Old Cahawba Site - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Old Cahawba Site

Governor Bibb Graves designed the town of Cahawba and the capital - on land donated by the federal government. According to Linda Derry, Old Cahawba Site Director, Governor Bibb sold off the land to raise money for the state's treasury. "He sold the land to finance the new state of Alabama," Derry said.

Cahawba was the state capital for only 6 years - from 1820 to 1826. Derry said, "It was more like Gunsmoke than Gone With the Wind" She calls it a rough-and-tumble place with lots of shootouts.

In fact, an archeological dig behind the state house site unearthed whiskey bottles and broken window glass. "We hypothesized that they drank the 25 bottles of whiskey, got drunk and broke out the windows," said Derry. 

During the 30 years after the capital was moved, Cahawba flourished. But then came the ravages of the Civil War, the loss of the town's railroad, moving the county seat to Selma and a devastating flood in 1865.

And then town literally vanished.

Today all that remains are the footprints of the town. Like three brick columns from a mansion that once overlooked the merging of the Cahawba and Alabama rivers.

Still standing nearby, the once upscale slave house that stood behind the Kirkpatrick mansion.

A slave cemetery creates a lasting reminder of the end of an era for the southern plantation system.

Despite the lack of period buildings and tangible evidence of its past, lots of people are working to save the site of the first capital. Derry says a group called Cahawba Concerns is working to raise money to buy the remaining property around the historic site to make sure it returns to the state of Alabama.

The site suffered a major setback when fire destroyed its welcome center.  It's believed a ligthning strike started the blaze.  But, not to be outdone, Linda Derry and her staff set up the welcome center in the education building next door. 

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • Homeless man gets makeover from big-hearted cops

    Homeless man gets makeover from big-hearted cops

    Tuesday, April 25 2017 2:44 PM EDT2017-04-25 18:44:10 GMT
    Tuesday, April 25 2017 3:49 PM EDT2017-04-25 19:49:50 GMT

    Police officers in Rome, NY, went the extra mile to give back to their community, helping one in need.

    More >>

    Police officers in Rome, NY, went the extra mile to give back to their community, helping one in need.

    More >>
  • NewsMore>>

  • LA peace parades mark 25th anniversary of Rodney King riots

    LA peace parades mark 25th anniversary of Rodney King riots

    Saturday, April 29 2017 7:10 PM EDT2017-04-29 23:10:03 GMT
    Saturday, April 29 2017 7:10 PM EDT2017-04-29 23:10:03 GMT

    The 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots is being commemorated with peaceful marches and calls for a better future.

    More >>

    The 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots is being commemorated with peaceful marches and calls for a better future.

    More >>
  • N. Korean missile test fails hours after UN meeting on nukes

    N. Korean missile test fails hours after UN meeting on nukes

    Saturday, April 29 2017 7:09 PM EDT2017-04-29 23:09:56 GMT
    Saturday, April 29 2017 7:09 PM EDT2017-04-29 23:09:56 GMT

    A North Korean mid-range ballistic missile test-fire apparently failed Saturday, South Korea and the United States said, the third such flop just this month but a clear message of defiance as a U.S. supercarrier conducts tests in nearby waters.

    More >>

    A North Korean mid-range ballistic missile test-fire apparently failed Saturday, South Korea and the United States said, the third such flop just this month but a clear message of defiance as a U.S. supercarrier conducts tests in nearby waters.

    More >>
  • Samantha Bee's show briefly upstages correspondents' dinner

    Samantha Bee's show briefly upstages correspondents' dinner

    Saturday, April 29 2017 7:09 PM EDT2017-04-29 23:09:42 GMT
    Saturday, April 29 2017 7:09 PM EDT2017-04-29 23:09:42 GMT

    The annual dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association is taking place Saturday night without its traditional star.

    More >>

    The annual dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association is taking place Saturday night without its traditional star.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly