Old Cahawba

Located in Dallas County | What you’ll find: Archeological | Historical | Outdoor Recreation

Cahawba was once Alabama’s state capital (1820-1826) and a thriving antebellum river town. It became a ghost town shortly after the Civil War. Today it is an important archaeological site and a place of picturesque ruins

As early as 4,000 years ago Indians occupied Cahawba, and the Spanish explorer DeSoto may have visited a large Indian village located there in 1540. In 1819 the state of Alabama was carved out of the wilderness. Cahawba, its capital city, was an undeveloped town site, a gift from President James Monroe to the new state. Consequently, Alabama’s legislature was forced to find temporary accommodations in Huntsville until a statehouse could be built. By 1820, however, Cahawba was a fully functioning state capital. Today, nature has reclaimed Old Cahawba, but historians and archaeologists from the Alabama Historical Commission are working hard to uncover Cahawba’s historic past and to create a full time interpretive park. Visitors are welcome at Old Cahawba. Enjoy the wildflowers. Take the time to roam the abandoned streets, view the moss-covered ruins, talk with an archaeologist, read the interpretive signs, and contemplate Cahawba’s mysterious disappearance.

The site of Old Cahawba lies at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba Rivers. From downtown Selma, take Highway 22 west 8.6 miles. Turn onto Country Road 9 and follow this quiet country road another 5 miles to Cahawba.

Visitor Information 1-334-872-8058.


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