CONFLUENCE - Cahaba River and Alabama River
Posted by: xptwo
N 32° 19.161 W 087° 05.688
16S E 491076 N 3575838
Quick Description: In 1818, the Alabama Territorial Legislature designated the area where the Cahaba River met the Alabama River as the location for the first capital of the state. The town of Cahawba is long gone but the confluence of the rivers remains.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 4/17/2012 9:42:32 AM
Waymark Code: WME88P
Cahawba (also spelled Cahaba) was the first capital of Alabama from 1820 to 1825, when the government moved to Tuscaloosa after severe flooding. The town survived as the Dallas County seat and as a place for commerce such as the shipping of cotton on the Alabama River. As the town grew, more houses and businesses were established. The economy was based on river traffic until the railroad built a line to the city in 1859. Unfortunately, the Confederate government tore up the tracks to use them on a higher priority railroad.
In 1837, that Richard Crocheron came to Cahawba to help run a family retail business established by his uncles. He built a mansion beside the store and brought his wife here. After her death in 1850, he sold his property and moved back north with his children. During the Civil War, the house was the place where Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest met with Union General James Wilson after the Battle of Selma. They discussed prisoner exchanges and went their separate ways.
In 1865, another flood led to the move of the county seat to Selma, and the area began its decline. By the late 1800s to early 1900s, many of the brick houses were dismantled to get the brick for shipment to other places. At that time, used brick was much cheaper than new. By the 1930s, few structures remained. The area is now maintained by the Alabama Historical Commission, which continues to purchase land to preserve the site.
The confluence can be reached by visiting the columns that remain from the Crocheran Mansion, designated "Crocheran Columns" on the visitor guide. From the Visitor Center, continue down Capitol Street to the circle at Vine Street. Turn left and go to 2nd North Street. Turn right and park at the end of the street. Go through the gate and follow the path to the site of the columns. Continue past the old house and you will see a sign "An Alabama Natural Wonder - Cahaba River". Just past the sign is where one can view the confluence. The coordinates are taken at the sign as it is just a few steps to the bank. The bank is on the west side of the point where the Cahaba River flows into the Alabama River.
To reach the park from I-85 and I-65 in Montgomery, take Highway 80 west to Selma for 48 miles. From Selma take Highway 22 west for 9 miles, turn left onto County Road 9 and follow signs to park.
"The Cahaba River is the longest free-flowing river in Alabama and is among the most scenic and biologically diverse rivers in the United States. The Cahaba River is a major tributary of the Alabama River and part of the larger Mobile River Basin. With headwaters near Birmingham, the Cahaba meanders to the southwest, then at Heiberger turns southeast and joins the Alabama River at Cahaba, in Dallas County. Contained entirely within central Alabama, the Cahaba River is 194 miles (312 km) long and drains an area of 1,870 square miles (4,800 km2).
" source: (visit link
More information on the history of the area can be found in the Encyclopedia of Alabama at (visit link
Information on the Old Cahawba Archaelogical Park can be found at: (visit link