“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Cahaba, Alabama Historical Markers

Looking east towards view mentioned on marker. image, Touch for more information
By Mark Hilton, January 6, 2018
Looking east towards view mentioned on marker.
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — A Courthouse Reduced to Rubble
Prior to 1905, workmen in search of salvageable bricks dismantled the old Dallas County Courthouse (pictured here). The grassy mound before you contains the damaged bricks the workmen left behind. Cahawba was the county seat from . . . — Map (db m112559) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — A Prison Chimney?
This engraving of the Union Prison at Cahaba was published in 1877 by Benson J. Lossing. The stockade had already been removed, so the details of the brick structure are visible. The artist apparently was in a boat in the Alabama River, behind you . . . — Map (db m83506) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Alabama's First Statehouse
Alabama's first statehouse stood on this lot, but no drawing by a person who actually saw it has been found. It was built in 1819 and destroyed in 1833, before the invention of photography. There are many drawings of the statehouse, but all are pure . . . — Map (db m75908) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Alabama's Native Prairie
Waist-high grasses billowing in the wind. Rolling prairie expanses. Most people connect these images with the Midwest's Great Plains. But for thousands of years, tallgrass soils of Alabama's Black Belt. Along prairie—25 miles across . . . — Map (db m112692) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Anna Gayle Fry House
Home site of the author of "Memories of Old Cahaba," whose family lived here from the Capital's earliest days as landowners and lawyers, giving her a rich legacy of town history. Married to a doctor, she moved to Galveston, Texas, and returned here . . . — Map (db m112360) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Behind the Big House
Two story brick slave quarters like the one before you were not typical, but they could be found in wealthy towns like Cahawba. Stephen Barker built these quarters in 1860 on the northern edge of town. As you can see in the . . . — Map (db m112472) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Black Belt Transformations
Alabama's Black Belt region derives its name from a narrow sash of dark, fertile soil across the state's midsection. Covering 1000 square miles, the Black Belt occupies just 2% of the state's landmass, but its history and transformations . . . — Map (db m112800) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Cahaba Drug Store
The Cahaba Drug Store once covered this cellar hole. It was operated by Herbert Hudson and J. D. Craig. On the same lot were T. L. Craig's large family grocery, Coleman's dry goods store, and Fellows' Jewelry. All these men were related . . . — Map (db m23008) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Cahaba First State Capital 1818-1826
This stone marks the site of Cahaba, selected November 21, 1818 as the first permanent capital of Alabama. The seat of goverment remaining here until removed to Tuscaloosa by the Legislature, January 1825. On December 13, 1819, it was fixed as . . . — Map (db m22609) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Cahaba's Changing Landscape
In 1818, Alabama's first governor carved the capital city of Cahawba out of the wilderness. In less than 50 years, Cahawba grew from a frontier capital full of log cabins to one of America's wealthiest communities, with some of the . . . — Map (db m112690) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Cahawba - circa 1500
Two Ghost Towns? Long before Cahawba was built as Alabama's first state capital, there was another village at this location. Just like Cahawba, it thrived for about 50 years, then disappeared. About the year 1500 a group of . . . — Map (db m112450) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Captive Boys in Blue
In 1862 the Confederacy used one of Cahawba's brick cotton warehouses to temporarily house men captured at the Battle of Shiloh. In 1863, they officially converted the warehouse into a military prison. The inmates called it "Castle . . . — Map (db m112528) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Castle Morgan & Jesse Hawes
The Union soldiers held captive in Cahaba's Civil War Prison, called the place Castle Morgan in honor of a daring Confederate raider. In 1888 Jesse Hawes published a book about his imprisonment in Castle Morgan. He drew this diagram from memory. . . . — Map (db m22668) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Civil War Prison
In 1858, the railroad company graded away an Indian mound that stood here. A brick warehouse was built in its place. From 1863 - 1865 the Confederate government used this warehouse to hold captured Federal Soldiers. You are standing on a pile of . . . — Map (db m22666) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Commissary - R.R. Depot
This cellar was under Joseph Babcock's brick store. During the Civil War the building was used as a commissary. Babcock's warehouse and cotton shed were located to your right on the bluff overlooking the river. The family home, kitchen, and . . . — Map (db m23287) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Crocheron's Row
A "row" was a 19th century shopping mall. The word was used when a building or block had several similar storefronts arranged in a straight line or row. This cellar marks the spot where David and Nicholas Crocheron built a large 2 story brick . . . — Map (db m83509) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Dallas County Courthouse
The grassed over mound of brick before you was once Dallas County's courthouse. This courthouse was built in 1834. It was dismantled prior to 1905 by brick salvagers. Cahawba was the county seat from 1818 to 1866. This brought a lot of people, . . . — Map (db m23010) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Death in the Street
On a May afternoon in 1856, an angry John A. Bell rounded this corner carrying a large hickory stick. He passed by Edward Perine's fine brick store, and continued south down the sidewalk. Under his coat, he carried two pistols and a . . . — Map (db m112527) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Footprint of a Church
St. Luke's Episcopal Church was built at Cahawba in 1854 but was dismantled and moved sometime after 1884 but before 1888. It was reassembled fifteen miles away in a rural community called Martin's Station. The raised outline before you indicates . . . — Map (db m83510) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Kirk-View Farm
