, 2022-10-17 16:07:34,
Ghost towns are relics of our past. Once towns booming with activity and commerce, now a piece of history fading from memory. These towns have long been deserted, some being reclaimed by nature, others brought back to life by nearby towns and cities as historic sites.
Despite what some may think, ghost towns are not necessarily haunted. Now don’t get me wrong — some can be spooky and creepy, and yes, paranormal activity has been reported in a few. But for the most part, ghost towns are simply a fascinating look back at a period of time long ago.
Let’s meander down the once vibrant but long-since silenced streets of five historic Alabama ghost towns and bring their history back to life.
Mobile, Alabama, was founded in 1702 along the banks of the Mobile River and Mobile Bay. Throughout the early 1800s, the city was a successful seaport, but it had one problem: The ship channel from the Gulf of Mexico to the settlement was shallow.
Enter Josiah Blakeley, who saw his chance to make a fortune. He found that the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, in what would later become Spanish Fort, had a much deeper channel. In 1814, the town of Blakeley was chartered.
The town quickly grew in stature and prominence and actually challenged its cross-bay rival, Mobile, as a ship building and exporting town.
But just as quickly, the town fell victim to its own design. It was built along a swampy area of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, the second largest such delta in the country. As a result, mosquitoes brought a silent end to the town: yellow fever. The epidemic rampaged through the town. Hundreds of citizens died while hundreds more fled for their lives, and by 1830, the town was left abandoned to be reclaimed by nature.
Thirty-five years later, the site of the old town saw the last major battle of the Civil War take place, but after that, the area was lost again until 1974, when the area was established as Historic Blakeley State Park.
Today, visitors to the park can experience the battlefield, walk the long, deserted main street of the town, view the remains of the old town courthouse, and stroll the E.O. Wilson Boardwalk for incredible views of the birds and wildlife on the delta.
Be sure to visit the park’s website for details about historical events at Blakeley as well as…
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