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History of Magnolia Springs AL


Magnolia Springs AL – A Charming Locale

Tucked into a bend of the sinuous Magnolia River, the city of Magnolia Springs dates back to an 1800 Spanish land grant.  After the Civil War, it became a spot where soldiers who fought in the area brought their families to enjoy the scenic beauty.  Many people from New England states joined with native Alabamians to build homes along the tranquil watercourse.

Around 1900, several chemical firms in the Chicago began testing water samples throughout the land, and they declared the water gurgling from the many springs in the area to be the purest in the world.  The area still contains an abundance of both springs and flowering Magnolia trees.  Immense oaks line many of the streets along with a wide variety of camellias.  During spring, the city is filled with flowering plants such as wisteria, azalea, and of course magnolias.

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The Magnolia River is not only essential to the community, but to the postal service as well.  It has the only postal river delivery system found within theU.S.  The shorelines are graced with well crafted boathouses, and the banks are rife with wildlife as many species of water fowl fly overhead.  Paddle wheel steamers used to course up and down this waterway transporting both passengers and cargo.

The city seeks to maintain the tradition of “Southern hospitality,” and visitors are charmed by the narrow tree lined streets bordered by well tended gardens and gracious homes.

Once a Center for Turpentine

The waters gushing forth from Magnolia Springs AL comprise the headwaters for the Magnolia River.  The abundant pine forests in the region provided a base for a thriving industry in the production of turpentine. The owners of the stills producing this material burned them down in 1865 to prevent them from being taken over by Union forces towards the close of the Civil War.

Magnolia Springs contains a number of structures that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Despite its lengthy history, the city did not incorporate until 2006.  The citizens then set about to get the state to declare the Magnolia River an Outstanding Alabama Water.  This provides the highest level of protection possible.  The city also established itself as a bird sanctuary. Plans are underway to refurbish parks within the community.

Magnolia Springs is located in the southern portion of Baldwin County, Alabama.  It is considered a focal point for Creole culture that developed from the racial mixing of early French settlers with Native Americans and slaves.  They suffered for many years from discriminatory practices by the dominant white elites.  Many of the Creoles moved into the area as their community in Mobile began to disintegrate in the 19th Century,

The city council originally served without pay, but in 2008, they were granted a $100 monthly stipend.  Previous measures to award the mayor a small salary failed to pass a vote by council members.  The city does not have its own police force.  It contracts with Baldwin County for such services from the Sheriff’s Department.