• Around 1810 settlers began cutting a road that would be known as the Bumpass Trail through the wilderness. • One of the first to become interested in Waterloo was Dr. Edward Gabriel Bumpass. • Dr. Edward was one of Waterloo’s first land owners. • On February 6, 1818, Lauderdale County was one of the 8 county Governments that was created. • On December 14, 1818, John Craig became the first post master in Waterloo. • The Town of Waterloo was founded in 1819. • Dr. Bumpass employed Bib Cooperman as the town surveyor. Land sales in 1819 amounted to $9,525.50. • The Articles and Agreements to establish the Town of Waterloo was signed in Pulaski, Tennessee on March 1819.
• Waterloo was established in 1824. • In 1824, Mr. Chandler was the first settler of Waterloo. • In the mid 1820’s, McCorkle opened a drug store in Waterloo. • The first post office in Waterloo was built in 1828.
• 1830, Hiram Richardson, the founder of the Methodist Church was born. • The Town of Waterloo was incorporated in 1832. • On May 1838, began the Indian Removal Act, which is when the U.S. Government forced the Cherokee Indians to leave their ancient homelands and move west for reservations on the Trail of Tears. • On June of 1838, the Indians arrived in Waterloo. They traveled from Ross Landing in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Waterloo (about 230 miles).
• O.B. Sullivan became a doctor in 1844. • In 1847, a disastrous flood destroyed the early riverside Town of Waterloo and forced its move to the present day location on higher ground.
• 1850 was a time of political turmoil leading to the civil war. • Waterloo Methodist Church was established in 1853.
• Waterloo became a key port for both Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. Union gunboats shelled the town in the summer of 1862 following an incident when the older men of the community fired on one of the Union transport vessels. • On November 1, 1863, General William T. Sherman made his temporary headquarters in the home of Dr. O.B. Sullivan and crossed the river at Waterloo on his way to Chattanooga. • In the winter of 1865, General James H. Wilson camped between Gravely Springs and Waterloo and trained some 22,000 cavalrymen in the area prior to his invasion of South Alabama. This was the largest assembly of cavalry in the history of our country.
• The Newman house was built in 1872 by Hirian L. and Julia Ann Young Richardson. • In 1872, Waterloo School seemed like an all girls school. • In 1873, Lottie Moon came to Waterloo.
• The second Waterloo Methodist Church was built in 1888. • The Richardson Hotel was built in 1888.
• The Waterloo United Methodist Church had a board of trustees 23 years before the present church building was built in 1892. • May 11, 1895, according to the Florence Times, Waterloo supported a seven month school and three teachers. • In 1897, the Mayflower ran from Waterloo, AL. to St. Louis, MO. The ride cost $8.00. • In 1897, the principal was Homer Reed. • The Young Southern was another newspaper that was produced. • The Waterloo Record was newspaper that was published in 1898 to 1899.
• The Baptist Church was built in 1902.
• In 1914, Williams Chapel was started. • In 1914, the Farmers and Merchants Bank was organized in Waterloo, Al. • Buck Sharp was the first President of the Farmers and Merchants Bank. • The Sego School was a one room school located approximately five miles north of Waterloo, AL. on Second Creek Road. • In 1916, the enrollment of Sego School was 55 students. • In 1918, Joseph Marion Newman,a union soldier from Ohio stationed here during the Civil War, later returned and purchased the Newman house ( known as the Culver Museum).
• In the 1920’s, Waterloo was the center of the lumber industry. • In the early 1920’s, Waterloo was a boom town due to large sawmills. • The first high School was built in the early 1920’s. • The first school bus ran its route from Waterloo and down Second Creek in the late 1920’s. • In the early 1920’s, the Lard Bus Line started. • The bus was owned and operated by John Murphy. • The first graduating class contained four people in 1925. • By 1929, the High School served students in about a 15 mile radius. Roads were being improved and more buses were added.
• May 18, 1938, TVA was formed. • March 8, 1935, construction began on Pickwick Dam. • In 1938, a new school was built. • June 29, 1938, Pickwick Dam was complete.
• In March 1942, a tornado severely damaged Waterloo. • In 1948, Hart’s Park was established.
• In the early 1950’s, Soldiers left Waterloo to fight in the Korean War. • In 1952, the old Waterloo High School gym was built.
• In the 1960’s, the Vietnam War affected Waterloo. • A brick plant comes to Waterloo in the 1960’s. • In 1968, Waterloo School was integrated.
• In 1971, the Church of Christ was closed and moved two blocks north of the old building on Bumpass Creek Road. • In the 1970’s, the brick plant was closed. • The Waterloo Fire Department was established in 1975.
• In 1984, the Community Center was built by O.C. Eppes. • In 1986, the smokehouse restaurant burned down. • In 1986, the new Waterloo High School was built.
• In 1990, the Waterloo Cougars baseball and girls basketball teams won the state championship. • In 1993, the first Trail of Tears was celebrated. • In 1993, the Lady Cougars softball team won the state championship in Montgomery, Al. • In 1994, a Trail of Tears monument was erected in Waterloo at the turn around. • In 1994, a Edith Newman Culver Memorial Museum Monument was a erected in Waterloo in front of the museum. • In 1994, a Town of Waterloo monument was erected at the boat ramp in Waterloo. • In 1994, the Lady Cougars softball team won the state championship in Montgomery, Al. • The Newman house was restored in 1995 and presented to the citizens of Waterloo by Ezra Lee Culver, who’s wife, Edith Newman Culver, had inherited the house from her grandfather Joseph Marion Newman and grandmother Sarah Long Newman. • In 1995, the Lady Cougars softball team won the state championship in Montgomery, Al. • In 1997, the Lady Cougars softball team won the state championship in Montgomery, Al. • In 1999, the new gym was completed.
• In 2001, the Lady Cougars softball team won the state championship in Montgomery, Al. • In 2002, the new Post Office was completed. • In 2003, the Sullivan house was burned. • In 2003, the Lady Cougars won the state championship in Montgomery, Al. • In 2004, the River Walk was erected at the turnaround commemorating the suffering of the Native Americans during the Trail of Tears.
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