The Town of Blakeley
House of Two
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
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.