History of Woodville
Woodville is the oldest town in Jackson County, created one day before Alabama became a state. Originally the County Seat from 1821-1825, a survey indicated it did not possess the territory required by the constitution to maintain its original formation. However, this part of the state was not surveyed until 1822 and during this time there were many white families living among the Indians.
Life for the early settlers was not easy. Most built two room cabins near a spring of water. Tallow candles, pine knots, and a thread wick placed in a pan of grease proved the only light. If fires went out they had to travel to a neighbor’s house to obtain some coals of fire. No matches and access to pots and pans were very few. Food was preserved using beeswax to seal jars, diets were simple and all members of one family used the same gourd dipper to drink from.
The settlers were not content with only farming and timer work; but were visionary and an active part of the community. Soon there were blacksmith shops, sawmills, carpentry shops, grist mills and general stores. The first was owned and operated by Alfred Moore, where stick candy was the only kind sold.
The first major change in Woodville came in 1850, when the Memphis and Charleston railway was chartered, surveyed and began work to run through the town. The people of Woodville, using wise foresight, took great interest in the railroad and bought shares for $25 each, totaling $100,000. One of the four depots built in the area was located in Woodville, which was a boost to the economy and added to the social life by quickly becoming a prominent gathering place.
Woodville was incorporated in 1880 and continued to maintain a strong quality of life, then in 1973 they were presented with another challenge. With the development of HWY 72, only ¾ miles away, citizens had concern that the bypass would bring change to the flow that create a vibrant community. Facing the obstacle, there was a steadfast determination about the people of Woodville, who had grown together as a small community since 1815. Local residents continually strive to keep the town strong to this day.
The Bob Jones Community Center, located on Venson Street, is designated as a Historic Site. Constructed in 1913, it was general merchandise store until closing in the 1970’s. Former U.S. Congressman, Bob Jones, purchased the building as a place to store his memorabilia, then donated the building to the Town of Woodville when it was then restored to much of its original charm.
Located in front of the Hodges Barber Shop is the Old Town Well, where water was obtained in the early days, both by hoses waiting on their owners while visiting town and local residents.
The Woodville Methodist Church was originally constructed in 1912 with Gothic architectural influence. The Church conducted services for 125 years before closing its doors in 1996. It’s now owned by the Town of Woodville and is a perfect place to hold a wedding or family gathering.
The Hallelujah Trail
The North Alabama Hallelujah Trail features 32 churches that are at least 100 years old, stand on their original sites, still hold services, and are accessible to the public.
Located at 106 Pear Street in Woodville Alabama, this Methodist Chapel remains the oldest church in the area. The original foundation was built in 1871 and used by other denominations since it was the only church in the area for quite some time.
Cathedral Caverns is an Alabama State Park located at 637 Cave Road in Woodville, Alabama. Straddling two county lines, the cave originally opened in 1950 and is known for its large stalagmite forest.
Stephens Gap is one of the most beloved caves in the Southeast. The view of the 143-ft pit from the walk-in passage is one of the most photographed wild cave scenes in North America. Located in the heart of Jackson County, AL, Stephens Gap is a protected cave and requires a permit to access from the Southeastern Cave Conservancy.
With more caves per square foot than any other county in the North America, Jackson County has quite a bit for adventure seekers to see and do.
Located in Jackson County, where visitors are surrounded by 1,124 square miles of natural beauty among the Appalachian Mountains and the 69,000 acre Guntersville Lake. It’s our mountain lakes beauty that affords year round outdoor activities.
Download the All-trails App to explore the most popular hikes near Woodville using hand-curated trail maps, driving directions and detailed reviews from adventure seekers just like you.