Paint Rock is located in southwestern Jackson County in the extreme northeast corner of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
Morgue Entrance to Fern Cave Founded in the early 1820s, the town of Paint Rock was originally called Camden. Its first post office was established in 1836, and it was referred to as Redman. In 1876, town officials changed its name to Paint Rock; it lies along the Paint Rock River. Most of the land on which the town was located was owned by John Kennamer. The town incorporated in February 1894.
In the 1870s, Paint Rock several businesses located in the town, including a water mill that ground corn and wheat. Later, in 1897, a pencil mill opened in the area, followed by a textile mill. Soon after, a chair factory was a major source of employment in the area until its closure in the early 1970s. Paint Rock was hit by tornadoes in 1870, 1880, and most notably in 1932. This tornado killed several individuals and damaged almost half of the homes in the area as well as various warehouses, the textile mill, and much of its downtown. With the widening of U.S. Highway 72 in 1975, several other businesses had to be torn down, including a landmark store that had operated in town for years.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Paint Rock recorded a population of 171. Of that number, 91.2 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 4.7 percent as two or more races, 3.5 percent as Native American, and 0.6 percent as Asian. The town’s median household income was $50,500, and the per capita income was $27,989.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Paint Rock was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Educational services and health care and social assistance (19.7 percent)
- Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (13.1 percent)
- Manufacturing (11.5 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (9.8 percent)
- Retail trade (9.8 percent)
- Construction (8.2 percent)
- Wholesale trade (4.9 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (3.3 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (3.3 percent)
- Public administration (1.6 percent)
Students in Paint Rock attend Jackson County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
U.S. Highway 72 bisects Paint Rock running north-south. The Norfolk-southern Corporation operates a rail line through Paint Rock.
Events and Places of Interest
Nearby is the Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge, which protects the federally endangered gray and Indiana species of bats.
Jackson County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Jackson County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1998.
Kennamer, John Robert, Sr. History of Jackson County, Alabama. 1935. Reprint, Scottsboro, Ala.: Jackson County Historical Association, 1993.