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History

History

About 10,000 years ago, Native Americans were the first inhabitants of Baldwin County. Even today their impression on the area remains in the form of burial and residential mounds that can be seen along the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and other locales.

The Spanish made appearances throughout the 1500s and spent some time in what is now the town of Spanish Fort. French settlers arrived in Baldwin County and had a definite impact. These new residents influenced the culture and environment, which are still evident today. The French and Indian War was the catalyst that gave ownership of the county over to British control. The forming of the county began in 1809. It was named after Georgia resident Abraham Baldwin. He proved to have a great influence on the State of Georgia, serving as a governmental figure. Baldwin was also a participant in the Constitutional Convention and even signed the United States Constitution. Alabama did not become a state until 10 years later in 1819.

Bay Minette became the county seat in a very roundabout fashion. Originally, the Baldwin County seat was the town of McIntosh Bluff; however, it changed several times before remaining at the current location of Bay Minette. When it was time to officially name Bay Minette the county seat, the city of Daphne that held ownership of the title did not want to relinquish it. So Bay Minette residents took it upon themselves to remedy the situation. In the middle of the night they created a tactical diversion to snatch Baldwin County courthouse records and move them to Bay Minette. This sly act transferred the designation of county seat to Bay Minette, which still stands today.

Bay Minette

Baldwin County has played an important role, not only in the state’s history, but also in the nation’s history. Many famous battles were fought here, highlighting integral figures in U.S. history. Andrew Jackson fought the Creek Indians and banished them to the Trail of Tears for the massacre they carried out at Fort Mims. The War of 1812 brought upon many conflicts. Alabama joined the American Revolution forcing the state out of British control and into statehood.

The Civil War brought more battles to the county, this time between the states. The northern states and southern states fought each other from 1861 until 1865. Baldwin County was the site of the infamous 1864 battle of Fort Morgan (originally named Fort Bowyer). Several other altercations transpired in the northern region of the county and in Spanish Fort. Thousands of soldiers fell at Fort Blakely in 1865.

After things settled down in Baldwin County, immigrants began to arrive from all over the world, establishing themselves in various communities. Other cultural groups have made a home in Baldwin County over the past century and more are sure to come in the future, as it is one of the fastest-growing counties in the state. In the past 20 years the population has swelled from just over 98,000 to a total of about 172,000 people.

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