The Oldest Towns in Alabama Make Excellent Day Trips with Your Family 

The oldest towns in Alabama, where history has been made, are still thriving today.

Some of them are not very big in population, but they make up for that size in history.

Before covering the 12 oldest towns in the state, let’s look at some of the history of Alabama itself.

The First 6 of the Oldest Towns in Alabama

The history of Childersburg singThe History of Childersburg

Alabama became a state of the United States on December 14, 1819, and is quite old itself, as it was the 22nd state.

In antebellum times, (pre-civil war) ,wealthy planters created large cotton plantations based in the fertile central Black Belt of the upland region, which depended very heavily on the slave trade.

Alabama has a very rich history in the civil war, as well as a very rich history Civil rights.

In fact, most people will argue that the state of Alabama was the Civil Rights capital of the country.

Here is the list of the first 6 of the oldest towns in Alabama.

  • Mooresville
  • Childersburg
  • Mobile
  • Florence
  • Columbia
  • Selma


First on the list of the oldest towns in Alabama is the town of Mooresville, which is located on the top center of the state almost on the Tennessee border.

One of the oldest incorporated towns in Alabama; it was incorporated on November 16, 1818, when Alabama was still a territory. 

It was named for some very early settlers, Robert and William Moore who located on land which later became the site of Mooresville.

The 17th President of the United States, Andrew Johnson, lived in Mooresville as a young man, where he was an apprentice tailor.

The union army occupied the town several times during the Civil War and there were a few minor skirmishes in the city.

The entire town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the post office, established in 1840, remains the state’s oldest active post office to this day.


Next on the list of the oldest towns in Alabama is Childersburg, which is on the upper east side of the state.

There have been several successive tribes of indigenous people that have lived in same area of Childersburg for thousands of years.

In the fall of 1540 the Spanish Hernando de Soto expedition rested here for about a month, during its exploration of the Southeast.

The town of Childersburg calls itself the Oldest City in America, as they claim to have a history back to the year 1540.

Downtown Florence AlabamaDowntown Florence


Number three on the list of oldest towns in Alabama is Mobile, located in the left western corner of the state by Louisiana.

Mobile was founded as the capital of colonial French Louisiana in 1702, and it actually remained part of France for over 60 years.

Mobile was first part of the United States in 1813, when it was captured by American forces and added to the Mississippi Territory.

It was later re-zoned and listed as part of Alabama, where it is now one of the largest cities in the state.


Number four of the list of the oldest Alabama towns is Florence.

Florence is the largest and principal city of the Florence-Muscle Shoals area, which includes Muscle Shoals. 

It is considered to be Alabama’s primary northwestern economic hub and has a lot of annual tourism.

This includes the W.C Handy Music Festival in the summer and the Renaissance Faire in the fall.

It was officially incorporated in the year 1826.


Columbia is number 5 on the list and it is located in lower eastern corner of the state.

Founded in 1820, it served as a major trading center for several communities throughout the Wire-grass Region of Alabama, between the years 1822-1833.

Bordering the state of Georgia and the Chattahoochee River, it was once a major port-of-call for the steamboats and was known as “Old Columbia”.

It was also once the largest town in the area and was the center of culture, education, commerce and trade.


Completing the list of the first six of the oldest towns in Alabama is Selma.

Selma is the county seat of Dallas County and sets in the rich Black Belt region of the center west of the state.

Located on the banks of the Alabama River, it was a trading center and market town during the pre-Civil war.

During the war, it was one of the Confederates armament headquarters, as well as one of the most important towns during the Civil rights movement of the 1960’s.

Here is the list of the final 6 of the oldest towns in Alabama.

  • Montgomery
  • Tuscumbia
  • Greenville
  • Athens
  • Tuskegee
  • Daphne


Montgomery leads the list of the final 6 of the oldest towns in Alabama, and it is the state capital.

This historic town sets on banks of the Alabama River as well as the coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico.

It is the second largest city in the state and is rich in history like Selma, for its Civil rights activities in the 1960’s.

This included the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery March.


Tuscumbia is next on the list and is located in the upper western corner of the state.

It is part of the Shoals metropolitan area and is famous as the home of Helen Keller.

It also has had a name change, as it used to be called Big Spring until 1822, when it was changed to Tuscumbia.

City Hall in Athens AlabamaThe City of Athens


Greenville is number 9 on the list and it is located in the lower central part of the state, right above Florida.

It was first settled in the year 1819 and became the country seat in 1822.

Its original name was Buttsville but it was changed to Greenville in remembrance of the town in South Carolina where most of the early settlers left.

It is nicknamed the “Camellia City” and during WWII, it was a satellite camp for German prisoners.


Athens is next on the list of the oldest Alabama cities and is located in the northern top central portion of the state.

Founded in 1818, it was a city one year before Alabama became a state. The town was first called Athenson, but was incorporated as Athens after the ancient Greek city.

During the Civil War, Athens was taken over by the Union Forces


Tuskegee is next and it is located in the central Midwestern part of the state.

It was founded and laid out in 1833 by General Thomas Woodward, an army veteran under Andrew Jackson.

It is famous for the Tuskegee Airmen as well as several important African American historical events.

It is also the home of Tuskegee University.


The final of the oldest towns in Alabama is Daphne, who located by Mobile Bay in the southwestern part of the state.

It is the most populated city in Baldwin County and the actual site where it sets, dates back to around 900 BC and Native American Indian Tribes.

Daphne and its surrounding area became part of the United States in the year 1814.


Related Pages


Athens Alabama is one of the oldest cities in the state, and was founded in the year 1818, one year before the State was admitted to the Union.

Athens Alabama Summer ConcertAthens Alabama Summer Concert

Continue Reading About  Athens


The City of Childersburg Alabama was incorporated in the year 1889, but it has a history that dates back to the year 1540.

The Entrance to ChildersburgThe Entrance to Childersburg

Continue Reading About Childersburg


Columbia Alabama was founded in the year 1820 and is one of the oldest towns in the State.

The Old Columbia JailThe Old Columbia Jail

Continue Reading About Columbia


Daphne Alabama has seen a litany of historical influences that gives it the character that it has today.

The Daphne Alabama City HallThe Daphne Alabama City Hall

Continue Reading About Daphne


Florence Alabama is one of the oldest towns in the state, and it is also one of the most active.

The Bridge in Florence at NightThe Bridge in Florence at Night

Continue Reading About Florence


The town of Mooresville Alabama is the oldest town by date in the entire state and it is also one of the most interesting for one very unusual reason.

The Main Intersection in MooresvilleThe Main Intersection in Mooresville

Continue Reading About Mooresville


Selma Alabama is one of the oldest towns in the state, and it is located in the rich Black Belt region of south-central part of the state.

The Selma to Montgomery MarchThe Selma to Montgomery March

Continue Reading About Selma


The town of Tuscumbia Alabama is one of the oldest in the state and has a rich heritage with Native Americans as well as some Civil War history.

Downtown TuscumbiaDowntown Tuscumbia

Continue Reading About Tuscumbia

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