Alabama was the first state in the United States to declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1836.
Washington County, Alabama, holds a rich and diverse history that dates back centuries. The region was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Choctaw and Creek, before European settlement. In the late 18th century, Spanish explorers made their way into the area, leaving their mark on the region's culture and architecture. This eventually led to the establishment of Washington County in 1800, making it one of the oldest counties in Alabama.

During the 19th century, Washington County played a significant role in Alabama's history. The county was a major producer of cotton, which fueled its economy and led to an increase in the number of plantations and slaves in the area. The county also played a role in the Civil War, with its residents being divided in their loyalty to the Union and the Confederacy.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Washington County saw the rise of the timber industry. Lumber mills were established, and the once-abundant forests of the area were harvested for their valuable timber. This industry brought economic prosperity to the county, but also led to environmental changes and challenges.

Today, Washington County is a rural area with a strong sense of community and a preservation of its historical heritage. The county boasts several historic sites and landmarks, including the Washington County Courthouse and the St. Stephens Historical Park. Agriculture and forestry continue to be important industries in the area, with a growing emphasis on tourism and conservation. Washington County remains a place where the past and the present intertwine, preserving its history while looking toward a sustainable future.

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

  • 1800: Washington County, Alabama is established as one of the original counties of the Mississippi Territory.
  • 1825: The county seat is established in St. Stephens, which was the territorial capital at the time.
  • 1828: The county seat is moved to its current location in Chatom.
  • 1841: A new courthouse is built in Chatom to accommodate the growing population.
  • 1861-1865: Washington County, like the rest of Alabama, is heavily involved in the American Civil War.
  • 1897: The county's first railroad, the Mobile, Jackson and Kansas City Railroad, is completed.
  • 1930s: Washington County experiences economic growth due to the timber industry.
  • 1966: The county courthouse in Chatom is destroyed by fire, but is later rebuilt.
  • 1986: Washington County celebrates its bicentennial anniversary.