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
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'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
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
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
Two story brick slave quarters like the
one before you were not typical, but they
could be found in wealthy towns like
Stephen Barker built these quarters in
1860 on the northern edge of town.
As you can see in the . . . — — Map (db m112472) HM
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
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
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
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
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,
About the year 1500 a group of . . . — — Map (db m112450) HM
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
In the 19th century the word "row"
described a building that consisted of . . . — — Map (db m112577) HM
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
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
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
This house, the Fambro / Arthur home,
takes its name from two of its owners.
One was a judge, the other was a former
The Fambro Family
A. Judge W. W. Fambro built this house
in the early 1840s. He may have created . . . — — Map (db m112451) HM
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