Pickensville is the oldest town in Pickens County, with a post office established in 1823. The town was named county seat even before it incorporated in 1825. It lost its designation as county seat in 1830 to Carrolton.
When the steamboat became a major method of travel on Alabama rivers, Pickensville became a major steamboat port. Among other goods, the Pickensville port shipped cotton to Mobile for sale. During its economic peak, the town had numerous businesses, including two hotels to accommodate steamboat passengers and crews, five newspapers, five attorneys, and four doctors. During the Civil War, Union forces under the command of Gen. John T. Croxton burned several buildings in town, including the courthouse. The decline of the steamboat era led to a corresponding decline in Pickensville's economy.
Pickensville's population according to the 2010 Census was 608. Of that number, 63.5 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American, 36.2 percent as white, and 0.3 percent as Native American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $33,125, and the per capita income was $16,688.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Pickensville was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Construction (25.0 percent)
· Manufacturing (23.3 percent)
· Retail trade (17.1 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (12.3 percent)
· Public administration (5.8 percent)
· Wholesale trade (3.8 percent)
· Information (3.4 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (3.1 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (2.1 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (2.1 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (1.4 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (0.7 percent)
Students in Pickensville attend Pickens County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
State Highway 14 bisects Pickensville running north-south, and State Highway 86 runs east-west through the center of town.
Events and Places of Interest
Pickensville is located on Aliceville Lake, which offers numerous water-related recreational opportunties. The Tom Bevill Lock and Dam Visitor Center serves as the main visitor center for the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. An authentic reproduction of a mid-nineteenth century plantation home contains displays related to the history and development of the Tombigbee River and Waterway.
The Pickensville Methodist Church and the Pickensville Rosenwald School are listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. The U.S. Snagboat Montgomery, a steam-driven sternwheeler, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989; it is moored at the Tom Bevill Lock and
Dam Visitor Center.
Clanahan, James F. The History of Pickens County, Alabama, 1540-1920. Carrollton, Ala.: Clanahan Publication, 1964.
Pickens County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Pickens County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1999.
James P. Kaetz
Published August 12, 2013
Last updated August 12, 2013