Castleberry


Castleberry, which bills itself as the Strawberry Capital of Alabama, is located in south-central Conecuh County in the south-central part of the state. It has a mayor-city council form of government.

History 

The community that now encompasses Castleberry was first settled in 1817 by the Baggett family. The Castleberry family, whose name the town would bear, moved to the area in 1830. Their residence became a relay stop, known as Castleberry's, on a stagecoach route that came through town. The establishment of the stagecoach stop soon brought hotels, a blacksmith shop, and a turpentine still to the town, and the first public school opened in 1854. The name was formalized as Castleberry in the 1860s when the Mobile and Montgomery Railroad built a line through town.

Strawberries would come to be the most significant cash crop in the area in the early 1900s. In 1918, the railroad shipped 150 carloads of strawberries from Castleberry. Strawberries continue to be an important segment of the Castleberry economy, and in 1987 the governor declared it the Strawberry Capital of Alabama.

Demographics 

Castleberry's population according to the 2010 Census was 583. Of that number, 59.2 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 38.4 percent as African American, 1.9 percent as two or more races, 0.5 percent as Hispanic or Latino, and 0.3 percent as Native American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $18,229, and the per capita income was $14,295.

Employment 

According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Castleberry was divided among the following industrial categories:

· Construction (20.8 percent)
· Manufacturing (20.2 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (14.0   percent)
· Public administration (13.5 percent)
· Information (9.0 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (6.2 percent)
· Retail trade (4.5 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste   management services (4.5 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (3.9 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services   (3.4 percent)

Education 

Schools in Castleberry are part of the Conecuh County school system; the town has approximately 190 students and 15 teachers in pre-K-8 school.

Transportation 

County Highway 6 bisects Castleberry running east-west, and U.S. Highway 31 traverses the town north-south.

Events and Places of Interest 

The Castleberry Commercial District and the Castleberry Residential District are both listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Castleberry holds an annual Strawberry Festival on the third Saturday in April. In addition to fresh strawberries, the event has food and crafts vendors and live music.

Additional Resources 

Conecuh County Heritage Book Committee. Heritage of Conecuh County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 2002.

James P. Kaetz
Auburn University


Published March 1, 2013
Last updated March 1, 2013