Pike Historical Society seeks funds for Monticello marker

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society is on a mission.

And, for a sum of $2,220 the historical group will be able to say, “Mission accomplished.”

Diane Smith, historical society president, said the mission is to fund the replacement of the historical marker that recognized Monticello as the Seat of Justice in Pike County, 1827-1838.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Smith said the historical marker has been missing from Monticello since 2010.

“At that time, roadwork was being done in that area and it is thought that, perhaps, the highway department had taken the marker down and it was stored somewhere,” she said. “But, in checking with the highway department, we learned that it would not have been necessary to remove the sign for the work that was being done.”

Monticello was the county seat for Pike County for 11 years and it is significant to the county’s history, Smith said.

“The Pike County historical society would like to be able to replace the marker and place it near the marker’s previous location,” Smith said. “From what we have learned, the marker was placed near where the courthouse was located, in the curve near the substation and off to the right.”

Smith said it would be especially meaningful if the marker could be replaced during Alabama’s Bicentennial year.

The Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society is seeking funding for the replacement of the Monticello historical marker and would appreciate donations from those who deem the marker important to Pike County’s history. The historical society may be contacted via email at twh4genelogy@gmail.com or through any of its members.

Margaret Pace Farmer’s “One Hundred Fifty Years in Pike County Alabama, 1821-1971” described what the town of Monticello looked like during the years it was Pike County’s Seat of Justice. The small town had a court square with the courthouse as its centerpiece.

The streets were laid out at right angles and had distinguishing names including, Washington, Jefferson, Lafayette and Monroe. The jail was constructed in a pine grove and Jail Street led to that destination.

The town of 200 was crowded only when court convened and Ann Love’s inn was filled with guests. At that time, men took their families with them to court to protect them from the threat of marauding Indians. So, the inn was a lively place with women, from all parts of the county, who enjoyed a time of gossip, knitting and quilting.

Monticello has a storied past and the Pike County historical society’s mission is to inform the public about this historical site in Pike County.

Smith said the historical marker is also missing from Hobdy’s Bridge. The Battle of Hobdy’s Bridge was fought while Monticello was the county seat.

The Battle of Hobdy’s Bridge was the last significant confrontation between the whites and Indians east of the Mississippi River.

The Alabama Historical Commission’s historical marker program began in 1975 to help preservationists inform the public about significant buildings, sites, structure, objects, cemeteries and districts in the state.