Monday, June 11, 2007

Alabama's First Capital


Alabama's first permanent capital was at Cahawba, a town on the Alabama River about 10 miles downstream from Selma. The photo is of a poster inside the visitor center of Cahawba Archaeological Park, managed by the Alabama Historical Commission. Now a ghost town, Cahawba was devastated by repeated floods and other calamities. Its demise after the Civil War contributed to the rise of Selma. The poster shows our state's original capitol. The cupola on top was salvaged and today sits atop a church in Lowndesboro.
The park offers exploration of ruins, hiking and picnicking,

9 comments:

Ben said...

Thanks for comment on Nelson DP. I'm very proud to have such a good view from my lounge. Well, that was the main attraction of this house.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Interesting post and photo. I enjoyed reading it.

Baby raccoons. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Brookville Daily Photo

lv2scpbk said...

My husband is very much into the Civil War. He likes to travel to different Civil War battlefields when he can.

Aigars Bruvelis said...

He, I think you need to fight and reclaim and status of capital city. :)

magiceye said...

that is intersting

Aloha said...

That's good info...I love historical societies & reclamation groups...they help protect our past before we realize that it is in dangeer of being lost, mahalo for the visit!

Tara said...

I'm glad the cupola from the old capitol was saved! It would be interesting to find out how many homes and businesses have wood or bricks that were salvaged from the former town.

Annie said...

I wonder how a church came to have the cupola. Did they purchase it - or take it in salvage?

RamblingRound said...

Thank you for your interest in Cahawba. There are quite a few places around Selma with salvage materials from the now ghost town. There are still a few cottages that were moved to Selma by oxcart. The capitol dome was moved 45 miles via six teams of oxen to the St. James Christian Methodist-Episcopal Church in Lowndesboro, Lowndes County. That church was built in 1833. The church was later sold to another congregation, which no longer meets. The structure was renovated in recent years. The dome is the only known remaining part of our state's first capitol, and I believe the building was flooded in the 1820s. It served as the capital for less than a decade. However, the town carried on until the county seat was moved to Selma in 1866. By then, the Confederates had taken Cahawba's railroad apart for use elsewhere, and another flood forced residents out. Cahawba also had a federal prison during the Civil War. Many of the prisoners who survived "Castle Morgan" ended up dying in the Sultana steamship disaster on the Mississippi River as they headed home from the war.