| Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Wallace State Community College, Calhoun Community College, University of Alabama at Huntsville all within 30-45 minute drive
The City of Hartselle is comparatively young as towns go, having been established in 1870 as a site considered strategic alongside the South and North Alabama Railroad.
Originally the budding village was located a half-mile north of the present downtown area; it had to pick itself up and move at the railroad's request because the slopes of the old site made it impractical as a train stop and station. Hartselle was named for George Hartselle, a founding father, and there are still some of his descendants in town.
The town was recognized by the Post Office by the establishment of a postal facility in 1873, but was not chartered by the state until March 1875. A religious revival headed by Dr. S.L. Rountree in 1872 helped organize the Methodist Church; the Baptist Church and Presbyterian Church were organized in 1877; and the Christian Church in 1881.
Interesting tidbits: One of the largest number of antique stores in the state. Bills itself as the "City of Southern Hospitality"
On a hot humid August afternoon in 1916, the entire business district of Hartselle was leveled by a fire which broke out on Railroad Street, west of the depot. The fire swept across Hickory Street, and then west to Sparkman Street. Twenty-one buildings were destroyed, including the depot and freight building. Although practically every man in town turned out to fight it, the fire refused to yield to a hand bucket brigade, which was the only means available to fight it. Water was drawn from the town well, located in the middle of Front Street near the depot. The effort proved futile as the wooden buildings rapidly disintegrated.
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© 2015 Boone Newspapers, Inc. All rights reserved.