The character of a Southern town’s heritage is captured in the historic district of Courtland, Alabama. Just a short jaunt off a major highway, Courtland offers a trip through the history of a nineteenth century town. Reflecting the town’s beginning as a local trade center rooted in the surrounding plantation economy are more than 100 homes, buildings, and sites dating from circa 1820 to circa 1938.
Courtland was named to the National Register of Historic Places for its 1818 development of the early town plan built with an unusually large concentration of significant buildings. Built on a site that was formerly an Indian Village on Big Nance Creek, Courtland’s location was chosen by planters from Virginia and the Carolinas who saw great potential in the fertile cotton land combined with market access to New Orleans by way of the Tennessee River. Even in the initial design, the developers of Courtland planned for their town’s future and included a main square for the county courthouse had Courtland become the county seat.
Based on these early roots, Courtland is one of the few places in Alabama where one can visit and experience architectural styles spanning nearly 175 years of history. Federal period architecture of the first 60 years of Courtland’s development reflects the town’s early ties to the influence and traditions of Virginia and the upper South. The late 1800 and early 1900 homes reflect Victorian, Colonial Revival, and bungalow styles ranging from large multi-story homes with wide sweeping verandas to cottage style dwellings.
We invite you to enjoy Courtland as you
discover places of history and a sense of the past.
Scroll below to see just a few of the beautiful, historic homes in Courtland.
A public gathering place for 175 years, the town square was set aside in 1818 for a courthouse which was never built. Just south of the square runs the routes of one of the earlies railroads west of the Appalachians – The Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur Railroad, later to become part of the Memphis & Charleston Line. It is also the site from which the “Red Rovers” left. To the northwest of the square on Alabama Street stands the former Sherrod Hotel (1935), refurbished in the late 1980s as offices. Just south of the square on Alabama Street is the old town firehouse built around 1930.
Click below to take a virtual tour of the town square
to learn more about the history of Courtland
Click below to take a virtual tour of the town square to learn more about the history of Courtland
The frame two-story house has an irregular one-story rear wing and a wraparound single-story neoclassical porch. Typical of the larger early 20th- century Courtland homes, is a semi-detached single-story hipped-roof kitchen.
Originally a story and-a-half brick Williamsburg cottage, this house was extensively remodeled and enlarged to its present appearance just after World War I. From about 1829 to 1840, it was the home of U.S. Senator David Hubbard (1792-1874), a distinguished Alabama lawyer and fiery Secessionist at the time of the Civil War. The old frame service building on the east side of the house, perhaps a kitchen or slave quarters originally, retains some interesting early woodwork inside.
Built originally as log “dogtrots”, these nearly identical dwellings were remodeled as one-story Greek Revival style cottages c. 1850. An interesting feature is the mounting block near the sidewalk in the front of the house on the west side.
This is one of the earliest brick houses in Alabama. THe most striking feature of this dignified two-story Federal house is an elaborate molded brick cornice which runs beneath the front eaves. Although found frequently in the Valley of Virginia, this feature rarely occurred in Alabama during this time period. The present porch and a number of other features date from the early 1900s. Mr. and Mrs. Prestiss Norton refurbished the house during the 1980s.