The town site of Old St. Stephens is one of the most important historical and archaelogical sites in Alabama. During a brief three decades, beginning in the 1790s to its decline in the 1820s, St. Stephens was the site of a Spanish fort, an American fort and trading post, and the Alabama Territorial capital.
Today, a walk through Old St. Stephens is quiet. There are no bustling residents or busy streets. Glimpses of the past are available as you stroll the path that is outlined as "High Street". Foundations of building are visible, and there are informational signs that share highlights of the history of the area.
Old St. Stephens has been a working archaeological site for over three decades. Important artifacts have been discovered and are preserved at the University of South Alabama waiting to be returned to St. Stephens when the Museum renovations are complete.
"The town of St. Stephens, at the head of ship navigation of the Tombigbee, is advancing with a rapidity beyond that of any place, perhaps in the western country. It has at this moment at least thirty new houses commended; many of them would vie with those generally built in the United States. It has an academy...with two teachers and sixty or seventy students. The annual amount of merchandise, brought and vended at this place, is not less than five hundred thousand dollars, and is still increasing. -Alabama Republican (Huntsville) Sept. 30, 1817
St. Stephens Historical Park
A Legend. A Destination. a piece of paradise.
Search online for excerpts from the diary of Miss Mary Welsh who spent her childhood in St. Stephens in the 1820s and early 1830s.
Old St. Stephens - Where Alabama Began