Blakeley, Alabama facts for kids

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Blakeley
Blakeley Battleground Union Boyaux fortification1.jpg
The Boyaux fortification at the Blakeley battleground
Location Baldwin County, Alabama, along the Tensaw River north of Spanish Fort
Nearest city Spanish Fort
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Built 1814
Governing body Private

Blakeley is a ghost town in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. During the height of its existence, Blakeley was a thriving town which flourished as a competitor to its western neighbor, Mobile. It was the location of a major fort during the Civil War. One of the last battles of the civil war was fought here as Union soldiers overran Confederates. The town is now in an Alabama historic state park known as Historic Blakeley State Park near Spanish Fort.

Before the town was established and populated by European settlers, Native Americans lived in the area. A burial mound was found near the site of the town and was excavated. Four skulls, various bones and copper ornaments were found.

In 1813, Blakeley was founded by Josiah Blakeley, "an entrepreneur and adventurer from Connecticut who moved to Mobile in 1806. He purchased 7,000 acres of land in the northeastern portion of Mobile Bay. In 1813 he hired a surveyor to lay out the town of Blakeley and sold the first 10 lots. On January 6, 1814, the Mississippi Territorial Legislature authorized Josiah Blakeley to lay out a town to be known as Blakeley. It received official incorporation from the State of Alabama in 1820.

Blakeley was the county seat for Baldwin County from 1810 until 1868 when county government was moved south to Daphne.

After the War of 1812, Jacob Bell and David Brown became successful shipbuilders in Blakeley. They left for New York City in 1820 to found Brown & Bell, a shipyard famous for its clipper ships and steamships.

Blakeley had a "deep natural port, which was reachable by ships that could not cross the Dog River bar, a sandbar that sometimes impeded shipping access to Mobile." For some years, Blakeley competed with Mobile to be the top port in what was then the Alabama Territory.

A post office operated under the name Blakeley from 1826 to 1866.

In 1974, the ghost town was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Hamilton, Peter. Colonial Mobile. 1910. Reprint, Tuscaloosa, Ala.: University of Alabama Press, 1976.
  • Harris, W. Stuart. Dead Towns of Alabama. Tuscaloosa, Ala.: University of Alabama Press, 1977.
  • Nuzum, Kay. A History of Baldwin County. Fairhope, Ala.: Page & Palette, 1971.

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