The city of Bay Minette is in Baldwin County, Alabama and it is the County seat. Located in the central part of the county, it is situated at the headwaters of Bay Minette and White House Creeks, 31 miles northeast of Mobile, 50 miles northwest of Pensacola and 35 miles north of Foley.
There is an intriguing story that the town leaders of Bay Minette devised a scheme to lure the sheriff and deputy out of Daphne with a false story of a murder while a group of men from Bay Minette stole the Baldwin County Courthouse records in the middle of the night on October 11-12, 1901 and took them to Bay Minette to establish the county seat there.
First settled by the French
Bay Minette was first settled by the French. There are two traditions as to how it was named, the 1st is that it took its name from a French woman, who lived on a bayou at the mouth of Bay Minette Creek and the 2nd is that the town was named after a French Surveyor named Minet. The town was established in its present location in 1861 when the railroad was constructed.
The first settler of Bay Minette was William Wright; the first physician, Dr. J. D. Trammell; first preacher. Rev. Mitchell, Baptist; the first school teacher and postmaster, Miss Annie Byrne. Among the early settlers were the Stanmeyer, Thompson, Hastie, Silva, Byrne, Dollve and Carney families.
Incorporated in 1901
Bay Minette was incorporated under the municipal code of 1901 and is the third county seat the county has had since 1809. Blakely was the first, and Daphne the second. Bay Minette was chosen by the legislature, February 5, 1901.
By act approved March 4, 1903, the proceedings in the erection of public buildings and in removing the records of the county from Daphne were legalized and approved.
The harvesting of turpentine was one of the forest industries that predominated the area in the late nineteenth to mid twentieth centuries.
Collecting turpentine in the south (Library of Congress)
Youtube film by The County Express
Location of several Civil War and other historic sites
In the 2000 census, the city of Bay Minette had a population of 7820.
“In September 2011, the town attempted to enact a program called “Operation Restore Our Community” that would have allowed those convicted of a misdeamnor to substitute imprisonment with mandatory church attendance for one year. However, this program was challenged due to violating separation of church and state, and the program’s start was delayed for judicial review.”
- Acts. 1900-01, p. 754; Local Acts, 1903, p. 168;
- Brewer, Alabama (1872), p. 114;
- Berney,Handbook (1892), p. 268;
- Riley, Conecuh County (1881), pp. 184, 205;
- Northern Alabama (1888), p. 230;
- Polk’sAlabama gazetteer, 1888-9, p. 107.
- Encyclopedia of Alabama