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History of Andalusia, Alabama

Andalusia, county seat and largest city of Covington County, is situated near the Conecuh River in south Alabama. It is about 85 miles south of Montgomery, 125 miles north-east of Mobile and 80 miles west of Dothan. According to local lore, Andrew Jackson passed through this area after the War of 1812, in route to New Orleans. As he traveled through its backwoods, he made three notches on trees to enable him to find his way back. His route became known as Three Notch Trail. Andalusia is believed to be on that trail and the city has an East Three Notch Street and a South Three Notch Street. County history is on display at Three Notch Museum. White settlers reached the present-day Covington County in 1816. Their earliest settlement was established in Montezuma on the Conecuh River, four miles west of what is now Andalusia. Covington was part of Henry County until 1821 when it made a county by the State Legislature. More settlers arrived after Congress ordered Indians to be removed to lands farther west in 1836. A major flood in 1841 demonstrated the dangers of settling in the lowlands around Montezuma. The settlers, looking for higher ground, selected the highest point in the vicinity, which is the present City Square of Andalusia. This area was known as ‘New Site’ until 1846 when a post office was founded that took the name Andalusia. Andalusia did not really begin to grow until the arrival of the Central of Georgia Railroad in 1899. Its population was only 551 in 1900. Its city boundary has been enlarged several times to accommodate new subdivisions and currently contains approximately 18 square miles, called home by about 9,000 people.