Why "Goat Hill"?

Because it's a cool name, next question ... ok, it is a cool name, but I didn't pull it out of thin air.  It's time for a history lesson.

The Alabama Territory was split off from the larger Mississippi Territory in 1817.  The territorial capital was placed in St. Stephens, a town that doesn't even exist anymore.  Two years later, Montgomery was officially incorporated, and about two weeks after that Alabama became the 22nd state.  Huntsville was the first state capital during the constitutional convention, but one of Montgomery's founders had a vision of his centrally located town as the ideal capital location, so he set aside a piece of prime real estate.  A year later the new legislature chose Cahawba as the "permanent" state capital, but the founder was hopeful, so he kept the prominent hill empty, and left it to his goats.  Following catastrophic floods in 1825, Cahawba was devastated and the capital was moved ... to Tuscaloosa.  

Many, many goats lived and died on that hill, but Montgomery was patient.  Finally, in 1846 the good people of Alabama saw reason, Montgomery was announced as the new state capital, and preparations were made to turn Goat Hill into Capitol Hill.  Luckily for us, that's a boring name, and so through the years locals have held on to the original.  There's even a store inside the capitol building that retains the Goat Hill moniker.

Goat Hill Museum Store, inside the Alabama State Capitol building

Goat Hill is a great, evocative name, and I couldn't think of anything better to use for this website.  I went downtown to get some photos of the site that really show off the hill, and hopefully give you an idea of what it might have looked like back in 1845 when the goats were served their eviction papers.

Alabama State Capitol, looking uphill and east from the Court Square Fountain

Alabama State Capitol, looking up from the base of the steps

Grounds of the Alabama State Capitol, from the north

So, now you know where the name Goat Hill comes from, and you've seen that it really is a pretty decently sized hill.  A lot has happened around that hill, both before the big white building was put there, and since.  Montgomery really was the most logical choice for a state capital.  It's almost smack dab in the middle of the state.  It's on the banks of one of the major rivers.  The old Federal Road went right through town ... but now I'm getting ahead of myself, those are all stories for later.  Once again, welcome to Goat Hill History, hope to see you again in the future.