Local History of Geneva County and it's cities and towns.
Geneva is located at the junction of the Choctawhatchee and Talakhatchee (Pea) Rivers in the south-central part of Geneva County. It is the county seat of 578 square miles of territory situated in Southeast Alabama on the Alabama-Florida line. There are 15 square miles within the city limits. Geneva was once a part of the Mississippi territory extending from the Mississippi River on the West to the Choctawhatchee River on the East and from Montgomery in the North to the present Florida line on the South.
Geneva began its history in 1820. Records indicate that a trading post was established on the South side of the junction of the two rivers by Walter S.C. Yonge and his brother, Henry A Yonge, Jr.
The Lincoln Flood, named after President Lincoln, washed away old Geneva, which ran parallel to the Choctawhatchee on Washington Street. The Pace Hotel was at the heart of the city. The result of this flood moved Geneva to the present location. The 1929 Hoover flood, again named after President Hoover, forced townspeople to build a levee with the help of the WPA.
The "junction" was the site of the Union raid on the Confederate Steamboat, Bloomer, in 1860. River traffic developed to the Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Many river steamers began using the river to Pensacola and other ports until well after the coming of the railroads in the 1890's.
Geneva has been located in Henry, Dale, Coffee and Geneva counties before the city incorporated in 1872. Geneva County was established December 26, 1868. The first electricity was generated in Geneva in December 1905. Geneva was named by Henry A. Yonge's wife, Mary Effis Yonge, whose home town was Geneva, New York. The Alabama State Legislature created what is now Geneva County from parts of Dale, Henry and Coffee Counties on December 2.
I will continue to up the information as it is received. Do you have an old picture or story that you would like to share? Please send it to me and I will add it to the Geneva County web site.
If anyone has the history on this Hotel please let me know.
This site last updated 11/05/2007
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