Dothan, Alabama - Historic Sites & Points of Interest
Dothan, Alabama - Historic Sites & Points of Interest
Giant Peanut in Dothan, Alabama
The historic and friendly city of Dothan is the
capital of the Wiregrass Region and the center of
Alabama's famed peanut industry!
Dothan, Alabama
A noted "mural city," Dothan
boasts a stunning array of
murals that tell the history of
the Wiregrass Area.
Peter Toth Sculpture
Dothan is to location of one of
Peter Toth's famed American
Indian sculptures. It is named
Dothan, Alabama - Historic Sites & Points of Interest
Peanut Capital of the World
Copyright 2013 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: October 2, 2013
Custom Search
Wiregrass Region Historic Sites
Dothan Opera House
The historic opera house is
on the National Register of
Historic Places and serves as
a cultural center for the city.
Azalea Dogwood Trail
Dothan's beloved Azalea
Dogwood Trail is an annual
event that attracts thousands
of people from around the
Dothan is a charming and hospitable city in
the Wiregrass Region of Alabama.

Established in 1885 on the site of a trading
community called Poplar Head, Dothan takes
its name from a Bible verse (Genesis 37:17)
which says,
For I heard them say, "Let us go
to Dothan."

The growing city owes its existence to Poplar
Head Spring, a small freshwater spring long
used by the Creek Indians. When early
traders and settlers entered the region after
the Creek War of 1813-1814, the little spring
offered a source of fresh water and became
a popular camping spot. A trading post was
established there.

The site of the original spring can be seen
today at Poplar Head Park on East Main
Street near the Dothan Civic Center. A mural,
historical markers and fountain pay tribute to
the site where Dothan was founded.

By the time of the War Between the States (or
Civil War), the Poplar Head community was
home to nine families. They were terrorized
by organized gangs of deserters and draft
evaders who rode freely through the region
robbing and destroying.

Confederate forces tried to put a stop to
these "raiders" in 1863 by launching a
campaign down Cowarts Creek to their
secret headquarters just across the Florida
line. The raiders drove them off, but were
defeated themselves at the
Battle of Newton
in 1865.

The little community at Poplar Head Spring
grew slowly during the 1870s. The timber
and turpentine industries moved into the
area, bringing with them more settlers.

The growth led to a decision to form an
actual town, but when residents petitioned for
the establishment of a post office they were
informed that another community in the state,
also named Poplar Head, had beaten them
to it. A minister suggested the name Dothan
and Poplar Head was incorporated as the
Town of Dothan on November 10, 1885.

One of the most violent incidents in the city's
history took place just four years after it was
founded. Remembered today as the "Dothan
Riot," it is memorialized by a large scale
mural in the downtown area.

Town leaders had passed a tax on cotton
wagons that passed through Dothan. The
Farmers' Alliance protested and the debate
intensified to the point that violence erupted
and a gun battle and brawl were fought in
downtown Dothan. Three people were killed
in the riot, which was widely covered in
newspapers of the time.

The arrival of the Alabama Midland Railroad
that same year did much to ease tensions
between city residents and area farmers. The
railroad connected Dothan with the state
capital of Montgomery and the Georgia city of
Bainbridge. The result was an economic
boom that benefited both farmers and the
merchants of the new city.

The growth of Dothan and its environs led the
Alabama Legislature to create Houston
County in February 1903. The name honored
former governor George S. Houston and the
18-year old city of Dothan was designated as
the county seat.
Although Dothan grew into a transportation
and mercantile hub, it owes its modern
prosperity to a remarkable scientist, Dr.
George Washington Carver.

As the boll weevil destroyed cotton crops in
the South, Dr. Carver experimented with
peanuts at his Tuskegee Institute laboratory
and developed so many profitable uses for
the legume that he almost single-handedly
created the American peanut industry.

The soils of the Wiregrass region - so
named for the wiregrass plant that lives in
the pine forests - were well suited for peanut
farming and by 1938 Dothan was able to
proclaim itself the Peanut Capital of the
World. Dr. Carver spoke to 6,000 guests in
Dothan that year, initiating what is now called
the National Peanut Festival.

Dothan had not existed as a city in the days
of the Antebellum South and as a result often
was more focused on the future than many
communities. In 1949 it became the first city
in Alabama to hire African American

Dothan today is a growing, progressive city
located where U.S. Highways 84, 231 and
431 meet. Its population is approaching
70,000 and it is home to Wallace College,
Troy University - Dothan and the new
Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Popular attractions include
Landmark Park,
which is a living history and science
museum on US 431 North; the
Dothan Area
Botanical Gardens; the Wiregrass Museum
of Art; Water World at Westgate Park, the
stunning collection of large scale murals in
the downtown area and a variety of other
parks and outdoor attractions.

Major annual events include the Dogwood &
Azalea Trail each spring and the National
Peanut Festival in the fall.

To learn more about the city, please visit and the links below:
Landmark Park
A magnificent living history
museum complex, Landmark
Park has grown into a major
destination for heritage