See Rock City

See Rock City

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dothan, AL

Dothan is a city located in the southeastern corner of the U.S. state of Alabama, situated approximately twenty miles west of the Georgia state line and eighteen miles north of Florida. It is the seat of Houston County, with portions of the city extending into nearby Dale County and Henry County. The city's name derives from Genesis 37:17: "let us go to Dothan". According to 2007 Census Bureau estimates, the city's population was 65,447, making it the largest town in this part of the state. Dothan is the principal city of the Dothan Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Geneva, Henry and Houston counties; the small portion that lies in Dale County is part of the Enterprise–Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area. The city serves as the main transportation and commercial hub for a significant part of southeastern Alabama, southwest Georgia and nearby portions of the Florida Panhandle; since one-fourth of the U.S. Peanut crop is grown nearby, with much of it being processed in the city, Dothan styles itself "The Peanut Capital of the World". The combined population for the entire Dothan metropolitan area is estimated at 138,234.

Houston County Courthouse in Dothan


Earliest years

The area that is now Dothan was originally inhabited by members of the Alabama and Creek Native American tribes. Within the vast forests of pine that covered this region, a glade surrounded by poplar trees sheltered a large spring at the crossroads of two trails, where local Indians used to meet and camp. White settlers moving through the area duirng the late 1700's and early 1800's named the spring "Poplar Head", but most felt that the sandy soil common to this region would be unsuitable for farming, so they moved on. A rude stockade known as "Fort Scott" was constructed on the Barber Plantation next to the Flint River, twelve miles (19km) east of Poplar Head, where local settlers could take refuge whenever they felt threatened. This fort disappeared by the 1840's, with the end of the Indian Wars in Alabama and the removal of the Native Americans further west.

Houston County Court House, constructed in 1905

The first permanant white settlers consisted of nine families who moved into the area during the early 1830's to harvest the abundant timber. Their settlement, named "Poplar Head" after the spring, failed to thrive and was all but abandoned by the time of the Civil War. After the war, the establishment of a local Pony Express route coupled with other developments during the Reconstuction era to finally allow the town to bloom. On November 11, 1885, the locals voted to incorporate, naming their new city "Dothan" after discovering that "Poplar Head" was already registered with the U.S. post office for a town in northern Alabama.

The Dothan riot

In 1889, Dothan was the scene of a deadly altercation precipiated as the result of an unpopular tax levied on all wagons operating within city limits. Local farmers opposed this levy and organized themselves as the "Farmers' Alliance"; when a member of this group refused to pay and was arrested by city marshal J.L. Domingus, he resisted and had to be forcibly carried to jail. His trial four days later erupted into a violent free-for-all, when a member of the defendant's family overheard the lawman verbally deriding his brother while walking along a city street. The marshal began to beat the family member, George Stringer, then shot at him with a pistol. Stringer returned fire, as others converged on the scene from all directions and quickly began fighting. Pistols, knives and clubs were used in the fray, which lasted only a few minutes but left two men dead and five seriously wounded. Domingus was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to ten years, but his conviction was later overturned by the Alabama Supreme Court. The tax that first started the dispute remains in effect today.

Expansion and growth

In 1893, Dothan secured a stop on the first railroad to be built in this region. This development brought new prosperity and further growth, as local farmers now had a means of marketing their produce. The pine forests were harvested for turpentine and wood, which was transformed into ship masts, lumber and other wood products until by 1900, Dothan had become the greatest inland naval stores market in the world.

As the pines were cut and land subsequently cleared, cotton became a staple of the local economy, until being devastated by the Boll weevil in the early 1900's. Farmers turned to peanut production, experiencing remarkable success and bringing financial gain to the city, which became a hub for the production and transport of peanuts and peanut-related products. Today, one-quarter of the U.S. peanut crop is harvested within 75 miles of Dothan, and the city referrs to itself as "the Peanut Capital of the World". A two-week fall festival known as the National Peanut Festival celebrates this heritage. The city also sought out industry, with textile and agricultural concerns being joined by manufacturing plants for the Sony, Michelin and General Electric corporations later in the century. In 1939, Dothan took part in the New York World's Fair, the largest world's fair of all time.

A selection of historical photos of Dothan taken during this period may be viewed here.

The first full-line department store in southeast Alabama was established in Dothan by Hyman Blumberg. Blumberg settled in Dothan in 1892 with his wife Esther, and started a retail apparel business which remained in his family until closing in 1975. Blumberg's grew into the largest department store in this part of the state, and became the first store in Dothan to install a moving escalator; people would come from many miles away just to ride this new innovation. Even after the store itself closed, the Blumbergs remain a prominent family in the city.

Recent events

Originally part of Henry County, Dothan became the county seat of the newly-formed Houston County on May 9, 1903. The city continued to flourish and grow throughout the twentieth century, with an airport being constructed in 1965 and the Wallace Community College in 1969. Troy University in Dothan was established in 1961 and currently occupies a landscaped campus northwest of the city. The Southern Company construced the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Generating Station near the city between 1970-81; this 1,776 megawatt facility currently generates approximately 13,000 GW-h per year. More recent decades have seen factories constructed in the city by Sony and Michelin Corporations, together with the emergence of a local arts and music scene complete with an art museum, several theaters, symphony orchestra, dance troupe and other cultural amenities.

In 2008, Alabama developer Ronnie Gilley and his business partner Kix Brooks of Country superstar duo announced plans to construct a $300 million entertainment venue just south of Dothan. This development, to be named "Country Crossing", is ultimately intended to feature restaurants, a dinner theater, camping facilities, concert facilities, fairgrounds and a charity bingo hall. Several leading Country Music celebrities have signed onto the project, including George Jones, Tracy Lawrence, John Anderson, Lorrie Morgan and Darryl Worley. While approved by the County Commission and enthusiastically embraced by much of the community, Gilley's development has encountered stiff opposition from local religious and anti-gambling groups who are concerned that the planned bingo hall is illegal under state law, and would bring increased crime and gambling addiction to the area. Gilley had previously threatened to pull his project if bingo was ruled illegal, but ground-breaking began on March 2, 2009. Country Crossing is expected to generate over 1,200 jobs during its first year alone.


