Cahawba, Alabama
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member xptwo
N 32° 19.170 W 087° 06.269
16S E 490165 N 3575855
Quick Description: Once the site of the first capital of Alabama, Cahawba became deserted in the years after the Civil War. The Alabama Historical Commission has been buying property to allow people to learn about this once prosperous community.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 4/17/2012 11:16:41 AM
Waymark Code: WME89D
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 4

Long Description:
"Cahawba was once Alabama's state capital (1820-1826) and a thriving antebellum river town. It became a ghost town shortly after the Civil War. Today it is an important archaeological site and a place of picturesque ruins.

Nature has reclaimed much of Old Cahawba, but historians and archaeologists from the Alabama Historical Commission are working hard to uncover Cahawba's historic past and to create a full time interpretive park." source: (visit link)

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, 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, many of the brick houses were dismantled to get the brick so for shipment to other places. At that time, used brick was much cheaper than new. The area is now maintained by the Alabama Historical Commission, which continues to purchase land to preserve the site.

The coordinates are for the Visitor Center. They have information and advice for those who wish to explore the area. There is no admission charge. The park is open daily from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.. The Welcome Center is open daily from noon to 5:00 P.M.

To reach the park from 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 the signs to park.

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)
Reason for Abandonment: Economic

Date Abandoned: 1/1/1890

Related Web Page: [Web Link]

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