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Claire Wilson, Auburn University
Thomaston is located in Marengo County in southwestern Alabama. It has a mayor-council form of government.
Thomaston Colored Institute
Thomaston was first settled in the late nineteenth century, and the first post office was opened in 1892. The settlement had no official name until 1901, when the Selma to Myrtlewood line of the L&N Railroad reached the town. It was named for one of its founders, C. B. Thomas, an early settler in the area, and incorporated on November 15, 1901. Not long after the railroad arrived, the town boasted churches, a bank, a school, cotton gins, and a brick factory. In 1910, the Thomaston Colored Institute, a private academy associated with the West Alabama Primitive Baptist Association, opened in the town. Abandoned in the 1970s, it is one of Alabama's "Places in Peril," a list of endangered historic structures compiled by the Alabama Historical Commission.
According to 2016 Census estimates, Thomaston recorded a population of 243. Of that number, 60.9 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 29.6 percent as African American, and 9.5 percent as American Indian. The town's median household income was $42,500, and the per capita income was $24,170.
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Thomaston was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Educational services and health care and social assistance (34.4 percent)
  • Manufacturing (18.8 percent)
  • Construction (11.5 percent)
  • Public administration (10.4 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (6.3 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (5.2 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (5.2 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (4.2 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (3.1 percent)
  • Retail trade (1.0 percent)
The Marengo County School District oversees one school in Thomaston, which serves grades K-12.
Thomaston is bisected north-south by State Route 25 and east-west by State Route 28.
Events and Places of Interest
The downtown of Thomaston features a number of historic Queen Anne and Colonial Revival structures in the Thomaston Central Historic District. The Thomaston Colored Institute, the C. S. Golden House, and the Patrick Farrish House are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Alabama Whitetail Records Museum, established in the 1980s, is the state center for tracking whitetail deer hunting. The museum displays record-breaking deer trophies and publishes the annual Alabama Record Book for Whitetail Deer. Auburn University's Rural Studio designed and built the Thomaston Community Market, now defunct, and the Alabama Rural Heritage Center in the town. Established in 1986, the center is located in the repurposed former town high school and houses an art gallery, community center, theater and restaurant with commercial production kitchen. The kitchen is best known for producing Mama Nem's jams, jellies, and other foods. Each April, the town celebrates its most famous product with its annual Pepper Jelly Festival.
Published:  December 1, 2020   |   Last updated:  December 1, 2020