Ross Clark Circle on Dothan's east side

In addition to styling itself "The Peanut Capital of the World", Dothan is also the self-proclaimed "Hub of the Wiregrass". It is also commonly referred to as "The Circle City", due to being encircled by Alabama State Route 210, a four-lane highway also known as the Ross Clark Circle. Recent decades have seen the city expand in several directions beyond the confines of this highway.

Fort Rucker, the "Home of Army Aviation", is located about 20 miles (32 km) west of the city, just north of the town of Daleville.

The name "Dothan" is pronounced with the vowel "o" in its "long" form. The city's name is often mispronounced by those not familiar with the area.


The majority of K-12 students in Dothan and Houston County attend Dothan City Schools or Houston County Schools. Others attend local private schools such as Houston Academy, Providence Christian School, Northside Methodist Academy, Emmanuel Christian School, or Westgate Christian School. Institutes of higher education include Troy University, Dothan Campus, Wallace Community College and Bethany Divinity College &  Seminary.


Dothan's airport, the Dothan Regional Airport, is currently (2009) served by Atlantic Southeast Airlines, a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, with 3-5 daily flights to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. This airport was established at the former Army airbase at Napier Field in 1965, after a push to move the airport was started in the early 1950's by then-Mayor Richmond C. McClintock. Jet services began in 1968 with Southern Airways' acquisition of DC-9 aircraft, and continue today using the CRJ-200 regional passenger jet.

Unlike many municipal airports in the U.S., the Dothan airport is entirely self-supporting, operating without any tax-generated funding. All airport revenue is generated through rental and other user fees charged to patrons and tennants of the facility.



National Peanut Festival - Occurs annually in November. The festival hosts competitions in different areas for all ages. A large midway, entertainment by nationally-known recording artists, and the largest parade in the area are featured attractions.

Museums and monuments

The US Army Aviation Museum, located on nearly Fort Rucker, houses one of the largest helicopter collections in the world. The museum focuses on the role of fixed and rotary-wing flight in the U.S. Army. The exhibits depict over 50 years of Army Aviation, and include a number of life size dioramas, films, and interpretive material. Several period aircraft are available for viewing.

Dr. George Washington Carver Monument , located at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds, pays tribute to one of the nation's greatest educators and agricultural researchers, whose work resulted in the creation of 325 products from peanuts, more than 100 products from sweet potatoes and hundreds more from a dozen other plants native to the South. These products contributed to rural economic improvement, by offering alternative crops to cotton that were beneficial for the farmers and for the land.

Wiregrass Museum of Art includes five galleries feature changing exhibitions of visual and decorative arts in the historic building. Also features ARTventures (a hands-on exhibit for children), and a gift gallery for shopping.

The George Washington Carver Museum relates the story of the African-American genius who invented over 500 different products from peanuts and other plants native to the South. Besides offering exhibits about Dr. Carver himself, this museum also offers information on African cultures and their influences on the world, prominent African-American scientists, explorers and inventors, and the positive contributions made by African-Americans in military affairs and the area of social development.

Peanut Monument at the Visitor Information Center proclaims Dothan as the "Peanut Capital of the World".

Dothan's art scene

Featured Players Theatre Founded in 2005, the Featured Players Theatre is Dothan's new home for live entertainment. Originally located at 158 S. Foster St. in downtown Dothan, Featured Players moved in 2009 to 137 N. Saint Andrews Street. This company offers live plays for adults five times a year; its Children's Theatre produces plays four times a year. When not presenting plays, Featured Players offers a "coffee-house" set-up with "open mic" nights and acoustic folk rock artists. Open Friday and Saturday nights.

Southeast Alabama Community Theater offers quality live entertainment and theatrical productions for the Dothan community.

"Joseph" Statue at Millennium Park is a ten-foot, cast bronze sculpture, located in the historic downtown area. It depicts the Bible verse, "For I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan" (Genesis 37:17), which inspired the city founders in 1885 to change the name of the town from Poplar Head to Dothan.

Peanuts Around Town is a public art project organized by The Downtown Group, consisting of five-foot tall peanut sculptures decorated in various fashions and displayed around Dothan.

Wiregrass Festival of Murals is an ongoing project offering historic murals painted by nationally and internationally-acclaimed muralists on walls of buildings in the downtown historic district. Guided tours are available upon request.

Local music

Dothan Opera House, built in 1915, represents the elegance of turn-of-the-century southern life. Theatre performances, spectacular concerts, symphonies, ballet performances, and many other cultural events are regularly held in this landmark. Tours are available upon request.

Music South, formerly the Southern Alabama Symphony Association, offers a wide variety of musical performances, from classical symphony performances to jazz, African and other musical styles. "Music by Moonlight" offers four free concerts per year at Dothan's Landmark Park, featuring classical, jazz, Celtic and Bluegrass musicians, among others.

Country Crossing is a multimillion-dollar country music venue being constructed south of Dothan along US Highway 231. When completed, this facility will offer restaurants, lodging, retail, camping and charity bingo venues, together with a large ampitheater featuring performances by top-name country and western stars.
Patti Rutland Jazz, is a professional contemporary jazz and hip-hop dance company located in Dothan. This company produces two full-length jazz and hip-hop theatrical dance productions yearly (one in late February and one in early June) at their home in the Cultural Arts Center, as well as at Dothan's historical landmark Opera House.

Patti Rutland Jazz operates as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose core mission is to offer its dancers to the Wiregrass Region to assist under-served youths with free dance classes. This mutually-beneficial program hopes to make Dothan a destination for, and a source of, future professional dance talent in the United States.

City parks

Westgate Park and Water World is a five-field complex hosting local, regional, state and national softball tournaments. It is adjacent to Water World, Westgate Recreational Complex and the BMX Track. The Water World includes ocean-sized waves in the giant wave pool and twisting 400-foot (120 m) water slides.

Dothan's Westgate Tennis Center offers the highest standards of play and the greatest comfort for spectators. Amenities include 16 lighted full-size clay tennis courts, a control center, observation deck, shade shelters and large courtyard.
Kiwanis Park, located on Westgate Park land fronting Whatley at the intersection with Deerpath, has playgrounds and a picnic pavilion with a water fountain and restrooms. There are also walking trails.

Solomon Park, located in the Garden District at the corner of Choctaw and Redwood streets, offers "the shadiest playground in Dothan" according to one local.
Eastgate Park is a 198-acre (0.8 km2) country estate, complete with lodge and meeting facilities. It includes fishing lakes, a two-mile (3 km) walking trail, sand volleyball, swimming pool (for private parties only), picnic area and lighted tennis courts. Additional amenities are under development.

