Historic Markers Across Alabama

City of Cordova

Marker ID: ABT 
Location: at the intersection of Mill Street and Main Street, Cordova, AL
County: Walker
Coordinates: N 33° 45.5    W 087° 10.954
  33.75833333    -87.18256666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


Side 1:
Cordova, Alabama, located in Walker County on the Mulberry Fork of the Black Warrior River, was founded in 1859 by Captain Benjamin McFarland Long. He named the town after one in Mexico where he served under Robert E. Lee during the Mexican War (1846-1848). In 1885, Long moved into a residence that had begun construction in 1883. The two-story structure was built in the early Greek Revival-style with Doric columns and four massive chimneys. In 1886, two railroads came to Cordova. They became the present-day Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the Southern. Long was instrumental in bringing the Indian Head Mills to Cordova. Ground was broken for the textile factory in 1896 and the factory opened in 1898. An entire community evolved around the mill, including a ten-room school, library, hotel, and a commissary. One hundred thirty tenements were built for workers. The mill employed more than 800 and operated in three shifts. The closing of the mill in 1962 was devastating to the economy of the area.

Side 2:
Captain Long and his wife Amanda left a final, if indirect, legacy to Cordova in 1912 when their heirs erected Long Memorial Methodist Church in their memory. The church included a square belfry and three stained glass windows with Gothic arches which were imported from Italy. Coal mining has been an integral part of Cordova's history since the early 19th century. Several industries have been located in Cordova, including a brick and clay company, steel plants, Vulcan Asphalt Refining Company, Chicago Bridge and Iron, Birmingham Forest Products, and BAE Systems. In the 1950s, Cordova was known as "The Industrial Heart of Walker County." A Veterans' Memorial stands in the middle of town and is inscribed with names of citizens who perished in service to their country during World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War.

Erected by the Alabama Tourism Department and the City of Cordova
October 2010

End of City of Cordova