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History:

The Town of Blakeley


House of Two Cities
Circa 1820

The Town of Blakeley is the oldest continuous town in Baldwin County and one of the oldest towns in the State of Alabama. Chartered in 1814 by the Mississippi Territory; re-chartered in 1818 by the Alabama Territory; and, chartered once more by the State of Alabama in approximately 1820… this municipality is still in existence today. Blakeley reached its zenith in the 1820’s when its population hovered around 4,000, larger than its competitor city of Mobile across the bay. There were hotels, stores, churches, blacksmith shops, majestic homes, and the first Courthouse of present day Baldwin County settled beautifully down by the Tensaw River…..a bustling seaport town.

Today, the land has been reclaimed by nature. Not a brick, nor plank of wood remains. Not a sign of human habitation. 400 year old oak trees grace the boulevards that used to be. The horned owl hoots through the silence. There is nothing there to indicate that Blakeley was once a major player on the Alabama scene. It is considered by many to be “the South’s loveliest ghost town.”

Settled by Josiah Blakeley and others from New England in 1814, the streets and lots were laid out in such fashion with avenues named after Presidents and streets named fruit trees. The Blakeley Sun, published and printed down in the town, was one of Alabama’s earliest newspapers. Blakeley was a prosperous and thriving entity. However, as often happens, the tide turned and by 1830 Blakeley’s physical status began to ebb. Yellow fever epidemics and rampant land speculation turned the population movement towards Mobile.

With less than one hundred inhabitants Blakeley slowly began to die out. She was temporarily resurrected again during the Civil War years and was transformed into Fort Blakely (spelled this way during the Civil War years) housing an army camp of upwards to 4,000 soldiers. Her last day of the war saw a contingent of 20,000 men fighting the last major battle of the War Between the States. After 1865 Blakeley was no more. The land stood idle for better than 100 years until Historic Blakeley State Park was created in 1981.

In 1995 Blakeley was added to the Civil War Discovery Trail that links more than 300 sites in 16 states to inspire and to teach the story of the Civil War and its haunting impact on America.


Largest National Historic Register Site east of the Mississippi River

Come walk in time through Blakeley by the Tensaw . . .

Nowhere on this Gulf Coast can you descend from the last Appalachian Hill into a massive National Historic Register Site. The view gradually plunging down to the mossy banks of the Tensaw River is breathtaking . . . truly a photographer's haven.

  • Largest National Historic Register Site east of the Mississippi River - encompassing 3800 acres nestled beside the Tensaw River.
  • Abounds with Prehistoric Indian mounds
  • Last major battle of the Civil War fought here at Fort Blakeley (5 1/2 miles of unspoiled breastworks where 26,000 soldiers met)
  • 10.5 miles of magnificent nature trails, bicycle and horse paths
  • The South's most beautiful Ghost Town - 1814 City of Blakeley