Wiregrass BMX is a BMX racing track that is located near the Westgate Park. It hosts local, state and national races between February and November.

Themed attractions

Adventureland Theme Park is a family-oriented mini-theme park. It includes two 18-hole miniature golf courses with waterfalls, lagoons and elaborate landscaping, a figure-eight go-cart track with a double-underpass bridge and Indy-style karts, bumper boats, batting cages, a Max Flight roller coaster simulator, a large arcade and snack bar.

Dothan Area Botanical Gardens offers a paved nature trail meandering through a beautiful rose garden, herbs, daylilies, camellias, azaleas, past a peaceful pond, Victorian gazebo and a demonstration garden.

Landmark Park Agricultural Museum and Starlab Planetarium is the official agriculture museum of the State of Alabama. Visit a 1900s farmstead, complete with farmhouse, outhouses and farm animals. Stroll the boardwalk and nature trail, see a planetarium show, have a picnic, tour Phase I of the Alabama Agricultural Museum, or catch one of the park's many special events. In the Planetarium, night skies are shown as they appear in season, while Constellations are displayed as they relate to mythology. The park also has a new playground. A pavilion near the playground is available for park visitors and children's parties. A recently-completed barn is available for rental for large events.

Maria's Vineyard - Nestled in a grove of oak and pecan trees, the Vineyard offers a casual place to host an event, either outside or inside in the Vineyard House.

Other venues

Dothan Civic Center

The Dothan Civic Center was constructed in 1975, and features 10,800 square feet of exhibit space, seating for 3,100, basketball floor, concession stands, conference rooms and other amenities.

Porter Hardware is the oldest operating business in Dothan, and is billed as the oldest hardware store anywhere in Alabama. Opened in 1889 by E.R. Porter and J.D. Murphree and located at 136 East Main Street, Porter Hardware is still operated today by Mr. Porter's descendants. The interior and exterior of Porter Hardware remains virtually unaltered from its early days, and it maintains a large inventory of hardware and hard-to-find items.

The Lampman Antiques and Lighting is a lighting store offering a large variety of chandeliers, clocks, sconces, and many other antiques. It also offers lamp and clock repair.

Wiregrass Commons Mall Southeast Alabama's only mall. It has over 630,000 square feet (59,000 m2) of shopping with over fifty retail stores and a food court. Anchors for the mall include JC Penney, Parisian (now Belk's) and Dillards.

World's Smallest City Block is located at the intersection of North Appletree, Museum, and Troy streets in Dothan. This land triangle features a stop sign, a yield sign, a street sign, and a granite marker placed by the Camellia Garden Club on May 1, 1964 stating that it is the World's Smallest City Block.

Famous residents of Dothan

W. M. Cooper, a Dothan resident, released a revision of B. F. White's popular tune book, The Sacred Harp in 1902.

Former Alabama Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor Bill Baxley was born and raised in Dothan. Baxley was most famous for prosecuting Robert Chambliss for the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham in September of 1963. Baxley managed to convict Chambliss in 1977 with an all-white jury and minimal evidence, as J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI at the time, refused to release evidence relevant to the case. Baxley was also famous for telling the Ku Klux Klan to "kiss my ass" when they referred to him as an "honorary nigger" and threatened him with death.

Dothan was also the birthplace and childhood home of Johnny Mack Brown, a famous Hollywood actor during the 1920's and '30's who starred in movies with John Wayne, Wallace Beery and Joan Crawford, ultimately making 127 Western films. Brown served as an All-American college football player with the University of Alabama during his younger days, playing starting halfback on their 1926 national champion team and winning Most Valuable Player honors in the 1926 Rose Bowl.

William Gray Espy, (the original Snapper of the long-running CBS soap opera, The Young and the Restless), and Donna D'Errico were also born in Dothan.
Richmond Flowers, Sr., former Attorney General of Alabama and strident opponent of segregation, was born and raised in Dothan.

Singer Bobby Goldsboro, famous for his 1968 Top 40 #1 hit "Honey" as well as many other Top 40 releases of the 1960s and early 1970s, grew up in Dothan and graduated from Dothan High School, though he was born in Marianna, Florida.

Farley Taylor and his co-star Joe Dykes, heard nationwide on their radio show The Old Taylor-Made Opry, broadcast their popular radio show from WTVY-FM in Dothan. Taylor lived most of his life there until his death. Dykes is still a resident. Farley Taylor's grandson Jason continues to be heard on the air across the nation on Clear Channel radio stations.

Movie Gallery CEO Joe Malugen is a current resident of Dothan.

Former Miss America, Heather Whitestone, also was born and raised in Dothan.

Matt Cain, a starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, was born in Dothan.

Artis Gilmore, Jacksonville University center and later MVP of the ABA, attended junior high and high school in Dothan.

Former Playboy model Nicole Holland (List of Playboy NSS models G-R) was born and raised in Dothan.

Gardner Dickinson, a 7-time PGA Tour champion golfer, was born in Dothan.
Dothan is also home to Gabe Gross, who is an outfielder for Major League Baseball team, the Tampa Bay Rays.

Dothan is also the hometown of professional skateboarder Jamie Thomas, creator of two skateboard companies and a shoe company. He was featured as a playable character in the first five Tony Hawk video games, though at least one instruction booklet erroneously lists his current residence as his hometown. He also won an "Entrepreneur of The Year" award in 2006.

Click Here for Dothan, Al Chamber Of Commerce Website

Grove Hill, AL

Grove Hill is a town in Clarke County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 1,438. The city is the county seat of Clarke County and home of the Clarke County Museum.

Clarke County Courthouse in Grove Hill


Grove Hill has several sites on the National Register of Historic Places including the Alston-Cobb House and the Grove Hill Courthouse Square Historic District.

The Alston-Cobb House

The Alston-Cobb House in 2008

The Alston-Cobb House, now formally known as the Clarke County Museum, is a historic house museum in Grove Hill, Alabama. It was built in 1854 by Dr. Lemuel Lovett Alston as a Greek Revival I-house, a vernacular style also known in the South as Plantation Plain. It is one of only four examples of an I-house to survive intact in Clarke County.


