The community that was to become Alabaster was created in the early 1920s as the site of employee housing for the Alabaster Lime Company; the community came to be known as Alabaster after both the business and the mineral, which is found in association with limestone. Its location along Highway 31, the main road at that time between Birmingham and Montgomery, aided in the area's development. By 1933, the community had grown enough to warrant having its own water department, the Alabaster Water Works Company, although that entity was defunct by 1939. The Alabaster post office opened in 1951 and the first bank in 1952.
After a failed attempt in 1952, Alabaster was incorporated as a city on April 25, 1953, and a mayor and city council were elected soon after; at that time, the town listed a population of 427. In 1955, the Alabaster Water and Gas Board incorporated. Shelby Memorial Hospital, the first hospital in the county, opened in Alabaster in 1959. On April 27, 1971, the adjacent city of Siluria voted to merge with Alabaster.
Alabaster's population at the time of the 2010 Census was 30,352. Of that number, 79.4 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 13.5 percent as African American, 9.0 percent as Hispanic, 1.5 as two or more races 0.9 percent as Asian, and 0.4 percent as Native American. The city's median household income was $69,411 and per capita income was $27,644.
The workforce in present-day Alabaster is divided among the following occupational categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (21.0 percent)
· Retail trade (12.5 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (10.8 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (9.8 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (9.3 percent)
· Construction (7.2 percent)
· Manufacturing (6.5 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (6.4 percent)
· Wholesale trade (4.5 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (4.4 percent)
· Public administration (3.7 percent)
· Information (2.9 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (1.0 percent)
Schools in Alabaster are part of the Shelby County School District; the city has approximately 4,000 students and 255 teachers in an elementary, intermediate, middle, and high school. There also is one private school with 55 students and 4 teachers.
Alabaster is intersected by U.S. Highway 31 (north-south) and lies less than a mile west of Interstate 65 (also north-south). The Shelby County Airport, with one runway, is located approximately five miles south of Alabaster and serves general aviation.
Events and Places of Interest
Each June, Alabaster holds a one-day CityFest featuring live entertainment, food, vendors, and children's activities. Recent
attendance estimates topped 50,000. The city also holds an annual Christmas parade. Alabaster has a several municipal parks
with playgrounds, picnic tables and pavilions, walking trails, soccer, football, softball, and baseball fields, beach volleyball
courts, and tennis courts.
The Heritage of Shelby County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1999.
James P. Kaetz
Published May 6, 2011
Last updated July 12, 2012