Historic Markers Across Alabama

Fort Henderson / Trinity School - 1865-1970

Marker ID:  
Location: on Browns Ferry Street (County Road 29) west of Allyn Street, Athens, Alabama
County: Limestone
Coordinates: N 34° 47.841    W 086° 58.761
  34.79735    -86.97935
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


Fort Henderson

Built on this site in 1863 by federal forces occupying Athens. It was a five-sided earthen fort with some frame buildings and underground bomb-proofs. Abatis lined the fifteen-foot deep perimeter ditch, a small portion of which is still visible. On September 24, 1864 after a brief fight and a clever ruse orchestrated by Confederate General Nathan B. Forrest, the fort and its 900 man garrison of mostly the 110th U.S. colored infantry were surrendered. After moving the prisoners and captured supplies South, Forrest's campaign followed the railroad North to the Union fort at Sulphur Creek Trestle which he took the following day. Federals re-occupied Athens shortly after Forrest's departure.

Trinity School

Established by the American Missionary Association of New York in 1865, Trinity was one of many schools set up in the South to educate the children of freed slaves. Originally located east of the railroad, it was moved here, to the site of Ft. Henderson in 1907. It was re-built several times; having burned twice in the first location and once here. Through the dedication of its principals and teachers, Trinity School achieved accreditation, and a tradition of educational excellence during its existence. Numbered among its graduates are authors, artists, teachers, judges and Patti Malone, of the Fisk University Jubilee Singers. Trinity Congregational Church (founded 1871) has long been the spiritual partner to the school.

Erected 2002 by Limestone Co. Historical Society & Athens-Limestone Tourism Council.

End of Fort Henderson / Trinity School - 1865-1970