Oak Grove is located in south-central Talladega County in the east-central part of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
Marble Quarry, 1935 Oak Grove owes its growth to Italian immigrant Giuseppe Moretti, the sculptor who would craft the iron Vulcan statue for Birmingham, Jefferson County. In 1904, Moretti moved to Alabama and was informed of marble deposits in Talladega County. Upon investigating the rock formations, the internationally renowned artist asserted that the marble’s quality rivaled Italian marble, then the standard in the international marble industry. For the next two decades, Moretti became heavily involved in developing rock quarries in Talladega County, sculpting statuary with Alabama marble in area studios, and convincing other investors to fund the foundation of marble quarries. The proliferation of quarries in south-central Talladega County led to population growth in nearby Sylacauga, which doubled in population between 1920 and 1940. People began settling in the unincorporated community of Oak Grove on the outskirts of Sylacauga just to the north of Gantt’s Quarry to live in closer proximity to work. Alabama Marble Company, still a major employer in Talladega County, lies a few miles west of Oak Grove.
Hodges Meteorite Display In 1954, Oak Grove resident Ann E. Hodges became the only person ever to be struck by a meteorite when one crashed through her roof and hit her on the hip. Because Oak Grove was unincorporated at the time, Sylacauga, Talladega County, is often identified as the site of the strike. The Hodges meteorite is on display at the Alabama Museum of Natural History in Tuscaloosa.
Oak Grove operates a community garden that formerly was a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm. The owner donated the land to the city with the stipulation that it be used as a community garden and that it be called Comet Grove. Oak Grove incorporated in 1966.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Oak Grove recorded a population of 867. Of that number, 65.7 percent of respondents identified themselves as white and 33.9 percent as African American, 1.0 percent as Hispanic or Latino, and 0.3 as two or more races. The town’s median household income was $52,143, and the per capita income was $28,583.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Oak Grove was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Educational services and health care and social assistance (42.8 percent)
- Manufacturing (11.6 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (10.6 percent)
- Retail trade (7.6 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (6.3 percent)
- Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (6.3 percent)
- Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (5.1 percent)
- Construction (3.5 percent)
- Information (3.3 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (1.3 percent)
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (1.0 percent)
- Wholesale trade (0.5 percent)
Students in Oak Grove attend Talladega County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
U.S. Highway 231/280 State Highway 31/53 runs through Oak Grove northwest-southeast. County Highway 36 runs through Oak Grove northeast-southwest. The Sylacauga Municipal Airport is located less than a mile south of town.
Events and Places of Interest
Oak Grove maintains a park with a pavilion and a walking track and has a senior center. The town sponsors a Festival in the Park the last week of April, featuring food and craft vendors and live musical acts. The town has a “Gravity Hill,” an optical illusion in which cars appear to roll uphill. Oak Grove lies just to the west of the Talladega National Forest Talladega Ranger District that offers opportunities for biking, boating, camping, hiking, and hunting.
Talladega County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Talladega County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2000.