Tallassee, Alabama

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Tallassee, Alabama
Official seal of Tallassee, Alabama
Nickname(s): "Treasure on the Tallapoosa"
Location of Tallassee
Location of Tallassee
Coordinates: 32°32′22″N 85°53′35″W / 32.53944°N 85.89306°W / 32.53944; -85.89306
Country United States
State Alabama
Counties Elmore, Tallapoosa
Incorporated October 24, 1835
 • Mayor Bobby Payne
 • Total 10.2 sq mi (26.3 km2)
 • Land 9.6 sq mi (24.9 km2)
 • Water 0.5 sq mi (1.4 km2)
Elevation 390 ft (119 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 4,934
 • Density 512.2/sq mi (197.8/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CST (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 36045, 36078
Area code(s) 334
FIPS code 01-74688
GNIS feature ID 0153643
Website http://www.tallassee-al.gov
For the Overhill Cherokee village in Tennessee, see Tallassee (Cherokee town).

Tallassee (pronounced |ˈtæːləsi|) is a city on the Tallapoosa River, located in both Elmore and Tallapoosa counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2000 census the population was 4,934. It is home to a major hydroelectric power plant at Thurlow Dam operated by Alabama Power Company.

The Elmore County portion of Tallassee is part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Tallapoosa County portion is part of the Alexander City Micropolitan Statistical Area.


The Creek Wars and Indian removal[edit]

Main article: Creek War

The historic Creek peoples in this area are believed to have descended from the Mississippian culture, which flourished throughout the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys and the Southeast from about 1000 to 1450. They were mound builders, who created massive earthwork mounds as structures for political and religious purposes. They relied greatly on fishing and riverway trading at their major sites (c.f. Moundville, Tuscaloosa).

Talisi was a town of the Coosa Province of the Mississippian culture; it was visited in 1540 by Hernando de Soto and his expedition through the Southeast. Later it was occupied by the historic Creek people. The Tallassee area was the location of the Creek capital city, Tuckabatchee, as well as the location of the seven sacred plates.[1]

Tensions first broke out as a civil war among the Creek, but US forces also got involved. Trying to intercept a Red Sticks party who were bringing back arms thought to be purchased from the Spanish in Florida,[2] United States Army forces attacked the Creek at the Battle of Burnt Corn. The Creek band ultimately defeated the soldiers. In retaliation, the next month the Red Sticks attacked Fort Mims, about 35 miles north of Mobile, Alabama, killing most of the more than 500 settlers and mixed-race Lower Creek who had taken refuge there.

Osceola is believed to have been born in Talisi, to a mixed-race Creek mother and an English father. He was among those Creek who migrated to Florida after the Creek War and joined the Seminole Indians. He became a prominent leader who continued resistance to US forces and settlement.

The Creek Wars (1813–1814) were marked by mutual raids, civilian massacres, and scalpings by both sides. The last major battle was at Horseshoe Bend in 1814 on the banks of the Tallapoosa River. Led by then-General Andrew Jackson, a coalition of militia from Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia, federal troops, Lower Creek, and Cherokee crushed the outnumbered and out-gunned Red Sticks. Jackson counted the conflict as among his politically strategic victories; it increased his popularity for later election to the presidency and his future policies of Indian removal.

After their defeat, many Creek migrated to Indian Territory, while some went into hiding with other resistant Indians in the Southeast, including the Cherokee and the Seminole tribes in Florida. The Creek who relocated from the Tuckabatchee area named a new settlement Talisia in Indian Territory. It was later known as Tulsa, Oklahoma.[3]

American Civil War[edit]

In June 1864 the Confederate army moved the Richmond Carbine Factory from Virginia to an old Tallassee cotton mill. It began manufacturing the carbines. During the course of the American Civil War, the town of Tallassee was never attacked by Union forces, except for their one attempt to destroy the Tallassee Mill. The Tallassee Armory was the only Confederate one not destroyed during the war.[4]

2009 Fire[edit]

Early in the morning of November 30, 2009, the historic Hotel Talisi was heavily damaged by a fire. The hotel, closed since 2008 because of the fire, was purchased by a group of seven investors in the fall of 2009. It was renovated and had been reopened for a month. The fire destroyed the hotel and a consignment shop next door.

