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The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, which was the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in combat, was built in Mobile, Alabama in 1863.
Etowah County, Alabama has a rich and complex history dating back thousands of years. The land that is now Etowah County was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Creek and Cherokee. These tribes left behind evidence of their presence through artifacts and ancient mounds found in the area. The most famous of these mounds is the Etowah Indian Mounds, which served as a ceremonial and political center for the Native American people.

The arrival of European settlers in the 18th century marked a significant turning point for Etowah County. In the early 1800s, Fort Armstrong was established in what is now Gadsden, Alabama, providing protection and security for settlers moving into the area. It wasn't until 1866, following the end of the Civil War, that Etowah County was officially created.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries were defined by industrial development and growth in the county. The construction of railroads, such as the Alabama and Tennessee River Railroad, played a crucial role in connecting Etowah County to other areas and facilitating economic progress. The discovery of iron ore deposits in the county led to the establishment of the Alabama City Iron Works, which became one of the largest companies in the region. The city of Gadsden also experienced rapid expansion and urbanization during this period, becoming a hub for manufacturing and trade.

Throughout its history, Etowah County has faced challenges and undergone various transformations. The county has witnessed significant growth, economic development, and cultural changes. Today, Etowah County continues to thrive as a vibrant community that celebrates its cultural heritage while embracing the opportunities and challenges of the modern world.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Etowah County, Alabama.

  • 1818 - Etowah County is established as the 56th county in the state of Alabama.
  • 1821 - The town of Gadsden is founded as the county seat.
  • 1841 - Cherokee Indian Removal takes place, resulting in the forced displacement of Native American tribes from the area.
  • 1861-1865 - Etowah County contributes soldiers to the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.
  • 1867 - Etowah County's first courthouse is built.
  • 1870 - The railroad arrives in Gadsden, boosting economic growth and industrial development.
  • 1920s - Gadsden becomes a center for the textile industry, with several mills being established.
  • 1933 - Construction of Noccalula Falls Park begins, a scenic attraction that still draws visitors today.
  • 1973 - Etowah County Courthouse is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1999 - Downtown Gadsden undergoes revitalization efforts to attract businesses and tourists.