The city of Anniston, Alabama was the site of one of the most violent incidents of the Civil Rights Era. In 1961, a bus carrying Freedom Riders, a group of civil rights activists, was attacked and set on fire by a mob in Anniston.
Winston County, Alabama, has a rich and complex history dating back to the early 19th century. The county was established on February 12, 1850, and named after John A. Winston, who served as Alabama's governor from 1853 to 1857. However, the area has a Native American presence dating back thousands of years before European settlers arrived.

In the mid-1800s, Winston County became known for its staunch loyalty to the Union during the Civil War. Many residents opposed secession from the United States and formed the "Free State of Winston," declaring their independence from the Confederacy. The county's refusal to support the Confederate cause resulted in its citizens facing persecution and hardships during the war.

After the Civil War, Winston County experienced significant economic growth and development. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century opened doors for trade and commerce, leading to the establishment of businesses and industries. The timber industry flourished, as the county was rich in timber resources, and sawmills and lumberyards became prominent in the region.

In the 20th century, Winston County faced challenges but continued to progress and adapt. The Great Depression brought economic hardships to the county, but farming and mining industries sustained many residents. In recent years, the county has seen growth in various sectors, including healthcare, education, and tourism. The area's natural beauty, with its picturesque lakes and outdoor recreational opportunities, has contributed to the county's appeal as a tourist destination.

Overall, Winston County's history is marked by its defiance during the Civil War, economic development through industries like timber, and its ability to adapt and grow over time. Today, the county's past is honored through museums, historical sites, and a resilient community spirit.

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

  • 1818 - Winston County was established as one of the original 22 counties of Alabama.
  • 1824 - The county seat was established in Houston.
  • 1883 - Double Springs became the new county seat.
  • 1930s - The area saw significant growth in coal mining and timber industries.
  • 1998 - The county was hit hard by tornadoes that caused significant damage.
  • 2010 - The population of Winston County was 24,484.