Tallassee Alabama - Treasure on the Tallapoosa

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By: Bill Goss, City Historian

This land belonged to the Creek (Muskogee) Indians, who had lived in the Tallassee area for hundreds of years until their removal in 1836. Benjamin Hawkins, Creek Indian Agent for the U.S. Government, visited the Creek Indians in the Tallassee area in 1798. He saw the great falls of the Tallapoosa River. He predicted that because of the river, the falls, and an abundance of rock, elements existed for the building of a large city at the falls.

In less than 50 years his prophecy was fulfilled. No definite date can be given for the founding of Tallassee, but evidence shows that is was in existence in 1835. Prior to 1832, very few families (other than Native Americans) had settled in the Tallassee region. During 1837-1840, groups of settlers came into Central Alabama and the Tallassee area from, Virginia, South Carolina North Carolina and Georgia. During this period a thriving new town was built of native wood and stone on the west bluff of the lower Tallapoosa River. It was called Tallassee.

In 1841, the Tallassee Falls Manufacturing Company was chartered by the Alabama Assembly, at the great falls, to Barent DuBois, the founder of Tallassee, and on the east side of the Tallapoosa River, to Hickerson Burham. Then in 1844, Thomas Meriwether Barnett, the Father of Tallassee, and William M. Marks built Tallassee's first cotton mill. They were responsible for the first industrial development in Tallassee.

During the Civil War, Tallassee became a supply center for the Confederacy. In World War I and World War II, Tallassee supplied the U.S. Government with the heavy duck cloth for tents, sails and cots. Until they closed in 2005, the Tallassee Mills were the oldest continuous operating textile mills in the united States, providing 161 of service.

On January 21, 1908, Tallassee was incorporated.

 

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