Historic Markers Across Alabama

Louisville and "Old Alabama"

Marker ID:  
Location: 1871 North Main Street, Louisville, AL
County: Barbour
Coordinates: N 31° 47.305    W 085° 33.163
  31.78841666    -85.55271666
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


Louisville and"Old Alabama”
—Creek Heritage Trail —

Louisville is one of the oldest communities in southeastern Alabama. Located within territory ceded by the Creeks in the Treaty of Fort Jackson (1814) ending the Creek War, the area was first settled by Americans as early as 1817. Many of its early settlers were of Scotch-Irish ancestry. and migrated here from North Carolina. So numerous were they that this area of Barbour County become known as "Little Scotland." According to tradition, the town of Louisville was known originally as "Lewisville" in honor of early settler Daniel Lewis who is reputed to have built the first house in what became the town. By the time of the Second Creek War, the Louisville area had become important regional economic and population center. It boasted several stores, many fine homes, an inn, and three prominent churches (Bethlehem Baptist Church, Pea River Presbyterian Church, and Louisville Methodist Church) which are among the earliest in Barbour County.

Louisville has the distinction of serving as the-seat of government for two counties. It first served as the county seat for Pike County from its formation in 1821 until 1827, when the seat moved to nearby Monticello. When the Alabama legislature created Barbour County in 1832, Louisville became its temporary county seat. Two sessions of circuit court were held here in 1833 in the simple wooden courthouse that once stood just a short distance from this spot. Shortly afterward, Barbour County's seat of government moved to more centrally-located Clayton.

The Formation of Barbour County
Barbour County was created in December of 1832 from the remnants of the once vast Creek domain and a portion of existing Pike County, As the new county's boundaries were bisected by the old Creek/American boundary set in 1814, the western portion of the county in which Louisville is located was known as "old Alabama" and the newer referred to at the time as "new Alabama."

According to the terms of the 1832 Treaty of Cusseta signed by the U.S. government and the Creek Nation, Creeks in Alabama were to retain ownership of their last remaining ancestral lands. However, they had five years to decide whether to remain on them as U.S. citizens or sell their land and remove west. Through an "extension law" passed the same year of the signing of the treaty, the state of Alabama extended its legal jurisdiction over the Creek domain and created several counties from this area.

Photo captions
Left bottom: This image shows the third Pea River Presbyterian Church facility, circa the
1920s. The original church was a log building which burned and was replaced
with a larger log structure. The building shown here was built in 1858 and was replaced with the modern brick structure in 1949.
Louisville ca. 1900
Map of the Creek land cession authorized by the Treaty of Fort Jackson
Left middle: The Lewis-Norton-Stevens House is among the oldest structures in Barbour County. Originally built by Daniel Lewis, it has been enlarged and moved from its original location to a few miles west of Louisville.
Right top: This map from an atlas of North America published by the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge in Great Britain, shows Louisville prior to the creation of Barbour County.
Right bottom: This 1838 map of Alabama, by Thomas G. Bradford, shows the boundaries of the recently-created Barbour County.
Governor of Virginia, U.S. Senator and Secretary of War James Barbour (1775-1842), for whom Barbour County is named

Erected 2015 by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission,
the Wiregrass Resource Conservation and Development Council,
the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development,
and the Town of Louisville.

Photographs of the marker can be found on HMDB.org


See HMDM.org for photos of this marker.

End of Louisville and "Old Alabama"