The city of Mobile, Alabama is home to the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States. The first Mardi Gras parade in Mobile took place in 1703, just one year after the city was founded by the French.
Shelby County, Alabama, has a rich history that dates back to its initial settlement in the early 1800s. Named after Isaac Shelby, the first governor of Kentucky and a hero of the American Revolution, the county was officially established in February 1818. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Creek and Cherokee, but was opened up for settlement after the Creek War of 1813-1814.

The county's economy was primarily agricultural, with cotton being the dominant crop. As the population grew, small towns and crossroads communities emerged throughout the area. The town of Columbiana was designated as the county seat in 1826, and it continues to serve as the center of government and commerce to this day.

Shelby County experienced significant growth in the late 19th century with the arrival of the railroad. Rail lines connected the county to Birmingham, allowing for easier transportation of goods and increasing economic opportunities. The county saw the establishment of numerous industries, including iron ore mining, limestone quarrying, and the manufacturing of iron and steel products.

The 20th century brought further development to Shelby County, particularly with the construction of highways and an increased focus on education. The county's education system expanded, and several schools and colleges were established. Agriculture remained important, but new industries such as banking, healthcare, and retail began to thrive.

Today, Shelby County is one of Alabama's fastest-growing counties. It is known for its high standard of living, strong school systems, and beautiful natural surroundings. The area's rich history is preserved through historical sites, museums, and events that celebrate the community's heritage.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Shelby County, Alabama.

  • 1818 - Shelby County is formed as part of the Alabama Territory.
  • 1820 - The county seat is established in Shelbyville, later renamed to Columbiana.
  • 1837 - The Alabama and Tennessee River Railroad is completed, boosting economic growth in the county.
  • 1861-1865 - Shelby County actively participates in the American Civil War.
  • 1870s - Agriculture becomes the primary industry in the county with the cultivation of cotton and other crops.
  • 1902 - Montevallo becomes the headquarters for the Alabama Girls Industrial School, now known as the University of Montevallo.
  • 1940s-1950s - Shelby County experiences a surge in population growth due to industrial development and suburbanization.
  • 1975 - Oak Mountain State Park is established, becoming a popular recreational area in the county.
  • 2000s - Shelby County becomes one of the fastest-growing counties in Alabama, attracting new residents and businesses.