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History of Pell City, Alabama

Pell City, situated on Interstate 20 between Birmingham and Atlanta, is the largest city in St. Clair County, Alabama. The city is located on the shores of Logan Martin Lake, created by the construction of Logan Martin Dam in 1964. It was founded in 1890 by railroad investors and named after George H. Pell of the Pell City Iron and Land Company, one of its financial backers. The city was incorporated on May 6, 1891, and almost disappeared following the Panic of 1893. However, it was revived in 1902 when Sumter Cogswell built the Pell City Manufacturing Company, which subsequently became Avondale Mills. Pell City increased its size in 1956 when the nearby towns of Eden and Oak Ridge were merged with the city. The residences of Sumter Cogswell and Green Evans (Pell City’s first mayor) are two of the earliest structures, dating from the late nineteenth century. The majority of the historic structures date from 1902 to 1905. Ashville, in the northern part of the St. Clair County, was the only county seat from 1821 to 1907. A constitutional amendment in 1907 established Pell City as the second county seat. For many years, St. Clair County was the only county in the country with two full-service county seats.