Blakeley, Alabama

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Blakeley Battleground Union Boyaux fortification1.jpg
The Boyaux fortification at the Blakeley battleground
Blakeley, Alabama is located in Alabama
Blakeley, Alabama
Blakeley, Alabama is located in the United States
Blakeley, Alabama
LocationBaldwin County, Alabama, along the Tensaw River north of Spanish Fort
Nearest citySpanish Fort
Coordinates30°44′32″N 87°55′27″W / 30.74222°N 87.92417°W / 30.74222; -87.92417Coordinates: 30°44′32″N 87°55′27″W / 30.74222°N 87.92417°W / 30.74222; -87.92417
NRHP reference #74000397[1]
Added to NRHPJune 25, 1974

Blakeley is a ghost town in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States.[2] During the height of its existence, Blakeley was a thriving town which flourished as a competitor to its western neighbor, Mobile.[3][4] Blakeley was the county seat for Baldwin County from 1810 until 1868, when the county government was moved south to Daphne. It was the location of a major fort during the Civil War. One of the last battles of the Civil War was fought here in April 1865, as Union soldiers overran Confederates. The town is now in an Alabama historic state park known as Historic Blakeley State Park, north of Spanish Fort.

Before the town was established and populated by European settlers, Native Americans had 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.[5]

In 1813, Blakeley was founded by Josiah Blakeley, "an entrepreneur and adventurer from Connecticut" who moved to Mobile in 1806.[4] He purchased 7,000 acres (2,800 ha) 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.[6] It received official incorporation from the State of Alabama in 1820.[5][7]

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.[8]

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."[4] For some years, Blakeley competed with Mobile to be the top port in what was then the Alabama Territory.[4]

A post office operated under the name "Blakeley" from 1826 to 1866.[9]

In 1974, the ghost town was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Blakeley, Alabama
  3. ^ L.J. Newcomb Comings; Martha M. Albers (1928). A Brief History of Baldwin County.
  4. ^ a b c d Hiatt, Grant D (2011-09-07). "Blakeley". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved 2013-12-15.
  5. ^ a b Lawrence Burnette (2006-10-01). Coastal Kingdom: A History of Baldwin County, Alabama. ISBN 978-1413793383.
  6. ^ A Digest of the Laws of the State of Alabama: Containing the Statutes and Resolutions in Force at the end of the General Assembly in January, 1823. Published by Ginn & Curtis, J. & J. Harper, Printers, New-York, 1828. "Title 62. Chapter XX". page 796. "An Act to authorize Josiah Blakeley to lay out a Town on the East side of Mobile Bay.—Passed January 6, 1814." (Google Books)
  7. ^ A Digest of the Laws of the State of Alabama: Containing The Statutes and Resolutions in Force at the end of the General Assembly in January, 1823. Published by Ginn & Curtis, J. & J. Harper, Printers, New-York, 1828. "Title 62. Chapter XXIII". pp. 799-802. "An Act to provide a Government for the Town of Blakeley.—Passed December 4, 1820." (Google Books)
  8. ^ Wright, Ella Frances (Reed) (1909). Reed-Read lineage. Captain John Reed of Providence, R. I., and Norwalk, Conn. and his descendants through his sons, John and Thomas, 1660-1909. Waterbury, CT: The Mattatuck Press. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
  9. ^ "Baldwin County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved 4 January 2015.


  • 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.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]