EARLY HISTORY OF SYLACAUGA,
The first settlers in the
Coosa River Valley were the Creek Indians whose later encounters
with the Spanish and French had a significant influence
on the history of Sylacauga. Events that occurred between
these three groups were partly responsible for the settlement
in 1748 by Shawnee Indians of the village of Chalakagay.
Sylacauga was first mentioned in
Fernando DeSoto's records in 1540. It was later listed in the
French territorial records in 1759 as being a town inhabited by
50 Shawnee Indian Warriors, and the name then known as Chalakagay.
Late in the summer of 1836 all of the Indians remaining in Alabama
were taken west by the United States Government.
The name Sy-la-cau-ga is made up of two Indian words "Chalaka-ge"
which means, "The place of the Chalaka Tribe". The city was first
incorporated in 1838 as Syllacoga and again in 1887 as Sylacauga.
Several important roads traversed
this section as early as the 1830s. Numerous ferries were put
across the rivers. In
1852, a plank road was built from Montgomery, Alabama to Winterboro,
Alabama passing through Sylacauga. The first railroad through
Sylacauga was the Anniston and Atlantic Railroad on December 1,
In 1838, the first Sylacauga Post
Office was established with George Washington Stone, later Chief
Justice Stone of Alabama, as Post Master.
first newspaper, the Sylacauga Argus made its appearance in 1887.
The paper was printed and edited in Calera by H.G. McCall.
Sylacauga's main thoroughfare is
Broadway Avenue. The first building on this street was built in
1890 by the Smith Brothers.
Sylacauga, "The Marble City", is
constructed on a solid deposit of the hardest, whitest marble
in the world. The bed is approximately 32 miles long by one and
one half miles wide and 400 feet deep. Some
of the most beautiful buildings in the country, such as the United
States Supreme Court, the Al Jolson Shrine in California, the
Woolworth building in Houston, Texas and many others have been
constructed and ornamented with Sylacauga marble.
Sylacauga, Alabama is located slightly
to the east of the geographical center of the State of Alabama
in Talladega County. The city is roughly 51 miles southeast of
Birmingham, 63 miles north of Montgomery, and 40 miles southwest
of Anniston, Alabama.