Montgomery, AL

Montgomery is the capital of Alabama and county seat of Montgomery County. Located at the intersection of Interstates 65 and 85, Montgomery is the state’s second largest city after Birmingham. In addition to many state government agencies, the city is home to Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama State University, and Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.

History

Montgomery was incorporated in December 1819 when the previously rival towns of Philadelphia and East Alabama decided to merge for mutual economic gain. In 1821, the city’s economy, primarily centered on cotton, was accelerated even further when both steamboat and stagecoach lines began serving the city. In 1846, the state capital was moved from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery. The city’s economy remained focused on agriculture through the early 1900s when it became the home of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s aviation school and later packing plants and other manufacturing companies.

Geography

Montgomery covers 160 square miles in Central Alabama with the Alabama River making up part of its northern border. The city is 221 feet above sea level and has gently rolling terrain that has little effect on local weather patterns.

Demographics

Montgomery has a population of just over 200,000. The population is younger than average for Alabama with just under 12 percent of its population being senior citizens over the age of 65 and one-quarter being children under the age of 18. The city has a 59 percent homeownership rate, and 77 percent of households have lived in the same home for one year or longer. The median value of a home is $119,200, and the median household income is $43,702. One-third of residents age 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Things to Do

  • The Alabama State Capitol is open for tours weekdays and Saturdays. Visitors can choose between a self-guided tour or free hourly guided tours.
  • The First White House of the Confederacy served as the home of President Jefferson Davis in early 1861. It is located across from the State Capitol and admission is free.
  • The Civil Rights Memorial honors those who died during the Civil Rights movement. The memorial has a design similar to the Vietnam Memorial, and it is located in a plaza that is open 24 hours a day every day of the year.

Weather

Like the rest of the south, Montgomery has hot and humid summers coupled with mild winters. Summer highs average in the low 90s with a record high of 107 degrees. During the winter, low temperatures average in the upper 30s with occasional brief freezing spells. Snow is a rare occurrence but is possible. Most of the city’s rainfall occurs during the summer when afternoon thunderstorms are frequent.

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