Lemuel Alston migrated to Grove Hill and began the practice of medicine around 1852. The house was completed in 1854, shortly before his marriage to Sarah French Jackson on November 1, 1854. The house was subsequently owned by the Bettis, Cobb, Bumpers, and Postma families until it was purchased by the Clarke County Historical Society in 1980. The historical society restored the house and opened it as the Clarke County Museum in 1986. The museum features exhibits that cover a broad range of topics from Zeuglodon fossils to the American Civil War and an antebellum kitchen. The Alston-Cobb House was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 30, 1979.

The grounds

Several historic structures have been moved to the museum grounds and restored. The Creagh Law Office, built in 1834 by Judge John Gates Creagh, was moved to the site in 1990 and restored. The Turner Corn Crib is a corn crib which is thought to have been partially built from timbers salvaged from Fort Turner, a log fortification that served the area during the Creek War in 1813. It was moved to the grounds in 2001 and restored. The Mathews Cabin was acquired in 2005 and restoration was completed in 2008. It is a log cabin with two large rooms separated by a breezeway, a form often known as a dogtrot, and dates to the mid-19th century.

The Airmont Grave Shelter

The Airmount Grave Shelter, also known as the Hope Family Grave Shelter is a brick grave shelter, or grave house, located in the Airmount Cemetery near Thomasville, Alabama. It is unusual in that it protects six graves instead of the more common one grave. The brick structure was built in 1853 by John Hope. It is built in a vernacular Greek Revival style with a gabled roof. The interior features a wooden vaulted ceiling. The shelter was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 24, 2000 as a part of the Clarke County Multiple Property Submission.

The grave shelter in Airmount Cemetery.


The interior

The shelter contains the graves of the following individuals:

Archibald H. Hope, born May 20, 1823 and died September 26, 1850.

Margaret Hope, born Nov 20, 1797 and died May 1851.

Jane A. Hope, born February 9, 1813 and died November 22, 1852.

John Allison Hope, born October 3, 1855 and died October 25, 1856.

John Hope, born October 3, 1791 and died April 6, 1868.

Sarah Jane Powell Hope, born July 7, 1829 and died July 7, 1885.

The Bush House

The Bush House is a historic house in Grove Hill, Alabama. The two-story Colonial Revival style house was built in 1912. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 28, 1999. It was listed due to its architectural significance as a part of the Clark County Multiple Property Submission.

The John A. Coate House

The John A. Coate House is a historic house in Grove Hill, Alabama. The one-story spraddle-roof house was built in 1855. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 28, 1999. It was listed due to its architectural significance as a part of the Clarke County Multiple Property Submission.

The Cobb House

The Cobb House is a historic house near Grove Hill, Alabama. The two-story I-house was built in 1865. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 28, 1999. It was listed due to its architectural significance as a part of the Clarke County Multiple Property Submission.

The Dickinson House

The Dickinson House is a historic house in Grove Hill, Alabama. The two-story Italianate style house was built in 1845. It was designed by James Newman. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 13, 1978. The house was listed due to its architectural significance as an early example of Italianate architecture.

Fort Sinquefield U.S. National Register of Historic Places

Built/Founded: 1813

Governing body: Fort Sinquefield Historical Association

Fort Sinquefield is the historic site of a wooden stockade fortification in Clarke County, Alabama, near the modern town of Grove Hill. It was built by early Clarke County pioneers as protection during the Creek War and was attacked in 1813 by Creek warriors. A marker was erected at the site by Clarke County school children in 1931 and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 31, 1974.


At the time of the Creek War, Clarke was a newly formed county in the Mississippi Territory. The first hostilities of the war occurred nearby during the Battle of Burnt Corn, where white settlers attacked the Red Sticks on July 27, 1813. The Red Sticks retaliated on August 30, 1813 with the Fort Mims massacre, in which several hundred people assembled inside Fort Mims were killed.

Fort Sinquefield was housing several pioneer families and friendly Creeks after the attack on Fort Mims. On September 1, 1813, Red Sticks warriors led by Josiah Francis, a.k.a. Prophet Francis, attacked the Ransom Kimbell and Abner James families, who had left the crowded fort for Ransom Kimbell's cabin nearby. Most of the men escaped back to the fort, but twelve women and children were killed and scalped in what became known as the Kimbell-James Massacre. The bodies were retrieved for burial outside of the fort the next day. After the burials, several woman were washing clothes at a spring away from the fort when the hostile Creeks attacked a second time. They attempted to cut the women off from the fort, but were thwarted and only managed to kill one woman, Sarah Phillips. Several Creek warriors were killed in the attack, as was one additional settler, Stephen Lacey. The attack lasted two hours before the Red Sticks retreated. The fort was abandoned afterwards, with the survivors moving to the larger Fort Madison, several miles to the south of Fort Sinquefield.

Notable natives

Doug Barfield - Head football coach at Auburn University from 1976 to 1980.

John W. Cranford - Representative for Texas.

Grant Gillis - Major League Baseball player from 1927 to 1929.

F. David Mathews - United States Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under Gerald Ford.

Jim Herod - Author of Gathering Moss

Cliff Nobles - Pop musician

Click Here For The Grove Hill Website

Thomasville, AL

Thomasville is a city in Clarke County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 4,649. It is notable as the childhood hometown of author and storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham, who refers to it often in her storytelling.

Downtown Thomasville in 2008.

Nickname(s): The City of Roses


Thomasville was founded in 1888 and has its roots in the nearby town of Choctaw Corner. Choctaw Corner, dating back to the 1850s, was a settlement west of what would become Thomasville, but when the merchants there learned that a railroad was going to bypass their town to the east, they decided to move their stores to be near the railroad. The tracks between Mobile and Selma were completed the same year that Thomasville began. The town was named after a railroad financier and former Union Civil War general, Samuel Thomas, who donated $500 for the construction of Thomasville's first school. The town had expanded by the end of the 19th century with numerous stores, several hotels and boarding houses, and a depot station. In 1899, what is now downtown was destroyed by a fire that burned several blocks of the wood frame buildings. Thomasville quickly rebuilt, this time in brick, and was once again flourishing by the start of World War I.

