Historic Markers Across Alabama

City of Foley, Alabama

Marker ID: ABT 
Location: East Laurel Avenue, Foley, AL
County: Baldwin
Coordinates: N 30° 24.393    W 087° 40.959
  30.40655    -87.68265
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMDJH9


Side 1:
The City of Foley was founded in 1905 by John B. Foley of Chicago. Mr. Foley, who was in the pharmaceutical business, heard about this area from a railroad land agent as they traveled to President William McKinley's funeral in 1901. Mr. Foley came to Alabama the following year and purchased thousands of acres of land. He formed the Magnolia Land Company and began selling acreage to those in Chicago who wanted to move south and take advantage of the rich farmland. The Bay Minette-Fort Morgan Railway, a branch of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, was built for travel to Foley in 1905. Mr. Foley supplied the ties for the line. The intention was to take the tracks all the way to Fort Morgan, but that never happened. The railroad station, built in 1905, burned to the ground three years later and was replaced the following year with the station that sits on this site. The first engine on this line was a wood-burner called the Pine Knot Special. It would make a morning trip to Bay Minette and return in the afternoon.

Side 2:
In the early days of Foley, the railroad was its life blood. It brought settlers in from the north, which in turn would lead to the need for schools, churches and businesses. The railroad was also a way to get crops for the farmers to northern markets. In 1971, the L & N discontinued its services to Foley and planned to demolish the station. John Snook, owner of Gulf Telephone, bought the building for a $1.00. He moved it to Magnolia Springs and used it as a warehouse. In 1991, he deeded it to the City of Foley and it was returned to the original site. Using grants, the City renovated the station and turned it into a museum which now houses artifacts showcasing the history of Foley and Baldwin County. A model train exhibit was added in 2007.

End of City of Foley, Alabama