Historic Markers Across Alabama

Original Village of North Port / Northport's Cotton Industry

Marker ID: ABT 
County: Tuscaloosa
Waymark: None


Original Village of North Port

This area was home to the Creek and the Choctaw Indian tribes. At that time, the area was a dense canebrake, near the falls of the river, and considered neutral ground. The tribes became hostile and, on this site in 1785, a fierce, two day battle was fought.

Three decades later, in 1816, settlers began arriving to the area. The construction of Alabama's first public road, Byler Road, began in the 1820s providing much needed access to Northwest Alabama.

Originally named"Kentuck,” this settlement consisted of several stores, houses, cotton warehouses, and a tavern-hotel. It would later be called"North Port” because it was located at the farthest point of navigation on the north side of the Black Warrior River.

In the 1830's, due to periodic flooding of the river, the buildings were relocated to their present day location, with the exception of the cotton warehouses which were to remain along the riverbank.

Northport's Cotton Industry

In 19th century Northport, the land was fertile, cotton was king and the riverbank was a hub for commerce and activity. Warehouses were built for cotton storage as early as 1824 near this site along the banks of the Black Warrior River. The cotton, which had been transported along Byler Road, was loaded on to steamships bound for markets all over the world. The docks and boat landings were located on the river's margin where the water level was high enough to safely accommodate steamships.

In 1897, when the M & O train trestle was built, the cotton warehouse was relocated to a parcel of land east of the trestle. A cotton gin was installed at the turn of the 20th Century, to further expand the business of cotton. On March 21, 1932, a tornado destroyed the cotton warehouse and gin, they were rebuilt soon after, and remained operational until the 1970's. The gin structures were removed in 2006, to make way for future development of the riverfront.

End of Original Village of North Port / Northport's Cotton Industry