Flomaton is located in south-central Escambia County, in the southwestern corner of the state. It is situated less than a mile from the Alabama/Florida border. World War I Congressional Medal of Honor winner Sidney E. Manning was a Flomaton resident.
The town of Flomaton arose in 1869 at a junction of three railroad lines constructed by the Mobile and Montgomery Railroad. The earliest settler in the area was Hiram Renfroe, a railroad employee. By 1886, the community had 250 residents. The town went by several names, including Reuterville, Whiting, and Pensacola Junction, until April or May 1908, when it was incorporated as Flomaton, a combination of Florida and Alabama, with -ton added by the U.S. Postal Service. The town suffered three major fires in the downtown area in 1902, 1908, and 1911; the latter destroyed the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Depot. Flomaton continued as an important rail junction throughout the first half of the century. The timber industry also contributed to the local economy, in particular sawmills, as it still does at present. A major flood in 1929 caused severe damage and was followed quickly by the Great Depression, which further damaged the town's economy. The Flomaton Gas Field, which produces both oil and natural gas, was discovered in 1968.
Flomaton’s population at the time of the 2010 Census was 1,440. Of that number, 69.5 percent identified themselves as white, 27.2 percent as African American, 2.3 percent as Hispanic, 1.6 percent as Native American, 1.1 percent as two or more races, 0.1 percent as Asian, and 0.1 percent as Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. The city's median household income was $31,701, and per capita income was $15,746.
Flomaton's work force, according to 2009 Census estimates, was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (18.9 percent)
· Manufacturing (14.0 percent)
· Retail trade (13.6 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (12.8 percent)
· Construction (10.9 percent)
· Public administration (8.3 percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (7.3 percent)
· Wholesale trade (7.1 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (2.6 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste management services (1.5 percent)
· Finance, insurance, and real estate, rental, and leasing (1.4 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (1.1 percent)
· Information (0.6 percent)
Schools in Flomaton are part of the Escambia County School District; the town has approximately 715 students and 40 teachers in one elementary school (K-8) and one high school (9-12).
U.S. Highway 29 runs through Flomaton from the south, where it joins U.S. Highway 31 to run through the city east-west.
Events and Places of Interest
The Flomaton Natural Area located east of the city has a stand of old-growth longleaf pines, one of the few remaining in the state. The 60-acre tract has been largely untouched for more than 50 years.
The Jackson Theatre, constructed in 1926, is now the home of the Flomaton Antique Auction. The Flomaton Area Railroad Museum
recalls Flomaton's role as an important railroad junction; the museum building also serves as an Alabama welcome center. The
Hiram Renfroe log cabin, the oldest structure in town, has been moved from its original location to just behind the Railroad
Museum. The Hart Hotel (also known as the Flomaton Hotel) is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the
Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Escambia County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Escambia County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2002.
Waters, Annie C. History of Escambia County, Alabama. Huntsville, Ala.: Strode Publishers, 1983.
James P. Kaetz
Published December 14, 2011
Last updated March 20, 2013