History is alive and outside at Fort Toulouse-Fort
Jackson. Here Native Americans, Spanish explorers,
French soldiers, English and Scottish traders,
American settlers, and modern archaeologists have
all left their mark. Frequent living history events
showcase a recreated 1751 French fort, recreated
Creek Indian houses, and the partially restored 1814
American Fort Jackson. A 1,000-year-old
Indian mound, the William Bartram Nature Trail, and
an early-19th-century house weave even
more strands into this colorful tapestry of
Alabama's earliest days.
An annual fall event,
Frontier Days, brings engaging
Magician Rodney the Younger to entertain and
educate Alabama's school children.
In 1717, when this region was part of French
Louisiana, the French built a fort near the
strategically vital junction where the Tallapoosa
and Coosa Rivers form the Alabama River. The fort
was primarily a trading post where Indians exchanged
fur pelts for guns and household items. There were
no battles at the post as French diplomacy forged
allies with the natives. The surrounding Indians,
commonly referred to as Creeks, wanted peace so they
could trade with both the French and British.
The wall of the fort facing the Coosa River washed
away in 1747 and a third fort built in 1751
using a palisade of pointed logs. The French lost
the French and Indian War and the fort in 1763. The
site was abandoned by the French and the lands
reverted to native occupation.
Few vestiges of the French post were visible when a
new large earthen fort was erected in 1814 and named
in honor of General Andrew Jackson. The Treaty of
Fort Jackson, signed here that year, marked the
formal end of the bitter Creek war phase of the War
Today visitors can see an A.D. 1100 Mississippian
Indian mound, a recreation of the 1751 French Fort
Toulouse, and the partially restored 1814 American
Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson is also home to many
natural wonders. William Bartram, a famed 18th
century botanist and friend of Benjamin Franklin,
visited the site in 1776 creating notes and drawings
of the area's flora and fauna.
The nature trail offers wonderful bird watching
opportunities. During the spring and fall, migrants
are present thought out the site. During the winter
months, spotting the Fox Sparrow and Rusty Blackbird
is simple, as well as the common Chipping, Song,
Savannah, Field, and White-throated Sparrow plus the
Dark-eyed Junco. Also present during the winter are
the Hermit Thrush, Blue-headed Vireo and the
Yellow-belled sapsucker woodpecker.
The summer months bring out the petite Northern
Parula, and the Summer Tanager, add to that the many
breeding Acadian Flycatchers and Fort Toulouse is a
bird watcher's year-round place to visit.
The Graves House, a Carolina Tidewater Cottage built
between 1825 and 1830 in Lowndes County, Alabama,
serves as the site's visitor center and museum.
Books and souvenirs may be purchased and site
artifacts may be viewed at the visitor center.
Site Director: Ove Jenson
Phone: (334) 567-3002
- Monthly living history programs - include the French period and the early American period.
- Monthly meetings of the Historic Blacksmiths.
- French and Indian War Encampment
- held annually in April re-enacts the time period of the war between the French and the British.
Alabama Frontier Days
- held annually in November depicts life on the frontier from 1717 to 1820.