Monroeville received the designation of Literary Capital of Alabama in 1997 by joint proclamation of the Alabama House of Representatives and Senate because of its history of producing many famous writers, such as Nelle Harper Lee, Truman Capote, Mike Stewart, Cynthia Tucker, and Mark Childress (to name a few).
Monroe County was founded in 1815 on lands ceded by local Native American tribes. Monroeville, once known as Centerville, was renamed for James Monroe and incorporated on April 15, 1899. However, the first municipal election is recorded as being held on January 23, 1858 to incorporate the town of Monroeville with a 14 to 0 vote in favor of incorporation. As a crossroads community just outside the plantation region of the Black Belt, the community was largely agricultural. In the mid-1930s, a Vanity Fair textile mill opened and, along with wood products, contributed to a dynamic local economy.
Monroeville remains a regional center and crossroads on the El Camino Corridor. While the textile industry has moved overseas, agriculture remains and timber continues as an important part of the local economy. The healthcare industry is now becoming a major contributor to the local economy.
Monroeville is home to Coastal Alabama Community College where the Alabama Writers Symposium is held every May. Annual productions of To Kill A Mockingbird are staged in April and May at the Monroe County Heritage Museum and Courthouse with local citizens performing the roles. There never seems to be an end to the talent found in Monroeville.
In May 2005, Monroeville received its designation as an Alabama Community of Excellence, which recognizes the city as one of the top places to live in Alabama. In order to receive this designation, the city was required to meet certain criteria in leadership, planning, economic development, and quality of life.
Don’t Miss these Monroeville Attractions:
- The Old Monroe County Courthouse
- Downtown Walking Tour
- Monroe County Public Library
- C. L. Hybart House
125 East Claiborne Street, Monroeville, AL 36460-2698 | 251-575-2081