Columbiana is a city in Shelby County, Alabama, twenty-five miles east of Birmingham. Columbiana is the county seat of Shelby County.
Columbiana, originally called Columbia, was selected as the county seat of Shelby County in 1826 over rivals Calera and Montevallo. An act of the Alabama Legislature officially changed the name of Shelby County’s county seat to Columbiana on January 13, 1832. Columbiana was incorporated on December 5, 1837 with corporate limits one-quarter of a mile in each direction from the public square.
Prior to the Civil War, an iron foundry was located in Columbiana. During the American Civil War, Columbiana was connected to the nearby town of Shelby by the Shelby Iron Company Railroad, which connected the Shelby Iron Works to the Alabama and Tennessee River Railroad. The Iron Works supplied iron to the C.B. Churchill and Company foundry, which moved to Columbiana in 1862 after the fall of Corinth, Mississippi. The Churchill foundry made eight and ten pound shot, eight and ten pound shells, and shells for Blakely rifles. The C.B. Churchill and Company foundry, Shelby Iron Works and the railroad were destroyed by Union forces on March 31, 1865, as part of Wilson’s Raid.
Today, Columbiana is home to the Shelby County Board of Education, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the Shelby County Jail, and Harrison Regional Library, which is the main office for the Shelby County Library System.
A trip to Columbiana would not be complete without a tour of the Old Shelby County Courthouse, which was built in 1854, and the Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington, which houses a fine collection of heirlooms from America’s first family.
Columbiana Alabama Special Events
Columbiana holds the annual Liberty Day celebration on the last weekend in June, which was first held in 1986 to honor the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty.
Columbiana Alabama Contact Information
City of Columbiana
107 Mildred Street, Columbiana, AL 35051