Historic Markers Across Alabama

Town of Belk / Belk Community Center Park

Marker ID: ABT 
Location: Berry
County: Fayette
Waymark: None


Established 1883

Thompson Berry settled in this area in the 1840s. Berry devoted most of his time to raising cattle and farming. As time passed, he became the owner of a gin and gristmill and several thousand acres of land in Fayette County. In 1882-1883, the section of the Georgia-Pacific Railroad which connected Birmingham, Alabama and Columbus, Mississippi was built. Arrangements were made with Mrs. Ben Jefferies and Mrs. Eliza Harvey to locate a depot approximately midway between the two cities. The depot was named Berry for Thompson Berry, the first settler in the area and father of Mrs. Jefferies and Mrs. Harvey. In November 1883, the town of Berry was incorporated; the town limits being set by measuring one mile in all directions from a public well dug a short distance from the depot. The first store and post office was operated from a boxcar by Ab Seay even before the track of the railroad was completely laid. In 1899, the town held its first municipal election with the first mayor being Birks Bagwell.


Berry Heritage Park was established in 2006. The park sits on the site of the old James Wilson Shepherd house that was built in the 1920s. Berry Heritage Park Drive was built by the Fayette County Commission in 2001 on the right-of-way of the old Georgia-Pacific Railroad (now Norfolk Southern Railway), which was donated to the town in 1999 when rail service ended between Berry and Columbus, Mississippi.

Erected by the Alabama Tourism Department and the Town of Berry
April 2010

End of Town of Belk / Belk Community Center Park