Dothan, AL is a city filled with history, yet embraces the modern times.
If you are looking for an interesting town in the south to visit, consider stopping by Dothan, AL. This town has a rich and unique history that spans several centuries. It’s grown from a small township established before the Civil War into a modern city with universities, parks and other modern amenities. Although it has grown into a modern city, it still holds on to much of its historic past.
Town of Poplar Head
The town of Dothan, AL wasn’t always known by its modern name. It was established as Poplar Head in 1885 as a trading community. The first settlers built their homes around a small spring in the early 1800s and as time progressed, built a trading town. During the Civil War, the town was raided many times.
After the Civil War, the town began to grow. Industry came to Poplar Head in the form of sawmills and turpentine factories. This led to more growth which led to the decision to form an actual town. However, there was already a Poplar Head in Alabama.
Town of Dothan
Dothan’s name comes from a Bible verse (Genesis 37:17) stating: For I heard them say, “Let us go to Dothan.” The township was officially incorporated on Nov. 10, 1885. Growth was further spurred by the arrival of the railroad, and that growth led to the creation of Houston County in 1903. But it wasn’t until a scientist named Dr. George Washington Carver began to experiment with peanuts (among other things) that the town truly flourished.
Because of Dr. Carver’s studies, peanuts became a staple crop for the area. With rich soil, Dothan quickly became the Peanut Capital of the world. Dothan continues to honor Dr. Carver’s discoveries at the George Washington Carver Interpretative Museum in downtown Dothan and the National Peanut Festival.
You can still see much of Dothan’s history when you drive through. From the Dothan Opera House to the various parks and murals, it’s clear that Dothan is proud of its history.
The next time you are in or near Alabama, stop by Dothan to see whether it’s everything that it’s cracked up to be. Check out the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens or the Wiregrass Museum of Art. In the spring, walk down the Dogwood and Azalea Trail, or you can even just spend the day looking at the outdoor murals and art.