Historic Markers Across Alabama

Gardendale, Alabama

Marker ID: ABT 
Location: at the intersection of Main Street and Bell Street, Gardendale, Alabama
County: Jefferson
Coordinates: N 33° 38.862    W 086° 48.678
  33.6477    -86.8113
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMA4Y3


Side 1:
When Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek Nation at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814, the subsequent Treaty of Fort Jackson and other treaties that followed ceded Indian land that made up most of what is now Alabama. Abraham Stout was commissioned to build a public road in 1822-1823 from Gandy's Cove in Cataco/Morgan County to Elyton. He closely followed the old Indian trails for the Route, which came directly through what is now Gardendale. Pioneers had already arrived in the area and after the completion of Stout's Road, some had settled and purchased land here, the first recorded in 1824 by John Belcher. Others quickly followed, including Otis Dyer in 1828 and Zachariah Stagg in 1834. James K. Jacks operated a tollgate on Stout's Road, as it passed near his plantation. Coal mines opened nearby in the 1870s, several operated by John T. Millner, one of the founders of Birmingham and surveyor of the South & North Railroad. Millner donated lumber to build the first school in Gardendale in 1892, which was named Millner School.

Side 2:
Some early businesses included James I. Kimmon's store, sawmill, and cotton gin; James and Elijah H. Moncrief's cotton gin and sawmill; and William Harrison Parker's grist mill. Dairies and farms dotted the area. Some of the early churches established in Gardendale were Shugart's Chapel Methodist, now Gardendale-Mt. Vernon Methodist; Ebenezer Methodist; Friendship Methodist; Cluster Spring Baptist; and Chalybeate Springs Baptist, now Gardendale First Baptist. Early on, Gardendale was known as Jugtown, named for a jug factory located in the area in the 1870s. It was operated by James Y. Miller near the current location of the Village Green Shopping Center. Through efforts of Hettie Thompson Cargo, the name was changed to Gardendale in 1906. Dr. James Parker became Gardendale's first fulltime doctor in the spring of 1923. Although a steadily growing community, the town was not chartered until 1955. The first mayor was J. I. Pesnell. Today, after half a century, Gardendale is the largest city in North Jefferson County

Erected 2010 by Alabama Tourism Department and the Gardendale Historical Society.

End of Gardendale, Alabama