Historic Markers Across Alabama

The Town of Irwinton

Marker ID:  
Location: East Broad Street, Eufaula, AL
County: Barbour
Coordinates: N 31° 53.599    W 085° 8.405
  5.559983333    -85.14008333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


The Town of Irwinton
—Creek Heritage Trail —

A small group of American settlers from Georgia formed a community called Eufaula in this vicinity as early as 1823. The settlement began to grow in importance later in the decade through the influence of prominent local landholder and Creek War veteran William Irwin. Through his political connections, Irwin established a steamboat wharf at Eufaula and set the foundation for the town's rise to prominence as a center trade. The community was renamed "Irwinton" in his honor.

As the settlement grew, residents persuaded area Creeks to leave or drove them away by force even though the community was an illegal intrusion on Creek land. Under the terms of the 1832 Treaty of Cusseta, area Creeks were to retain ownership of their lands in eastern Alabama on which they could remain or sell and remove west after a period of five years. To remove the unauthorized settlers at Irwinton and nearby areas, the federal government in July of 1832 sent in a marshal and troops from nearby Fort Mitchell. In a crackdown that became known locally as the "Intruder's War," the original settlement of Irwinton was burned to the ground.

With government officials unable or unwilling to halt increasing American encroachment on the remaining Creek lands, settlers soon rebuilt Irwinton. The Summerville Land Company, in which land speculator Seth Lore was involved, came to own much of the land in the area. Lore laid out the principal streets of the new Irwinton. He named the four main avenues "Livingston," "Orange
"Randolph," and "Eufaula," spelling out L-O-R-E. River access and the rich agricultural lands in the surrounding region soon lured an influx of settlers, and Irwinton became a regional population center and economic hub.

[Left top map caption]

Map of Alabama, by John La Tourette, 1838

Courtesy of the David Rumsey Map Collection

[Bottom left article]

Columbus Enquirer article about burning of the town, July 28, 1832.

[Top right map]

Plan of Irwinton, 1836

[Middle right photo]

Seth Lore

Courtesy of the Eufaula Heritage Association

[Bottom right photos]

Oldest Structures in Eufaula

Left: The Tavern (1836) believed to be the oldest structure in Eufaula

Right:The Sheppard Cottage (1837), is the oldest home in Eufaula.

Tavern image courtesy of the Library of Congress

2015 by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Friends of the Yoholo Micco Heritage Trail.


See HMDM.org for photos of this marker.

End of The Town of Irwinton