Home of the University of Montevallo, American Village and the Alabama Veterans Cemetery, Montevallo is located in the geographical center of Alabama at 33? 6' 18" N 86? 51' 46" W. In 1814, Jesse Wilson laid claim to "Wilson's Hill" located above Shoal Creek, making it the oldest settlement in Shelby County, Alabama. In 1817, after General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek Indians on the Coosa River, homesteaders like Wilson and his family and friends settled in the area. During this time, the area was known as "a little mountain in a valley", and Montevallo is thought to have derived its name from this geographical reference. The direct Italian translation of Montevallo is "on a mound in the valley."
Montevallo's rich history and deep roots left behind treasured buildings and places that remain integral parts of the community. The classic main street is just one example, with buildings dating back to the late 1800s. Seventy-three homes and buildings in Montevallo have earned their place on the National Historic Register, Including Reynolds Hall and other buildings on the University of Montevallo campus. Some areas have even taken shape as tourist attractions for the city, such as the Aldrich Coal Mine Museum and Farrington Hall. Montevallo's historic post office, located on the corner of Main and Vine, is one of 23 post offices in Alabama selected to receive artistic decoration under the New Deal government during the Great Depression. Early Settlers Weighing Cotton (1939) by William S. McCall was commissioned as part of a federal art project organized under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) from 1935 to 1943.