You may have seen tracks in the middle of some of our historic downtown and residential streets. Are those leftover from real streetcars or were they simply added later for decorative purposes? Indeed, they ARE real streetcar tracks!
Originally powered by horses and mules, streetcars were later powered by electricity. By 1900, Decatur had four streetcar routes as well as an old mule car barn (at Grant St. and Somerville Road) and an electric car barn at the head of Second Avenue (near Gordon Drive).
Route 1 primarily served Second Avenue/Ferry Street, Church Street (where some of the old tracks are seen today), Old Town, Danville Road, Moulton Street, Gordon Drive and Fourth Avenue--- a very large geographic area.
Route 2 ran from the electric car barn to Grant Street (where some of the old tracks are seen today) to the 16th Avenue/Chestnut Street area and back.
Route 3 served Prospect Drive, 4th Avenue, 6th Avenue and 11th Street, therefore the route used by many employees of the L&N Shops to get to and from work.
Route 4 made a loop from Second Avenue/Ferry Street to Church Street, Bank Street, Lee Street and back to the electric car barn at the end of Second Avenue, therefore both the Old Decatur and Albany Downtowns.
The advent of personal automobiles in the early 1900s spelled the beginning of the end for the streetcars.
David Breland is kind of a big deal in Morgan County. His memory goes WAAAAY back (check out his picture), but he also is a local expert in Morgan County history. David is Director of Historical Resources and Events for the City of Decatur in Morgan County, Alabama.
While this site was developed to share our local treasures with our own community and armchair visitors from around the world during COVID-19, please visit our museums, attractions, hotels, shops, and restaurants in person when all of this craziness is over. Plan your visit to Decatur-Morgan County and Downtown Decatur, Alabama.