Over the next century, Thomasville continued to grow and expand. Over the years, many businesses came and others left. These included garment factories, sawmills, and cotton gins. The railroad discontinued its use of the town's depot by the 1950s, but that time also saw the opening of Thomasville's FPS-35 radar base, part of the Air Defense Command's Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, bringing in servicemen and their families. The prototype for the FPS-35 radar was developed at the Thomasville Aircraft Control and Warning Station. The 1950s also saw the planting of roses along Highway 43, the main highway through Thomasville, earning it the nickname of The City of Roses. The 1960s and 1970s saw the opening of numerous paper mills in the area, an industry that continues to be important to the economy of Thomasville today. This time also saw businesses begin to relocate from downtown to the main highway. The Thomasville Historic District was designated in 1999 by the National Register of Historic Places.

The Champion House on West Front Street.


Thomasville is located at coordinates 31°55′15″N 87°44′24″W / 31.92084°N 87.74008°W / 31.92084; -87.74008Coordinates: 31°55′15″N 87°44′24″W / 31.92084°N 87.74008°W / 31.92084; -87.74008. It is the northernmost incorporated settlement in Clarke County and is situated on an elevated area between the Tombigbee and Alabama rivers. The elevation is 381 feet (116 m). The terrain is gently rolling hills, covered primarily in pine forest. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.8 square miles (22.7 km²), all of it land.

Thomasville before the fire of 1899, looking west up Wilson Avenue.


Downtown Thomasville in 2008, looking west up Wilson Avenue.

The economy of Thomasville is largely based on retail trade and the service sector, with the city serving as a regional commercial hub. Its trade area is much larger than is indicated by its small population.

In 2000, the U.S, Census Bureau recorded that 58.5% of the population was in the work force with 20.6% of families and 23.5% of the population living below the poverty line, including 31.9% of those under age 18 and 25.2% of those age 65 or over. The median income for a household in the city was $26,549, and the median income for a family was $32,476. Males had a median income of $32,212 versus $21,319 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,916.


Thomasville has its own public school system, the Thomasville City School System, that includes Thomasville Elementary with an enrollment of 676 students, Thomasville Middle with 535, and Thomasville High with 448. Thomasville City Schools meet 100%of Alabama's accountability goals in all three schools.

Thomasville is also home to Alabama Southern Community College. Alabama Southern is a state-supported, fully accredited, comprehensive two-year college serving southwest Alabama with its main campuses in Monroeville and Thomasville.


Thomasville has one acute care hospital, Southwest Alabama Medical Center, with 50 licensed beds. Southwest Alabama Medical Center has plans for a new hospital facility near Thomasville's South Industrial Park, the first new rural hospital in Alabama in 30 years. The new facility is projected to cost $35 million and would employ 200 people. Thomasville Nursing Home is a 70 bed long-term care facility located on Moseley Drive.

Museums and libraries

The Thomasville campus of Alabama Southern Community College is home to the Kathryn Tucker Windham Museum. The Thomasville Public Library has an annual operating budget of $88,761 and has a collection of 15,206 books, 455 audio materials, 418 video materials, and 33 serial subscriptions.

Click Here For The City Of Thomasville Website

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Birmingham, AL

City of Birmingham

Birmingham (pronounced /ˈbɝːmɪŋhæm/, with the h sounded) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Alabama and is the county seat of Jefferson County. It also includes part of Shelby County. The population of the city was 227,690 as of 2002, and 242,000according to the 2008 estimate. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, as of the 2007 census estimates, has a population of 1,108,210. It is also the largest city in the Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman Combined Statistical Area, colloquially known as Greater Birmingham, which contains roughly one quarter of the population of Alabama. If nearby counties Tuscaloosa, Etowah, Talladega, & Calhoun are added to the Greater Birmingham population it would exceed over 1.6 million as of 2008.

Walker House, 300 Center Street, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

Birmingham was founded in 1871, just after the U.S. Civil War, as an industrial enterprise. It was named after Birmingham, one of the UK's major industrial cities. Through the middle of the 20th century, Birmingham was the primary industrial center of the Southern United States. The astonishing pace of Birmingham's growth through the turn of the century earned it the nicknames "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South". Much like Pittsburgh in the north, Birmingham's major industries centered around iron and steel production.

Over the course of the 20th century, the city's economy diversified. Though the manufacturing industry maintains a strong presence in Birmingham, other industries such as banking, insurance, medicine, publishing, and biotechnology have risen in stature. Birmingham has been recognized as one of the top cities for income growth in the United States South with a significant increase in per capita income since 1990.

Today, Birmingham ranks as one of the most important business centers in the Southeastern United States and is also one of the largest banking centers in the U.S. In addition, the Birmingham area serves as headquarters to one Fortune 500 company: Regions Financial. Five Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Birmingham.

John Hollis Bankhead House, 1400 Seventh Avenue, Jasper, Walker County, AL


Founding and early growth

Panorama of Birmingham, Alabama c.1916

Birmingham was founded on June 1, 1871, by cotton gin promoters who sold lots near the planned crossing of the Alabama & Chattanooga and South & North Alabama railroads. The first business at that crossroads was the trading post and country store Yeilding's, run by the still prominent Yeilding family. The site of the railroad crossing was notable for the nearby deposits of iron ore, coal, and limestone - the three principal raw materials used in making steel. Birmingham is the only place worldwide where significant amounts of all three minerals can be found in such close proximity. From the start the new city was planned as a great center of industry. The founders borrowed the name of Birmingham, one of England's principal industrial cities, to advertise that point. Birmingham was off to a slow start: the city was impeded by an outbreak of cholera and a Wall Street crash in 1873. However, it began to grow shortly afterwards at an explosive rate.

The turn of the century brought the substantial growth that gave Birmingham the nickname "The Song of The South" as the downtown area developed from a low-rise commercial and residential district into a busy grid of neoclassical mid-rise and high-rise buildings and busy streetcar lines. Between 1902 and 1912 four large office buildings were constructed at the intersection of 20th Street, the central north–south spine of the city, and 1st Avenue North, which connected the warehouses and industrial facilities stretching along the east–west railroad corridor. This impressive group of early skyscrapers was nicknamed "The Heaviest Corner on Earth". Optimistic that the rapidly growing city could be further improved, a group of local businessmen led by Courtney Shropshire formed an independent service club in 1917. The group would later incorporate and become the first chapter of Civitan International, now a worldwide organization.

