The Federal Road and the Palings
The Federal Road was built in 1806 as a shorter route from Washington to New Orleans and the new Louisiana Territory. The road entered Alabama at Fort Mitchell, Georgia and passed through Butler County near this site. After Creek Indians gave up millions of acres in the Treaty of Fort Jackson in 1814, "Alabama Fever" drew thousands of settlers into Butler County on the new road.
"The Palings" was an inn and stage stop at Fort Dale that served travelers from the 1820s until it burned in 1953. English visitor Adam Hodgson wrote in April 1820: "We arrived in the evening at a few palings which have dignified the place with the appellation of Fort Dale, where travelers are accommodated tolerably on a flourishing plantation."
Fort Dale was built near this site in response to Indian attacks against settlers, notably the Ogly-Stroud massacre on March 13, 1818. Alabama Territorial Governor William Bibb sent Capt. Sam Dale with militia from Fort Claiborne to strengthen Fort Bibb at Pine Flat and build a new fort on the Federal Road. Named for its builder, Fort Dale was the first county seat, post office and voting site, and had the first church and school in Butler County.