THOMASVILLE’S EARLY HISTORY Historical Marker at Thomasville, AL

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This historical marker is located on the south side of Wilson Street, between West Front Street and the railroad tracks, in downtown Thomasville (GPS coordinates 31.913260, -87.735270). It was erected in October 2010 by the Alabama Tourism Department and the City of Thomasville. Below is the text on the marker:
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In the summer of 1887, a notice was published confirming that the route for the Mobile and West Alabama Railroad would be the Choctaw Corner route. Soon the sounds of building could be heard over the swamp that was the headwaters of the Bassett Creek. A new town was under construction to be named Thomasville in honor of General Samuel Thomas, president of the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad Company. The town grew rapidly and soon became the hub of commercial activity for this area. Lumber, timbers, forest products and hundreds of bales of cotton were being shipped by rail each year. As commerce grew, so did the residential area. Many families moved to the new bustling town and soon schools and places of worship were built.

This growth, however, was halted in the summer of 1889, when an epidemic almost depopulated Thomasville. Many families moved away from town and businesses temporarily closed. This epidemic is now referred to as the “Thomasville Fever.” When the epidemic had passed, the town quickly resumed its growth. In 1899, tragedy struck again. Fire destroyed the entire business section of town. In all, 23 wooden structures, a hotel, 700 bales of cotton, and one residence were wiped out. The town passed an ordinance requiring that all buildings in the business section be brick. Soon the town was rebuilt and much of the downtown section stands as rebuilt.

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