A County Older Than the State–Limestone County
Created Feb. 6, 1818 by Alabama Territorial Legislature from lands ceded by Cherokee Nation 1806 and by Chickasaw Nation in 1816. Named for creek (and its limestone bed) which runs through county. Few settlers here until Indian treaties. Athens became county seat in 1818. Limestone was the first Alabama county to be occupied by Federal troops during the Civil War.
[1956. Limestone Co. Courthouse, Athens. 34.80318 N, 86.97191 W]
Alabama Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Founded 1918
Members of the Barbee family donated this plot of land for the purpose of a community school around 1915. Three years later, a storm damaged the building and the school was relocated to nearby Sampson’s Chapel. The Barbee family then deeded the property to the Huntsville Presbytery Colored, whose members repaired the building and established it as the Alabama Fork Colored Presbyterian Church. With a congregation devoted to their Christian faith and civic responsibilities, Alabama Fork served an important community role. The church hosted revivals and ministered to the sick and poor in Limestone County. During the 1950s and 1960s, the church sponsored cultural and community events at nearby Trinity High School, founded in 1865 by the American Missionary Association. Members of Alabama Fork worked throughout the 1970s to construct a new sanctuary, a task they accomplished themselves, debt free, by the end of the decade. Former pastors include John Swoope, Walter Crutcher, Oscar Edmonds, and Anthony Fletcher. The Alabama Synod redrew its district lines in the 1980s, placing Alabama Fork in the Tennessee Valley Presbytery.
[Corner of Alabama Highway 127 and Cross Key Road, Athens]
Albert S. Johnston – MARKER IS MISSING
General, CSA. March 9-20, 1862. In a dash to repel invasion of Mississippi Valley he led Army of Tennessee across the river here. While here he planned campaign for the Battle of Shiloh.
[Before 1965: U.S. Hwy 31]
A liberal arts college. 1822 Athens Female Academy founded by patriotic citizens. 1843 Raised to college level under Methodist patronage. First college building, Founders Hall (1842-3), still used for classes. Unbroken service since 1822.
[1956: U.S. Hwy 31. 34.80643 N, 86.96671 W]
General N. B. Forrest, C.S.A.
North Alabama Raid, September 23-30, 1864. Hemmed in by superior forces Forrest's fast moving cavalry, raided and destroyed Union supply lines and strong points, captured 2,360 men, valuable stores. By swift action, surprise and bluff Forrest disrupted Union military plans from Decatur to Columbia.
[1954: U.S. Hwy 31, 34.67348 N, 86.95008 W]
Oakland United Methodist Church
Generations of African-American families have worshiped here, beginning with services held under a brush arbor prior to the Civil War. In August of 1879, the land for the Oakland Methodist church was deeded to parishioners In a wooden one-room building, they worshiped and operated their own private school, serving the surrounding communities and producing a number of ministers and educators. The Limestone County Board of Education took charge of the school in 1929 until it closed at the end of the 1952 school year. After the original structure was destroyed by a tornado, the Oakland Methodist Episcopal church – which became the Oakland United Methodist Church in 1972 – was rebuilt. Renovations to the structure were completed in 1990.
[2001. 34.65791 W, 86.95009 W]