Annual Removal Day celebration marks peculiar Baldwin County history

By Allison Marlow
Managing Editor
allisonm@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 10/12/22

BAY MINETTE - Daphne lost the county seat yet again.The loss was expected and celebrated by costumed re-enactors and crowds during the annual Removal Day drama last Thursday in downtown Bay …

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Annual Removal Day celebration marks peculiar Baldwin County history

Posted

BAY MINETTE - Daphne lost the county seat yet again.

The loss was expected and celebrated by costumed re-enactors and crowds during the annual Removal Day drama last Thursday in downtown Bay Minette.

The unique moment in time came in 1901 when leaders in Bay Minette circulated a petition requesting that the Alabama Legislature move the Baldwin County seat to Bay Minette from Daphne. Although a counter-petition circulated in Daphne, the legislature named Bay Minette the county's new center of government in February 1901.

Despite stout opposition from Daphne, construction began on Bay Minette's new courthouse on July 4, 1901, and the building was nearly completed by early October of that year. However, the new county seat could not operate until the necessary fixtures of county government were moved from Daphne to Bay Minette.

City fathers in Daphne refused to turn over these items. Hence, the forceful removal of the county seat began.

On Oct. 10, 1901, a group of men in horse-drawn wagons headed to Daphne, where citizens were armed and prepared to defend the county seat with force.
Still, the men moved every item, from benches to nails, off in wagons to Bay Minette.

After the melee legislators acted again, this time to pass a law forbidding anyone in Alabama from ever moving their county seat again.

Thursday's celebration included a dessert contest, costume contests and performances by local politicians in the re-telling of the drama.

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