Tucked on a bluff high, overlooking the meandering Alabama River, Selma, is the second oldest city in Alabama. With a population of 18,949 (as of 2009) historic Selma, is known for its pivotal roles in the Civil War and Civil Rights eras. It is also the county seat for Dallas County and the largest town in Alabama’s western Black Belt Region—named for the color of its Blackland Prairie soil.
Deemed the “Queen City of the Black Belt Region” by author Alston Fitts, Selma—with the butterfly as its official mascot—is located 42 miles west of Montgomery, 80 miles south of Birmingham, and 178 miles southwest of Atlanta, Georgia. Covering a total area of 37.4 sq km, Selma is also part of the Alabama-Tombigbee river economic development region in Central Alabama at the junction of US 80 and state highway 22.
Selma has the largest contiguous historic district in Alabama
With its rich cultural and regional history, tracing back to the regions first Paleo-Indian inhabitants, European exploration and colonization, through the times of the Creek Nation, French and Spanish Control, and Civil War to Civil Rights events, Selma is home to Alabama’s largest historic district.
Selma’s approximate 1,200 historic structures, ranging from palatial antebellum and Victorian homes to century-old buildings that housed Civil War munitions and the King Cotton industry, are a trove of tourism sites and a history-lovers paradise. In addition to being a hospitable southern town to travel to, Selma provides its residents with the opportunity to live amid hundreds of years of a rich historical heritage while enjoying good schools, quality medical facilities, a variety of employment opportunities, multiple housing options, assorted shopping malls and shops, museums, and numerous natural resources for recreational and family activities.
Selma, meaning “high seat” or “throne” was incorporated in 1820
From its quaint shops, restaurants, and businesses lining Broad Street and beyond, to its numerous industrial sites and parks, Selma’s well-developed roads and railways, in addition to its central location on the shores of the Alabama River, have served the city well--historically and in modern times—as a vital location for travel, conducting business, and affordable living and housing.
The city of Selma and Dallas County have a diversified industrial and business base that employs over 17,000 workers in approximately 100 manufacturing facilities.
As one of ten cities comprising Alabama’s Inland State Docks system, Selma has access to thousands of navigable miles of waterways throughout the Midwest, as well as the Port of Mobile and the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, the Alabama River also connects with the Tombigbee River and Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.
Furthermore, Selma’s general aviation airport—with accommodations for private jets--is located at the Craig Industrial Complex. And the nearby Montgomery Municipal Airport—Dannelly Field offering carrier service with US Airways Express, ASA/Delta Connection, and Northwest Airlink—serves as an additional source of air travel for Selma’s residents and visitors.
Preserving historic Selma, and Dallas County for the future
Remaining dedicated to economic growth and development, while preserving the city’s cultural and historical heritage, is an ongoing commitment made by the citizens of Selma—in addition to the city, county, and state government, the Selma & Dallas County Alabama Economic Development Authority, and the Tourism and Convention Bureau—as they align to honor the past and plan for the future. Welcome.