When Cahawba Chapter was organized in 1945, the founders took its name from the first capital of the State of Alabama, located below Selma at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahawba Rivers. The name “Cahawba” comes from a Choctaw Indian name meaning literally “water above.” The Choctaw Indians who settled in the territory knew of the river’s rage. They called it “OKA ABA.” When white men heard the Indians say “OKA ABA,” they interpreted the words as “Cahawba.” It is also possible that the name originated from a Creek word meaning “extensive canebrakes,” an apt description of the land bordering the Cahawba River.
out of the wilderness in 1819, the city of Cahawba was a fully
functioning capital city by 1820 and was visited by Lafayette in 1824.
However, the city lost the designation as state capitol when the state
government was moved in 1826. The town continued to prosper and became
the cultural and commercial center for central Alabama’s wealthiest
cotton planters. Many gracious antebellum homes and businesses were
built, only to be suddenly and mysteriously abandoned shortly after the
Civil War. Once home to thousands, Cahawba is now a ghost town, a place
of picturesque ruins, and an important archaeological site. Referred to
as “Old Cahawba” the site is managed by the Alabama Historical
Commission and a park has been established to provide extensive
research and restoration.
The DAR Insignia is the
property of, and is copyrighted by, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Revised: September 13, 2010