Submitted by Attorney Lateefah Muhammad
The Fort Davis Alabama Historical Society (Society) held its unveiling ceremony on Saturday, November 7, 2020 in Fort Davis, Alabama.
The ceremony featured a historical marker that gives some of the significant history of the Fort Davis Railroad Depot and the Fort Davis Community, located in the south Macon County.
The marker was prepared for the Society by the Alabama Historical Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office in Montgomery, after having confirmed and provided the researched historical information that it reads.
Fort Davis is an unincorporated community, located on U.S. Highway 29, 12.9 miles (20.8 km) south of Tuskegee. It has a post office with the zip code 36031, which opened on June 4, 1891.
Though it is easily assumed that the town had a military basis, it was actually named for one of its founders, a man whose first/given name was Fort and last name/surname was Davis. Richard T. Davis married Mary C. Fort and their first son was named for his mother's family.
When the Seaboard Railroad came through the area, beginning around 1891, Fort M. Davis and his brother, Hubert T. Davis, laid out the town into lots and originally named it "Hamilton." The name was changed to "Fort Davis" to honor the founder, who was also named the first postmaster of Fort Davis in 1891.
The Society gathered on a sunny Saturday morning to honor the area’s history and to share with its members, friends and neighbors for an uplifting occasion. The members provided refreshments of hot coffee and donuts for those who wanted to partake.
Glen Davis, president of the Society, spoke on behalf of the organization and gave a brief synopsis of the significance of preserving this historic site. A grandson of Fort M. Davis, Glen has a personal story of involvement with this historic marker and community. His aunt, Society Member Frankie Davis Kenney, also shares a personal story as Fort M. Davis was her father.
Jay Lamar, chair of the Alabama Bi-Centennial Celebration, gave greetings and congratulated the group for working to preserve this important piece of history. Lamar, who grew up in Tuskegee and Auburn, said she claims Fort Davis as a part of her heritage as well.
The Society is seeking to complete the restoration of the Depot so that local residents, tourists and travelers alike can proudly visit a piece of history that was once a cornerstone in the community. The Depot is one of few such historic buildings left of the Savannah-Americus-Montgomery Railroad.
Those interested in more information about the work of the Society, or who want to contribute to this restoration effort, can visit its website at www.fortdavisalabama.com.