Waterloo is located in Lauderdale County in the northwestern corner of the state. It has a mayor/council form of government.


Waterloo first incorporated in 1832 and was located nearer to the Tennessee River. In 1838, the town served as the end point of the march through Alabama of members of the Cherokee Nation, who were forcibly removed from their lands in the state. Known as the Trail of Tears, the portion of the march that took place in Alabama ended at the Tennessee River, on which the Cherokees were then taken by boat to points west, with the ultimate settlement in what is now eastern Oklahoma. The town reincorporated in 1910 and relocated inland in the 1930s after the Tennessee Valley Authority impounded Pickwick Lake.


According to 2020 Census estimates, Waterloo recorded a population of 137. Of that number, 97.8 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 2.2 percent as Hispanic, and 2.2 percent as two or more races. The town's median household income was $37,813, and the per capita income was $24,112.


According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Waterloo was divided among the following industrial categories:

  • Manufacturing (22.9 percent)
  • Educational services and health care and social assistance (20.0 percent)
  • Construction (14.3 percent)
  • Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (8.6 percent)
  • Public administration (8.6 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (5.7 percent)
  • Retail trade (5.7 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (5.7 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (5.7 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (2.9 percent)


Waterloo High School, which includes grades K-12, is overseen by the Lauderdale County Schools.


County Road 14 runs north-south through the town and turns east to connect with Florence, and County Road 45 runs northwest from the center of town.

Events and Places of Interest

Waterloo hosts the end of the annual Trail of Tears Motorcycle Ride to commemorate the event. Located on Pickwick Lake and the Tennessee River, the town is a stop on the Alabama Birding Trails. The Edith Newman Culver Museum, housed in an 1872 historic home, features displays on local and regional history. It was donated to the city by descendants of the Newman family.

Further Reading

  • The Heritage of Lauderdale County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1999.

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Edith Newman Culver Museum

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Photo courtesy of Jimmy Emerson
Edith Newman Culver Museum