The fire was ruled an arson and a 17-year-old, Dylan Keith Carroll, pleaded guilty to one count second-degree arson, one count of third-degree arson, two counts of third-degree burglary, and three counts of first-degree criminal mischief.

After the trial, the hotel's owners met in March 2010 and decided to rebuild the structure. The hotel has not yet reopened.


Tallassee is located at 32°32′22″N 85°53′35″W / 32.53944°N 85.89306°W / 32.53944; -85.89306 (32.539402, -85.893061).[5] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.2 square miles (26 km2), of which, 9.6 square miles (25 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.4 km2, 5.21%) of it is water.

Tallassee is located in the densely forested Emerald Mountains, a small southeasternly chain of the Lower Appalachians. It is bordered by two major rivers: The Coosa River to the west, and the Tallapoosa in the east. The Tallapoosa River also serves as the dividing line between two counties and towns: the City of Tallassee (Elmore County) and East Tallassee (Tallapoosa County).


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,847
1920 2,034 10.1%
1930 849 −58.3%
1940 1,011 19.1%
1950 4,225 317.9%
1960 4,934 16.8%
1970 4,809 −2.5%
1980 4,763 −1.0%
1990 5,112 7.3%
2000 4,934 −3.5%
2010 4,819 −2.3%
Est. 2013 4,831 0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
2013 Estimate[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 4,934 people, 2,067 households, and 1,343 families residing in the city. The population density was 512.2 people per square mile (197.8/km²). There were 2,367 housing units at an average density of 245.7 per square mile (94.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.34% White, 17.61% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. 1.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,067 households out of which 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.0% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.0% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 21.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 83.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,946, and the median income for a family was $32,015. Males had a median income of $27,313 versus $22,993 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,859. About 16.9% of families and 22.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.5% of those under age 18 and 19.9% of those age 65 or over.

Media and communications[edit]


The Tallassee Tribune has been the weekly newspaper publication in Tallassee since 1899. The newspaper started as the Tri-County Weekly in 1899, was later renamed the Tallassee Times, and finally named The Tallassee Tribune in 1912. The paper serves the people in and around the Tallassee area and is published every Wednesday.

Tallassee Times is an on-line newspaper with regular updates of news, sports, obituaries, and more.


There are three radio stations that are located in Tallassee:

  • WTLS (1300 AM / 106.5 FM) News/Sports
  • WALQ (1130 AM / 101.1 FM) Oldies
  • WQNR (99.9 FM) "Kate FM" is licensed to Tallassee and broadcasts from nearby Auburn, Alabama


The Tallassee City School System operates three schools (Tallassee High School, Southside Middle School, and Tallassee Elementary School). The school system serves about 2,000 students; the majority of families living in the city of Tallassee attend Tallassee City Schools.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Tallassee has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[9]

Notable people[edit]

Photo gallery[edit]



  1. ^ Wright, Jr., Amos J. (2003). Historic Indian Towns in Alabama, 1540-1838. University of Alabama Press. p. 163. ISBN 0-8173-1251-X. 
  2. ^ Adams, Henry (1891). History of the United States of America: The second administration of James Madison, 1813–1817. C. Scribner's. pp. 228–229. ISBN 0-940450-35-6. 
  3. ^ "Tulsa Area History". Tulsa County Library. Archived from the original on 2007-01-08. Retrieved 2014-09-10. 
  4. ^ "Tallassee Armory Guards - SCV Camp No. 1921". Tallassee Armory Guards. Retrieved 2014-09-10. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ Climate Summary for Tallassee, Alabama

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°32′22″N 85°53′35″W / 32.539402°N 85.893061°W / 32.539402; -85.893061