Albertville, nicknamed "Fire Hydrant Capital of the World," is the largest city in Marshall County of North Alabama. The name is derived from Thomas A. Albert, one of the first area residents. It lies on Sand Mountain, a rich plateau about 25 miles wide and 75 miles long, extending from about 40 miles northeast of Birmingham and Creek Indian country. Albertville and the surrounding area are rich in Indian lore and history. Albertville was hunting ground for the Indians until the early 1800s. Migration to this region began in 1844 and continued weekly until the advent of the Civil War stopped that entirely. In 1872, after a short break, another sluggish immigration began due to word of the area's rich soil and bountiful forest. The City of Albertville was first settled around 1850. On January 13, 1860, the first post office was established here. On February 18, 1891, Albertville was officially incorporated as a city of Alabama. One of the worst tornados in Alabama history destroyed Albertville in 1908, but the town was rebuilt. An electric system was quickly built and the city water system was inaugurated in 1909. The first hospital was built in 1917. Albertville is currently served by Marshall Medical Center South, located midway between Albertville and Boaz. The closest museum is the Guntersville Museum, located in nearby Guntersville. Albertville is among the fastest growing cities of its size in Alabama. Its population increased steadily from 5,395 in 1950, to 8,272 in 1960, and to more than 17,000 now. The nickname "Fire Hydrant Capital of the World" refers to the output of the Mueller Company. A nickel-plated fire hydrant stands in front of the Albertville Chamber of Commerce to commemorate the company's one millionth fire hydrant, produced in 1991.