Historic Markers Across Alabama

Athens, Alabama

Marker ID: ABT 
Location: at the intersection of Beaty Street North and Market Street/Buck Island Road , Athens, Alabama
County: Limestone
Coordinates: N 34° 48.2    W 086° 58.05
  34.80333333    -86.9675
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMBYF1


Side 1:
Athens was incorporated in 1818, one year prior to the admission of Alabama as the 22nd state. It is the seat of Limestone County, created by an act of the Alabama Territorial Legislature. Athens has a legacy of providing quality education for residents. In 1822, citizens purchased land for the establishment of the Athens Female Academy. Now Athens State University, the campus continues to serve the community. The fertile lands around the town were cleared by early settlers and slaves making possible large-scale cotton production during the flush times of the 1830s-40s. Local residents brought the railroad through Athens in 1858, connecting the area to markets and establishing the town as a hub of commerce for the surrounding area. Prospering, the town hoped to avoid secession of the state, voting for the Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas in 1860.

Side 2:
As the Civil War approached, many of the town's young men left for distant locales to defend their homes. Athens was seized by the Union Army in May 1862. The resultant destruction of home and businesses by these forces is known as the "Sack of Athens." The town was occupied by the Union Army for most of the war. Athens was home to Gov. George S. Houston, the state's first post- Reconstruction Democratic governor from 1874-1878. The town was also home to Trinity School, founded after the Civil War by the American Missionary Society to educate former slaves. Notable student and former slave Patti Malone became a celebrated mezzo soprano with the Fisk Jubilee Singers. In 1934, Athens was the first town to receive electricity from T.V.A. Although Athens has grown, its citizens continue to celebrate its small-town atmosphere.

Erected 2010 by The Alabama Tourism Department and the City of Athens.

End of Athens, Alabama