In 1866, shortly after the Civil War and a severe flood, the county seat was moved from Cahaba to Selma. Residents rapidly abandoned the town. Many homes were dismantled and reassembled elsewhere. Despite this trend, returning Confederate . . . — Map (db m83516) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Major Hiram Solon Hanchett 16th Illinois Cavalry - U.S. Volunteers
On January 20th, 1865, Major Hanchett lead a daring, but unsuccessful escape from the military prison that was located on this spot. He was then moved to the dungeon of the county jail, located on First North Street. In March the other Union . . . — Map (db m22669) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Memorials for Prisoners of War
These are not graves. These are markers to memoralize the Federal soldiers who died in the Cahawba Military Prison during the Civil War. The men within the prison called it "Castle Morgan." No one knows where in Cahawba these . . . — Map (db m112409) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Methodist Church
These ruins were once a place of worship for members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Built in 1849, it was the first single denomination church in Cahawba. An earlier church for the common use of all denominations was erected about 1840. . . . — Map (db m112410) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Missing Pieces
"We by-and-by discovered...a pair of those splendid birds, the Ivory-billed Woodpeckers (Picus principalis). They were engaged in rapping some tall dead pines, in a dense part of the forest, which rang with their loud notes." . . . — Map (db m112801) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — New Cemetery
Burials in this cemetery, which served Cahaba from 1848 to 1900, tell a story of the town in which many deaths resulted from diseases of infancy, childhood and early adult life, Yellow Fever being a large factor because of proximity to Gulf of . . . — Map (db m23322) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Old Cemetery
This site was set aside by the 1820 General Assembly, burials here date from 1818 to 1847. Interred are some of the state's earliest figures. There is no record of names, many handsome tombs have been destroyed, seven marked ones remaining, six are . . . — Map (db m23355) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Perine Well
This artesian well was drilled to serve a factory which did not materialize. It was then used to water the grounds, a garden and pastures. In addition, by forcing water through pipes into his $50,000 home, E. M. Perine, a merchant prince, had the . . . — Map (db m83518) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Saltmarsh Hall
In the late 1850s, Cahaba experienced a building boom. Everyone expected the town to prosper because of the new railroad. One of the first large brick structures built in this prosperous period was completed in 1856 by Dr. Saltmarsh. He wanted . . . — Map (db m23009) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Site of Alabama's Statehouse 1820 - 1825
This structure collapsed in 1833 and its fallen remains were reportedly heaped into a railroad embankment. Consequently, we have no picture of the Statehouse that was drawn by someone who actually saw the building. Any modern picture you see of this . . . — Map (db m75909) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — St. Luke's Episcopal Church
St. Luke's was consecrated in 1854. It was an outstanding example of the Gothic Revival style, popular at the time. The contractor closely followed designs in a widely circulated book, Rural Architecture, published in 1852 by the celebrated . . . — Map (db m75922) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — The Crocheron Columns
The Crocherons were from Staten Island, New York. Richard Conner Crocheron arrived in town about 1837 to help run the family store. He traveled north for his bride in 1843 after building her this brick home. The back wall adjoined the brick store . . . — Map (db m22870) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — The Duke of Cahaba
In 1889, Samuel and Sarah Kirkpatrick moved to Selma, leaving their farm and house in the capable hands of their son Clifton (1863-1930). He turned the abandoned remains of Alabama's first capital into a showcase farm of diversified, scientific . . . — Map (db m23005) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — The Duke of Cahaba
Look around you. There are hundreds of pecan trees growing nearby. All were planted by Clifton Kirkpatrick, a.k.a. The Duke of Cahaba." (Note: Cahawba lost its "w" by the late 19th century.) In 1889 Samuel and Sarah Kirkpatrick . . . — Map (db m112473) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — The Hole That Was Once a Row
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 . . . — Map (db m112577) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — The Old Brick Store
By 1858 many brick stores had been built in Cahaba, so everyone called this the "old brick store." Merchant Sam M. Hill turned the building into one huge dry goods store where shoppers could buy just about anything! Col. Hill, like most of the . . . — Map (db m23242) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Vine Street
Vine Street was Cahawba's business district. Stores, offices and hotels were tightly packed together along these three blocks. Homes were scattered over an entire square mile. Nearly every house had a yard of one or two acres. — Map (db m83520) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Welcome to Downtown Cahawba
Cahawba's homes were spread over an entire square mile, many with yards of one or two acres. That was not the case here on Vine Street. Offices, stores and hotels were tightly packed along this main street. The steamboat landings on the . . . — Map (db m112560) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Who Lived Here?
This house, the Fambro / Arthur home, takes its name from two of its owners. One was a judge, the other was a former slave. The Fambro Family A. Judge W. W. Fambro built this house in the early 1840s. He may have created . . . — Map (db m112451) HM
Alabama (Dallas County), Cahaba — Yankees in Cahawba
A New York merchant, Richard Conner Crocheron, built a magnificant mansion on this spot. The adjacent photograph captured the decayed splendor of this home before it burned. Look closely at the photograph. Try to identify the columns . . . — Map (db m112582) HM

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