Court Square

I don't have a ton of information to add to the text of the historical markers in today's post, but I think it's a pretty interesting look into the founding of Montgomery nonetheless.  Following the end of the Creek War and the ceding of Creek lands to the U.S. government, General John Scott led the first group of settlers to buy land in Montgomery County.  They established Alabama Town about two miles down the Alabama River from present-day downtown Montgomery in 1817.  A few months later, a second group led by Andrew Dexter, Jr. bought another parcel of land to the east of Alabama Town.  The Dexter group named their town New Philadelphia, and it immediately began outpacing Alabama Town.  This prompted the Scott group to relocate closer to New Philadelphia, and start over with East Alabama Town.  

Though the two towns initially saw themselves as rivals, on December 13, 1819 they merged to become Montgomery.  The only lasting evidence of Montgomery's split origin is the orientation of the streets on either side of Court Square, with the New Philadelphia streets running north-south and east-west while the East Alabama Town streets run parallel or perpendicular to the Alabama River.

The first two photographs show Court Square looking north towards the former site of East Alabama Town, both in 1867 and today.  After that you'll see the two sides of the City of Montgomery/Court Square historical marker, along with transcriptions of both sides.  The final photos show a plaque on the ironwork of the fountain, along with a closeup of the fountain itself.

Court Square looking north in 1867, Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama (photo courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives & History)

Court Square looking north, Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama

City of Montgomery historical marker, Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama

City of Montgomery

Two small villages, New Philadelphia, founded by Massachusetts lawyer Andrew Dexter in 1817, and East Alabama, established by Georgians led by John Scott in 1818, united in 1819 to form Montgomery, named for Revolutionary hero Gen. Richard Montgomery. Connecting at Court Square, the two towns’ principal streets were Philadelphia’s Market Street (Dexter Avenue) and East Alabama’s Main Street (Commerce Street). First courthouse stood to west of artesian well which City enlarged in 1850s. Fountain erected in 1885.
— Alabama Historical Association - 1992

Court Square historical marker, Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama

Court Square

Historic hub for business in Montgomery. Exchange Hotel built in 1848 on NW corner of Commerce and Montgomery Streets; rebuilt 1906; demolished 1970s. Cast iron-fronted Central Bank of 1856 on NE corner of square; Winter Building, site of telegraph office in 1861, on SE corner since 1840s. Historic processions passing along Dexter Avenue to the Capitol included Jefferson Davis Inaugural, 2/18/1861; Gen. J.H. Wilson’s Cavalry Corps, 4/12/1865; 167th Infantry Regt. Rainbow Division, 5/12/1919; Selma-Montgomery Civil Rights March, 3/25/1965.
— Alabama Historical Association - 1992

Court Square Fountain plaque, Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama

Court Square Fountain

Placed by City over Artesian Basin and crowned by Hebe, Goddess of Youth and Cup-bearer to the Gods. Fountain was cast by J.L. Mott Iron Works of New York. Restored by Robinson Iron of Alexander City in 1984 during administration of Mayor Emory Folmar.

Court Square Fountain, Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama