Latitude / Longitude:
32°19′01″N 87°06′05″W / 32.31694°N 87.10139°W / 32.31694 -87.10139
Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Cahaba, also spelled Cahawba, was the first permanent state capital of Alabama from 1820 to 1825, and county seat of Dallas County, Alabama until 1866. It suffered a major flood in 1865 and the state legislature moved the county seat to Selma, which was better situated.
The former settlement is now a ghost town and state historic site. The site is located southwest of Selma, at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba rivers, which made it prone to seasonal flooding.
Cahaba’s low elevation at the confluence of two large rivers resulted in seasonal flooding and a reputation for having an unhealthy atmosphere. A major flood struck the town in 1825, causing a portion of the statehouse to collapse. People who were opposed to the capital’s location at Cahaba used this as an argument for moving the capital to Tuscaloosa, which was approved by the legislature in January 1826.
Although the area is no longer inhabited, the Alabama Historical Commission maintains Cahaba as a state historic site and as an important archaeological site. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Visitors to this park can still see many of the abandoned streets, cemeteries, and ruins of this former state capital and county seat.
First capital of Alabama, from 1820-1826