Friday, July 16, 2010

Lowndesboro - Alabama's Historic Antebellum Town

Located just north of U.S. 80 between Montgomery and Selma, Lowndesboro is one of the best preserved antebellum communities in Alabama.

Founded not long after the 1814 signing of the Treaty of Fort Jackson that forced the Creek Nation to give up the surrounding lands, the settlement was long known as McGill's Hill. In 1832, however, the residents voted to rename their town Lowndesboro.

Almost miraculously, Lowndesboro was spared devastation at the hands of General James H. Wilson's Union raiders during the closing days of the Civil War. Local legend credits a town doctor with saving the town by falsely telling Wilson's men that a smallpox outbreak was taking place in Lowndesboro. Rather than risk catching the feared disease, the Union troops passed on quickly. The community was spared and today boasts one of the finest collections of antebellum homes and structures in the country.

In addition to a unique variety of types of antebellum structures, Lowndesboro is also home to the dome from Alabama's first state capitol building. The dome was moved to the steeple of the old C.M.E. Church in Lowndesboro after Old Cahawba lost its status as state capital in favor of Tuscaloosa and eventually Montgomery. The copper-plated dome is all that remains of the state's original capitol, with the possible exception of some underground ruins at Old Cahawba.  Along with many other historic landmarks, it is located along Broad Street in Lowndesboro.

To learn more about the historic town, please visit

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