The City of Childersburg Alabama was incorporated in the year 1889, but it has a history that dates back to the year 1540.
So according, it should be proclaimed the Oldest continually occupied city in America, beating out St. Augustine Florida, by 25 years.
Located in Talladega County, it is 36 miles southeast of Birmingham and is 78 miles north of Montgomery.
Even though the town was incorporated in the year 1889, the actual city’s beginnings date back to Cosa, which was a small village of The Coosa Indian Nation.
The village was located in the same area.
In June of 1539, Hernando DeSoto, who at the time was the Governor of Cuba, began his march across the Southeastern United States along with 600 men.
Traveling from the west coast of Florida, they crossed though the states of Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee, before arriving in Alabama.
The main search goal was simple; to find gold and other riches.
However, their travel to Alabama was a lot more difficult and dangerous they originally thought it would be.
After seven days of very slow marching that took them down the banks of the Tennessee River, they entered into the town of Coste on July 2, 1540.
On July 16, they finally reached the great empire of the Coosa Indians, and then they arrived in the town of Cocoa Coosa.
Cocoa Coosa was located on the east bank of the river, and it was between two creeks, in what is known today as Talladega and Tallaseehatchee.
When they arrived, much to their surprise, they were greeted very friendly by the Chief of the Coosa’s.
The Chief was only 26 years old at the time, and Desoto’s men spent about a month enjoying the hostility of the tribe.
In fact, they were so hospitable, that they offered the DeSoto a section of land to establish a Spanish colony.
However, understanding some of Indian etiquette, he found several ways to decline the offer, and they left the Coosa area in August of 1540.
The report of the account of the DeSoto mission by the United States DeSoto Expedition Commission, gives some telling evidence.
The Commission clearly states Desoto’s traveled through Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee, before arriving in Alabama.
It also states without revocable evidence, that the site of the Cocos was indeed the current sit of the town of Childersburg.
In fact, Dr. Walter B. Jones, who was the Secretary of the Commission and a famous Alabama geologist, has written many articles proclaiming the site to be the exact same as the current town of Childersburg.
Over the next two hundred years, there have been numerous parties that have penetrated the same area.
This includes conquistadors, traders, explorers, as well as pioneer settlers.
On each occasion, the site has been the same; the site of the current town of Childersburg.
The area that was so rich in its original Indian folklore is also rich in both culture and tradition of the white European settlers.
The United States Army Ammunition Plant, better known as a munitions plant, was established in the town of Childersburg in 1941.
It operated in the town throughout all of World War II, up until August of 1945.
It was operated by DuPont and produced explosives.
However, the plant also produced what was known as “heavy water”, to support the secretive Manhattan Project.
It greatly enhanced the population of Childersburg, as at the time, over 14,000 men built and then operated the plant.
There are several very nice places to visit near the town of Childersburg either as a vacation, or as one of the Alabama backroads day trips.
They include the following.
Childersburg is well known as one of the best fishing spots in the entire south, not only for the lakes, but also because of the Coosa River.
DeSoto Caverns are also very interesting, as they are the first discovered caves in the United States.
The onyx formations found in these caverns are among the largest in the country, at over 30 feet long.
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