Robert Jemison Plantation, Byler Road, Northport, Tuscaloosa County, AL

The Great Depression hit Birmingham especially hard as sources of capital that were fueling the city's growth rapidly dried up at the same time that farm laborers, driven off the land, made their way to the city in search of work. New Deal programs made important contributions to the city's infrastructure and artistic legacy, including such key improvements as Vulcan's tower and Oak Mountain State Park.

16th Street Baptist Church

The wartime demand for steel and the post-war building boom gave Birmingham a rapid return to prosperity. Manufacturing diversified beyond the production of raw materials and several major cultural institutions, such as the Birmingham Museum of Art, were able to expand their scope.

Birmingham Civil Rights Movement

Main article: Birmingham campaign

In the 1950s and '60s Birmingham received national and international attention as a center of the civil rights struggle for African-Americans. Locally the movement's activists were led by Fred Shuttlesworth, a fiery preacher who became legendary for his fearlessness in the face of violence, notably a string of racially motivated bombings that earned Birmingham the derisive nickname Bombingham.

A watershed in the civil rights movement occurred in 1963 when Shuttlesworth requested that Martin Luther King, Jr., and the SouthernChristian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which Shuttlesworth had co-founded, come to Birmingham, where King had once been a pastor, to help end segregation. Together they launched "Project C" (for "Confrontation"), a massive assault on the Jim Crow system. During April and May daily sit-ins and mass marches organized and led by movement leader James Bevel were met with police repression, tear gas, attack dogs, fire hoses, and arrests. More than 3,000 people were arrested during these protests, almost all of them high-school age children. These protests were ultimately successful, leading not only to desegregation of public accommodations in Birmingham but also the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

William S. Cook House, Walker County Road 11, Nauvoo, Walker County, AL

While imprisoned for having taken part in a nonviolent protest, Dr. King wrote the now famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, a defining treatise in his cause against segregation. Birmingham is also known for a bombing which occurred later that year, in which four black girls were killed by a bomb planted at the 16th Street Baptist Church. The event would inspire the African-American poet Dudley Randall's opus, "The Ballad of Birmingham," as well as jazz musician John Coltrane's song, "Alabama."

Recent history

Central Business District Skyline

In the 1970s urban renewal efforts focused around the development of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which developed into a major medical and research center. In 1971 Birmingham celebrated its centennial with a round of public works improvements, including the upgrading of Vulcan Park. Birmingham's banking institutions enjoyed considerable growth as well and new skyscrapers started to appear in the city center for the first time since the 1920s. These projects helped the city's economy to diversify, but did not prevent the exodus of many of the city's residents to independent suburbs. In 1979 Birmingham elected Dr. Richard Arrington Jr. as its first African-American mayor.

The population inside Birmingham's city limits has fallen over the past few decades. From 340,887 in 1960, the population was down to 242,820 in 2000, a loss of about 29 percent. Recently Center Point incorporated its self as a new city in 2002, which caused the population to drop to 227,690 but since has increased to 242,000 as of 2008. Also, the growth of Birmingham's suburbs over that same period has kept the metropolitan population growing.

Today, Birmingham has begun to experience a bit of a rebirth. Currently there are around a billion dollars being invested in reconstructing the downtown area into a 24-hour mixed-use district. The market for downtown lofts and condominiums has mushroomed while restaurant, retail and cultural options are beginning to sprout up. In 2006 the visitors bureau selected "the diverse city" as a new tag line for the city.

Edmund King House, Highland & Bloch Streets, Montevallo, Shelby County, AL

Geography and climate


Cahaba River National Wildlife RefugeBirmingham occupies Jones Valley, flanked by long parallel mountain ridges (the tailing ends of the Appalachian foothills) running from north-east to south-west. The valley is drained by small creeks (Village Creek, Valley Creek) which flow into the Black Warrior River. The valley was bisected by the principal railroad corridor, along which most of the early manufacturing operations began.

Red Mountain lies immediately south of downtown. Many of Birmingham's television and radio broadcast towers are lined up along this prominent ridge. The "Over the Mountain" area, including Shades Valley, Shades Mountain and beyond, was largely shielded from the industrial smoke and rough streets of the industrial city. This is the setting for Birmingham's more affluent suburbs of Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, Homewood, and Hoover. South of Shades Valley is the Cahaba River basin, one of the most diverse river ecosystems in America.

Sand Mountain, a smaller ridge, flanks the city to the north and divides Jones Valley from much more rugged land to the north. The Louisville and Nashville Railroad (now CSX Transportation) enters the valley through Boyles Gap, a prominent gap in the long low ridge.

Dr. John H. Drish House, 2300 Seventeenth Street, Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, AL

Ruffner Mountain, located due east of the heart of the city, is home to Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, one of the largest urban nature reserves in the United States.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 151.9 square miles (393.5 km²), of which, 149.9 square miles (388.3 km²) of it is land and 2.0 square miles (5.3 km²) of it (1.34%) is water.


From Birmingham's early days onward, the steel industry has always played a crucial role in the local economy. Though the steel industry no longer has the same prominence it once held in Birmingham, steel production and processing continue to play a key role in the economy. Several of the nation's largest steelmakers, including U.S. Steel, McWane, and Nucor, all have a major presence in Birmingham. In recent years, local steel companies have announced about $100 million worth of investment in expansions and new plants in and around Birmingham.


rlington Place, 331 Cotton Avenue, Southwest, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

In the 1970s and 1980s, Birmingham's economy was transformed by investments in bio-technology and medical research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and its adjacent hospital. The UAB Hospital is a Level I trauma center providing health care and breakthrough medical research. UAB is now the area's largest employer and the largest in Alabama with a workforce of about 20,000. Health care services provider HealthSouth is also headquartered in the city.

Birmingham is also a leading banking center, serving as home to two major banks: Regions Financial Corporation and Compass Bancshares. SouthTrust, another large bank headquartered in Birmingham, was acquired by Wachovia in 2004. The city still has major operations as one of the regional headquarters of Wachovia. In November 2006, Regions Financial merged with AmSouth Bancorporation, which was also headquartered in Birmingham. They formed the 8th Largest U. S. Bank (by total assets). Nearly a dozen smaller banks are also headquartered in the Magic City, such as Superior Bank and New South Federal Savings Bank.

Telecommunications provider AT&T, formerly BellSouth, has a major presence with several large offices in the metropolitan area. Major insurance providers: Protective Life, Infinity Property & Casualty and ProAssurance among others, are headquartered in Birmingham and employ a large number of people in Greater Birmingham.

