Cahawba, also spelled Cahaba, was Alabama’s first state capital (1820-1826). It became a ghost town shortly after the Civil War. Today, the old Cahawba site is an interpretative park that’s operated by the Alabama Historical Commission. Visitors to the park have the opportunity to explore a landscape of ruins and relics, chimneys and gravestones, ornamental well heads and columns.
The brick columns that are shown are all that remain of the Crochman mansion that was at Cahawba. Around 1837, Richard Conner Crocheron from Staten Island New York, came to Cahawba to help run a family business. He build a huge brick home that featured massive columns on the front and a side portico. The back wall of the house adjoined a brick store that his uncles had built twenty years earlier. After completing his home, Crocheron traveled North in 1843 for his Philadelphia bride.
The Crocheron family owned a line of ocean-going steamers. Richard Conner and his family would return north each summer to escape the Southern heat. Following the death his wife in 1850, Crocheron sold his property at Cahawba, and returned to New York with his three small children.
Following the decline of Cahawba, the Cocheran home fell into disrepair. It burned around the turn of the century. All that remains of this mansion today are the brick columns that are shown. They were part of the side portico on the house.
If you visit Old Cahawba, be sure to start at the Welcome Center. Exhibits are displayed that feature archaeological finds and photographs of the homes and businesses that once were located in Old Cahawba. You will be provided with instructions for the routes to take to get the most out of your visit.
Click here for additional details about the Old Cahawba Park.