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Montevallo History

Home of the University of Montevallo, American Village and the Alabama Veterans Cemetery, the City of Montevallo is located in the geographical center of Alabama at 33°6²18N 865146W. In 1814, Jesse Wilson laid claim to Wilson's home located above Shoal Creek, making it the oldest settlement in Shelby County, Alabama. In 1817, after General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek Indians on the Coosa River, homesteaders like Wilson and his family and friends settled in the area. During this time, the area was known as a little mountain in a valley and Montevallo is thought to have derived its name from this geographical reference. The direct Italian translation of Montevallo is on a mound in the Valley.

Montevallo's rich history and deep roots left behind treasured buildings and places that remain integral parts of the community. The classic main street is just one example, with buildings dating back to the late 1800s. The city has tried to maintain its original charm, character and natural beauty as growth has continued to occur in and around the city. Seventy-three homes and buildings in Montevallo have earned their place on the National Historic Register, including Reynolds Hall and other buildings on the University of Montevallo campus. Some areas have even taken shape as tourist attractions for the city, such as the Aldrich Coal Mine Museum and Farrington Hall.