Burnt Corn (or Burnt Corn Spring)
is Monroe County, Alabama's oldest settlement, on the
border of Conecuh County. Burnt Corn is located at a historic
crossroads near the source
of Burnt Corn Creek and the intersection of two trading paths, the
Great Pensacola Trading Path and the Federal Road.
The town and the creek may have
been named for an incident in which passersby found a pile of parched
corn, a food often used by Creek Indians when traveling. In 1798 the
area was included in the Mississippi Territory but was controlled by
the Creek Nation. Between 1805 and 1811 the area became a stop on the Federal Road through the Creek Nation. Settlers in the area
started farms worked by African American slaves.
Settler Jim Cornells returned home
from his trip to Pensacola, found his house destroyed and his wife kidnapped by
a Creek Indian War Party. As the Creeks returned from procuring
weapons in Pensacola, Cornells and some volunteers ambushed the
Indians at a ford just south of the Town of Burnt Creek. Thus The
Battle of Burnt Corn, in July 1813, began the Creek War of 1813-1814.
When the Creek Nation was forced to cede land to the
United States in 1815, Burnt Corn Spring was included in a 640-acre land grant
to Jim Cornells, a Creek Indian who fought on the U.S. side in the
U.S. postal service to Burnt Corn
began in 1817, when the village also became part of the Alabama
Territory. The post office (see next picture below) was closed in 1997 and the 36431 ZIP code
retired. Burnt Corn is now served by the Evergreen post office in ZIP
A school, the "Students' Retreat,"
was organized in 1820, followed by a Baptist church in 1821.
Burnt Corn was considered a
thriving community in the early twentieth century, but it never
became an incorporated town. The present-day community is centered on a combined post office and
The Old Bethany Baptist Church was established in
1821, now the property of the Monroe County Heritage Museums, sits
along the Old Federal Road in one of Monroe
County’s most picturesque and historic communities.
The Burnt Corn Methodist Church was
organized in 1908. The congregation met in the Kyser-Bretts Store
until the building was finished.
Today, Burnt Creek and its buildings, the old post
office, country store, houses, churches and doctor’s office appear frozen in time. It sits on Monroe County Road
30 waiting for travelers to stop and enjoy its beauty.