tuscumbia, Courtland & Decatur railroad was chartered. Early trains were usually horse-drawn, although an English-made steam locomotive was acquired in 1834. Absorbed by the Memphis & Charleston line after 1850, the railway was largely destroyed during the Civil War. The rebuilt railroad became part of the Southern system in 1898.
Erected 1994 by the Courtland Historical Foundation and the Town of Courtland.
Location. 34° 39.968′ N, 87° 18.627′ W. Touch for map. Located in front of Old Train Depot across train tracks, past Square Park in Courtland. Marker is at or near this postal address: 284 College St, Courtland AL 35618, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. American Legion - Post 58 (a few steps from this marker); Courtland's Early Architecture (within shouting distance of this marker); The Red Rovers / Red Rovers Roster (within shouting distance of this marker); The Town of Courtland / Early Settlers (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The African ~ American Experience (about 300 feet away); A Cotton Kingdom (about 300 feet away); Harris-Simpson Home (approx. 0.2 miles away); McMahon House (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Courtland.
Categories. • Military • Notable Events • Notable Persons • Railroads & Streetcars • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 24, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 2,395 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 24, 2010, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.