Erie Alabama was formed as the first municipality in the county in 1820. Erie, Alabama was located near today’s Sawyerville, Alabama in Hale County about a mile above old Lock 6 and 11 miles west of Greensboro, Alabama. The town spread over about 22 acres and housed quite a few business establishments. Nothing stands today. Erie was the also the first county seat of Greene County from 1819-to 1839 and has been part of Hale County since 1867. It was located on the East bank of the Black Warrior River about 11 miles west of Greensboro.
Erie Alabama History
According to the history of Greene County, Erie was located on the bank of the Black Warrior River in present day Hale County. It was a thriving town with stores, shops, a hotel, and newspaper. Copies of the local paper, The Democrat, are archived at the courthouse probate office in Greene County, Alabamaa.
Sometime in the late 1830’s or so, a sick man was taken from a steamship at Erie to be nursed back to health. He had Yellow fever and soon an epidmeic spread throughout Erie. That, along with the fact that the town had a poor water source ended the town. Most residents moved to Eutaw, Alabama just across the river and to the Greensboro, Alabama areas.
The Erie cemetery can be found by traveling County Road 15 in Hale County, AL to Erie Road. The cemetery is on the Left before you reach Mason Bend Road.
According to Roland Monette (descendent of Elizabeth Monnette family) in a posting to Genforum on 9/3/2002:
I have the old town plat, with last changes in 1910 by my great uncle Samiel Jackson “Jack” Monette who owned the entire town site until his death there in 1915. It then passed to his fiance, Miss Octavia Sledge who married Harvey Poellnitz; they disassembled the original old homestead of Rev James and Rachel Monett in 1946. In 1950’s the town site and 580 surrounding acres was bought by my late friend Charles Parnell. I helped maintain the old burying ground there for many years, and often took people back there who came looking for their ancestral roots, but I left in mid 80’s and moved to Europe. My family still owns the old Monette lands near Erie. I have all the old timer stories of Erie’s settlement mostly by Tennesseeans (Monett, McGee, Sullivan…) and Carolinians (including Phares and McAlpin).
For additional articles, visit the Alabama Ghost Towns Index