Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek, French, Spanish, English, and American people all lived and worked in this area prior to statehood. A visit to St. Stephens offers a unique glimpse into the pioneer days when Alabama was the western frontier of European settlement.
The museum houses a collection of artifacts dating from prehistoric times through modern day. The focus is on telling the story of St. Stephens from the days of sharks and sea creatures through the pivotal early statehood days and into the modern era. Also located in this building is the Bicentennial Reading Room which features books on Alabama history, local history, and genealogical research.
The 1854 Washington County Courthouse was closed to the public during the COVID pandemic. The Courthouse is scheduled to re-open during the summer of 2023.
Two basins carved in the rocks and filled from flowing underground springs have been called "The Indian Bathtubs" for many years. Recent investigation suggests that the basins weren't created by Native American tools, but rather by European tools. Regardless of its origins or original use, the baths are a beautiful site.
The baths are easy to find and are a short walk from the parking area.
In the heyday of Old St. Stephens, from 1810-1830, it was a bustling riverfront town with a tremendous social and economic impact on the developing state. By the time of the Civil War, the town site had been abandoned, and it remained virtually untouched until archaeological interests stirred in the 1980s. There are no buildings standing from the old town, but there are still decades of study to be done on the building sites in the town.
Archaeological digs are open to the public and are usually announced on the park's Facebook page.
Self-guided walking tours are available daily, and guided tours can be arranged by calling 251-247-2622.