Jackson's Gap was not named after Gen. Andrew Jackson, whose defeat of the Creek Nation at nearby Horseshoe Bend opened much of eastern Alabama to white settlement. Rather, the town was named for another man who erected a cabin and traded with the Creeks and local settlers and travelers, possibly in the 1810s or 1820s. Soon after, a man named Patterson established a blacksmith shop there and more settlers began to arrive from Georgia and South Carolina in the 1830s. There was some gold mining activity in the vicinity of Jackson's Gap, most likely in the 1840s. The Tallapoosa Baptist Church was established in 1854 and currently exists as Jackson's Gap Baptist Church.
By the 1880s, there was a post office, which was followed by a sawmill and a cotton gin to process the major crop in the area. A variety of other businesses had been established by the early 1900s, including a gristmill, another blacksmith shop, a hat shop, a farm equipment merchant, and a two-story hotel. The town began to decline after World War I, however. One side of Jackson's Gap suffered a severe fire in either 1921 or 1925, depending on the source, including a gristmill, the post office, and a number of stores. A few years later, the other side of town was likewise damaged by fire. Also, the Tallapoosa River flooded in 1925, devastating numerous local farms. Many residents went to work in the textile mills in Alexander City and Dadeville.
The population of Jackson's Gap at the time of the 2010 Census was 828. Of that number, 68.2 percent reported itself as white, 28.9 percent as African American, 1.9 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 0.5 percent as two or more races, 0.5 percent as American Indian and Alaska Native, and 0.5 percent as Asian. The median household income according to Census estimates is $28,846 and per capita income, $12,933.
According to Census estimates, the Jackson's Gap workforce is divided among the following major industrial categories:
· Manufacturing (33.5 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (20.2 percent)
· Retail trade (17.4 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (6.5 percent)
· Wholesale trade (5.3 percent)
· Construction (5.0 percent)
· Public administration (5.0 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (4.0 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (1.6 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (0.9 percent)
· Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (0.6 percent)
Public education in Jackson's Gap is overseen by the Tallapoosa County Board of Education. There are no schools in the town itself.
Jackson's Gap is located on U.S. Highway 280/State Highway 38, which connect east-central Alabama with Birmingham. The Norfolk Southern Railroad Corporation operates a rail line through Jackson's Gap.
Events and Places of Interest
The Easter Seals affiliated Alabama's Special Camp for Children and Adults, which offers numerous outdoor recreational activities for special needs children and adults, is located nearby. The town also is close to Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, which provides educational and recreational opportunities, and nearby Wind Creek State Park and Lake Martin offer numerous aquatic activities.
Tallapoosa County Bicentennial Committee. Tallapoosa County: A History. Alexander City, Alabama: Service Printing Company, 1976.
Published August 27, 2013
Last updated August 30, 2013