The city is also a powerhouse of construction and engineering companies, including BE&K and B. L. Harbert International which routinely are included in the Engineering News-Record lists of top design and international construction firms.

Birmingham also has a dairy industry. Mayfield Dairy Farms has a production facility in Birmingham.

Control Room, Alabama Theatre, 1811 Third Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

Buffalo Rock, one of the major bottlers for Pepsi sodas, is based in Birmingham. Coca-Cola also has a bottling plant near the airport.

Metropolitan Birmingham has consistently been rated as one of America's best places to work and earn a living based on the area's competitive salary rates and relatively low living expenses. One 2006 study published at determined that Birmingham was second in the nation for building personal net worth, based on local salary rates, living expenses, and unemployment rates.

A 2006 study by calculated Birmingham's "combined personal income" (the sum of all money earned by all residents of an area in a year) at $48.1 billion.



Institutions of higher education

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

Samford University (includes the Cumberland School of Law)

Birmingham-Southern College

University of Montevallo

Birmingham School of Law

Miles College

Miles Law School

Lawson State Community College

Jacksonville State University

Jefferson State Community College

Bessemer State Technical College

Bevill State Community College (Sumiton)

Central Alabama Community College

Herzing College

Southeastern Bible College

ITT Technical Institute

Virginia College of Birmingham (includes Culinard)

Andrew Jackson University

American Sentinel University (online university)

Daniel Payne College (defunct)

Strayer University


Before the first structure was built in Birmingham, the plan of the city was laid out over a total of 1,160 acres (4.7 km²) by the directors of the Elyton Land Co. The streets were numbered from west to east, leaving Twentieth Street to form the central spine of downtown, anchored on the north by Capital Park and stretching into the slopes of Red Mountain to the south. A "railroad reservation" was granted through the center of the city, running east to west and zoned solely for industrial uses. As the city grew, bridges and underpasses separated the streets from the railroad bed, lending this central reservation some of the impact of a river (without the pleasant associations of a waterfront). From the start, Birmingham's streets and avenues were unusually wide at 80 to 100 feet (24 to 30 m), purportedly to help evacuate unhealthy smoke.

In the early 20th century professional planners helped lay out many of the new industrial settlements and company towns in the Birmingham District, including Corey (now Fairfield) which was developed for the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company (subsequently purchased by U. S. Steel). At the same time, a movement to consolidate several neighboring cities gained momentum. Although local referendums indicated mixed feelings about annexation, the Alabama legislature enacted an expansion of Birmingham's corporate limits that became effective on January 1, 1910.

The Robert Jemison company developed many residential neighborhoods to the south and west of Birmingham which are still renowned for their aesthetic quality.

A 1924 plan for a system of parks, commissioned from the Olmsted Brothers is seeing renewed interest with several significant new parks and greenways under development. Birmingham officials have approved a City Center Master Plan developed by Urban Design Associates of Pittsburgh, which advocates strongly for more residential development in the downtown area and includes a major park over several blocks of the central railroad reservation to be called the Railroad Reservation Park. Along with Ruffner Mountain Park, and the proposed Red Mountain Park, Birmingham would rank first in the United States for public green space per resident.

Notable buildings

Tallest buildings Name Stories Height

Wachovia Tower 34 454 ft (138 m)

Regions-Harbert Plaza 32 437 ft (133 m)

AT&T City Center 30 390 ft (119 m)

Regions Center 30 390 ft (119 m)

City Federal Building 27 325 ft (99 m)

Leer Tower 20 287 ft (87 m)

John Hand Building 20 284 ft (87 m)

Daniel Building 20 283 ft (86 m)

Bessemer, AL

Bessemer is a city in Birmingham, Alabama, United States eight miles west from Hoover. The population was 29,672 at the 2000, but by the 2005 U.S. Census estimates, the city had fallen to a population of 28,641.


Bessemer is located at 33°23′29″N 86°57′24″W / 33.39139°N 86.95667°W / 33.39139; -86.95667 (33.391343, -86.956569),[3] about 18 miles southwest of Birmingham, a little north of the center of the state.

Southern Railway Depot, 1905 Alabama Avenue, Bessemer, Jefferson County, AL

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 40.8 square miles (105.6 km²), of which, 40.7 square miles (105.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.17%) is water.

Pyne Red Ore Mine, Pay House, State Route 150, Bessemer, Jefferson County, AL

Bessemer is situated in the midst of the iron ore and limestone district of Alabama, in the southern part of Jones Valley (about 3 miles wide). Iron ore was mined on the hills on the city's southeast side, coal was (and still is) mined to the north and west, and limestone deposits were also nearby. All three ingredients were necessary for steelmaking, which led to the area becoming a major steel center from about 1890 through the twentieth century. Steel is no longer made within the city limits, but is still manufactured in nearby Fairfield.

F. S. Guano Royster Company, Plant, Thirty-second Street, Bessemer, Jefferson County, AL


Bessemer was surveyed in 1887, and was incorporated in 1889. Its rapid growth in its early days led to the nickname of "The Marvel City," a moniker which still finds occasional use today.

Tennessee Coal & Iron Company, Superintendent's House, Minnesota Avenue, Bessemer vicinity, Jefferson County, AL


Bessemer uses the mayor-city council form of government. The council has seven members, one from each council district. As of 2009, Edward E. May is the city's mayor.

Pyne Red Ore Mine, Boiler House, State Route 150, Bessemer, Jefferson County, AL

A satellite Jefferson County courthouse is located in downtown Bessemer. This practice hails from the special county government district known as the "Bessemer Cutoff," established in the middle of the 20th Century when Bessemer was a major city in its own right; the "Cutoff" even had a separate series of Alabama license plates, with a different numeric prefix than the rest of the county. Bessemer's status in that respect has largely been supplanted by other Birmingham suburbs such as Hoover, but Bessemer retains its own branch courthouse to this day, and the term "Bessemer Cutoff" remains in everyday usage by area residents.

Company School for Blacks, 413 Morgan Road, Bessemer vicinity, Jefferson County, AL


In 1900 Bessemer ranked eighth in population in the state, second in amount of capital invested in manufacturing, and fourth in the value of its manufactured product for the year. By 1911 ore mining, iron smelting and the manufacture of iron and coke were the chief industries of Bessemer; truck farming was also an important industry.

