Train Mural (Early Commerce)

SIZE
222' Long by 34' High (East) & 24' High (West)

COMPLETION DATE
N/A

ARTIST NAME
Wes Hardin

TALKING POINTS

  • In 1888, the officials of the Alabama Midlands Railroad planned to extend their line north to Montgomery via Columbia. But Columbia would not pay the necessary $50,000.
  • Dothan, though only a town of 240 residents, raised $45,500 and pledged the rest if the railroad would come through Dothan.
  • The railroad accepted the money and the pledge and on August 13,1889 the first train pulled into Dothan’s new station. The railroad never did get the remaining monies.
  • The railroad opened the markets of the world to this area, allowing Dothan to ship to the world.
  • The town grew by leaps and bounds and by 1900 was a bustling city of 3,850.

In 1888, the officials of the Alabama Midlands Railroad, which then ended in Bainbridge, GA, planned to extend their line north to Montgomery via Gordon, Columbia, Abbyville, and on to Montgomery. But Columbia would not pay the $50,000 necessary to have the station and sidings built in their town. Dothan, with only 240 residents, raised $45,500 and promised to raise the other $4,500 if the railroad would come through Dothan. The railroad accepted the money offered and the pledge for the balance, and on August 13, 1889, the first train pulled into the new station in Dothan. The railroad never did receive the $4,500.

The railroad opened the markets of the world to this area. We could now ship our turpentine and pitch, and later cotton and lumber, to the world. Business people in Dothan established wholesale distribution businesses to supply the needs of the towns around us, and Dothan grew. In 1889, we had a population of 240, and by 1900, we were a bustling city of 3,850. A tremendous growth for that time.