Did you know that Alabama has eight ghost towns? Not me, until I started planning for my trip. Originally, I wanted to visit the Planation houses in Demopolis or Montegomery, Alabama. However, it was a Sunday and most places are closed. So, I checked the RoadsideAmerica and Atlas Obscura websites to find something interesting and this popped up. It’s really off the beaten path. You know me, I had to check it out.
The most famous one is located in Dallas County, just 20 miles outside of Selma, Alabama. The Old Cahawba Archeological Park is the site of the first State Capital built in 1819. It only lasted seven years and moved to Tuscaloosa in 1826.
Even though the State Capital moved, the town still thrive as an antebellum river town. Since, the town is located in the black belt region for the rich soils which makes growing cotton successful. Then during the Civil War, the town built a prison to housed thousands of Union soldiers. Once the war was over, the town became a refuge for the newly emancipated salves.
Now, Cahawba (aka Cahaba) is no longer inhabited, but the ruins of the former town and a couple of remaining buildings can be viewed as part of today’s archeological park.
Here’s another fun little tidbit I learned while visiting the park. Did you know that we never had an official 22 stars U.S. flag? Alabama became the 22nd state of United States of America on December 14, 1819. However, there was a law passed in 1818 that a star cannot be added to the flag until July 4th. In between when Alabama became a state, Maine gained their statehood on March 15, 1820. So, on July 4th, 1820, 23 stars were added to the flag.