Company School for Whites, Bessemer vicinity, Jefferson County, AL

Today, ore mining has ended as supplies exhausted. Manufacturing remains a factor with the Mueller Water Products U.S. Pipe division ductile pipe plant on the city's north side. On May 9, 2007, U.S. Pipe announced that it would be building a new $45-million foundry near the current plant. The site was selected, among other reasons, for the space which would be available for potential future expansions.

Worker Houses, 1500 Block Minnesota Avenue, Bessemer vicinity, Jefferson County, AL

The city was also once home to a large railroad car manufacturing factory operated by Pullman Standard for many decades and later Trinity Industries, but the plant ceased most production in the 1990s, though other industries have relocated to this facility. With the exhaustion of the mines and the exodus of the steelmaking and railcar manufacturing industry, the city faced an economic crisis in the early to mid 1980s with percentage of un-employed workers reaching into the mid 30s. Since that time the city, through the efforts of the Bessemer Area Chamber of Commerce and the Bessemer Industrial Development Board, has been successful in diversifying its economy and is recognized for its business growth.

Gibson Sheet Metal Works & Western Rope & Fittings, Incorporated, Twentieth Street at Fourth Avenue North, Bessemer, Jefferson County, AL


As with most cities and counties in Alabama, the tax structure forces Bessemer to be heavily dependent on sales taxes from retail stores. In recent years, the city has benefitted from new retail developments in the area of the Academy Drive interchange with I-20/I-59, as well as Watermark Place, an outlet mall near Alabama Adventure. In 2008, Colonial Promenade Tannehill, a new mixed used retail development, opened at the Exit 1 interchange with Interstate 459. Notable tenants include a Publix supermarket, Target, Hibbett Sporting Goods, and a 14-screen movie theatre. As of 2009, a JC Penney department store remains under construction.

New Village Worker Houses, New Avenue, Bessemer vicinity, Jefferson County, AL


Tennessee Coal & Iron-U.S. Steel Surface Plant, Shop, East of State Route 150, on South slope of Red Mou, Bessemer vicinity, Jefferson County, AL

In 1911, the town was served by five railroad lines: Alabama Great Southern (Queen & Crescent route), the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham (St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad system), the Birmingham Southern Railroad, and the Atlanta, Birmingham & Atlantic railways. By 2006, these companies had consolidated to CSX Transportation, which has lines to Birmingham and Brookwood; and the Norfolk Southern Railway, with lines to Birmingham, Mobile and New Orleans; Birmingham Southern continues in service. A major railroad feature is the "High Line," constructed by Tennessee Coal & Iron (predecessor to U.S. Steel) to ship iron ore from the mines on the city's south side to the steel works in nearby Fairfield. This elevated line traverses the eastern side of the city, and though tracks were removed over much of the High Line when the mines closed, part of the lines is still used by the Birmingham Southern, and all of the roadbed and bridges remain in place.

Koopers Coke Works, Woodward Iron Company Site, 2134 Koopers Drive, Bessemer vicinity, Jefferson County, AL

Bessemer is served by the small Bessemer Airport to the southeast of the city. Commercial service to/from the city is served by the much larger Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport located 5 miles from downtown Birmingham.

Tennessee Coal & Iron Company, President's House, 1405 Minnesota Avenue, Bessemer vicinity, Jefferson County, AL

Major highways in Bessemer include I-20/59, I-459, U.S. Route 11, and Alabama State Route 150, which connects Bessemer with Hoover.


Lawson State Community College operates the former Bessemer Technical College campus in the Academy Drive area; the two schools merged in 2005 as a cost-saving measure.

Points of Interest

Bessemer is home to a theme park, Alabama Adventure. The park was originally built as Visionland, and operated by a consortium of Jefferson County cities and the county itself. After a series of financial difficulties and finally Chapter 9 bankruptcy, the park was sold in 2002 to Southland Entertainment Group, which has since operated the park successfully. More than $100-million in upgrades and expansion projects are planned for Alabama Adventure over the coming years.

The Bright Star, a restaurant and local institution located in downtown Bessemer, is billed as the state's oldest continuously-operated eating establishment. Founded in 1907 as a small café, the restaurant has expanded several times over the years, most recently in 1985.

The Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge is a small National Wildlife Refuge protecting the endangered watercress darter.

The Bessemer Hall of History, a museum dedicated to the history of Bessemer and Western Jefferson County. The museum is housed in the former AGS depot which was constructed in 1916 and located at 1905 Alabama Ave. The building is listed on the National Historic Registry.

The Downtown Bessemer National Historic District. Bessemer, Alabama's downtown is listed as a National Historic District.

The Dr. Thomas McAdory Owen House, 510 N. 18th Street. Listed on the National Historic Registry in 1982.

The Owen Plantation House. Listed on the National Historic Registry.
The Thomas McAdory, 214 Eastern Valley Road. Listed on the National Historic Registry in 1972.

Canaan Baptist Church, 824 Fifteenth Street North. Listed on the National Historic Registry in 2005 due to its work during the Civil Rights Movement.

Notable residents:

Neil Bonnett, NASCAR driver

Alex Bradford, composer, singer, arranger, and choir director

Mildred Brown, journalist

Earl Cochran Jr., NFL player

Thornton Dial, African-American folk artist

Virginia Hill, actress, mob courier and girlfriend of Bugsy Siegel

Frank House, born in Bessemer, major league baseball player

Bo Jackson, NFL football and MLB baseball player

Kerry Rhodes, NFL player

Diana Ross, singer

DeMeco Ryans, NFL player

Glenn Shadix, born in Bessemer, American actor

Sun Ra, Avant-garde jazz musician and metaphysical progressive

Tim Ward, philanthropist

Corey White, NFL player

Jack Whitten, abstract painter

Andre Williams, singer and producer

Olanda Truitt, NFL Football player

Notable animals

Matilda (chicken), famous fowl and Guinness World Record holder

Click Here For Bessemer, AL Website

Bessemer, AL Chamber Of Commerce

Pullman Standard Company Plant, 401 North Twenty-fourth Street, Bessemer, Jefferson County, AL

United States Pipe & Foundry Company Plant, 2023 St. Louis Avenue at I-20/59, Bessemer, Jefferson County, AL

High Line Railroad, From Red Mountain to Fairfield Works, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL