The area where Valley, Alabama is located under went a major economic change after the Civil War. Prior to this conflict, the economy of this area was based on agriculture, but after the war, things began to change and the ‘Age of Textiles in the South’ began. This economic upheaval was the beginning of what would, over 100 years later, become the City of Valley, Alabama.
Valley became a city in 1980, but its history dates back to the late 1860s when twin textile mills and towns, Langdale and Riverview, were built on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. In the early 1900s, two additional mills and mill villages, Shawmut and Fairfax, were built and in 1980 these 4 mill towns incorporated to form the City of Valley, Alabama. The entire incorporation process took only 15 months, which at the time was a record for incorporation in the State of Alabama.
For well over 100 years, the towns of Langdale, Riverview, Shawmut, and Fairfax were dependent upon the textile industry for their way of life and the area thrived and flourished as this was when 'Cotton was king'. West Point Manufacturing, which went through several name changes over the years and is today called West Point Home, Inc., furnished the towns with whatever they needed in the way of recreation, churches, stores, jobs, schools, ….everything.
Today, with the decline of the American Textile industry, Valley is faced with the necessity to once again reinvent itself as did its ancestors after the Civil War. But, with progressive and bold leaders willing to make the tough, yet necessary decisions required to move the city forward, Valley will face a future bright with prospect and opportunity.