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.
Shown are pictures are the Perine Well that’s located at the park. Edward M. Perine (1809–1905) moved to Cahawba and became a merchant and wealthy plantation owner. In the 1850s, he built a 26-room brick mansion located at the foot of Vine Street. On the grounds of the estate were a conservatory, vineries, and an artesian well. The artesian well was 700-900 feet deep and was the deepest known well in the world at that time. Water from this well was forced through pipes in the Perine mansion making it the first air conditioned home in Alabama.
The Old Cahawba Park is located at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba Rivers approximately six miles southwest of Selma, AL. GPS coordinates for the Old Cahawba Park’s Welcome Center are 32.319528,-87.104472.
Sources: 1) “Perine Well” Marker (located at the well site); 2) Wikipedia (Edward Martineau Perine).