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James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Gordon is located on the Chattahoochee River in Houston County in the extreme southeastern corner of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
White settlers came into the Gordon area as early as 1819. Initially known as Open Pond for its proximity to the Chattahoochee River, the town probably began as a trading post. The local economy started to expand in the 1820s after the federal government began building roads in the area. The main economic boon came in 1828 when the first steamboats began to sail the Chattahoochee River, and the town became a major port and trading town, boasting three landings at one point. Cotton from the surrounding plantations became the main cargo shipped from the town, and the riverboats brought in products to be sold by local merchants.
A stagecoach line began running through Open Pond in 1839. The town became known as Woodville in the 1850s, after the postmaster. During the Civil War, the town was subject to Union blockades of the river, which slowed riverboat traffic and depressed the town's economy. In the 1880s, the town was renamed for Dan Gordon, Henry County probate judge from 1880-1907. Gordon's role as a river port ended when the Alabama Midland Railroad built a track through town in 1890. Gordon remained a shipping center, but the town itself was dealt a severe blow in 1904 when a fire destroyed most of the downtown area, much of which was not restored. The Great Depression further harmed the remaining businesses, and farmers began losing their land and moving away. The town never recovered and very little evidence remains of the once-thriving port. Gordon though, holds the distinction of electing only the second woman as mayor of an Alabama municipality, Betty Tomlinson, in 1956.
Gordon's population according to the 2010 Census was 332. Of that number, 76.5 percent of respondents identified themselves as African American, 21.4 percent as white, 1.5 percent as Hispanic or Latino, and 0.3 percent as Native American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 estimates, was $21,406, and the per capita income was $15,456.
According to the 2010 Census, the workforce in Gordon is divided among the following occupational categories:
· Manufacturing (29.9 percent)
· Retail trade (23.7 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (20.6 percent)
· Public administration (7.2 percent)
· Professional, scientific, management, and administrative and waste   management services (6.2 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (6.2   percent)
· Transportation and warehousing and utilities (4.1 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (2.1 percent)
Students in Gordon attend Houston County schools; no public schools are located within the town limits.
U.S. Highway 84 parallels the southern town limits of Gordon, running east-west, and State Highway 95 bisects the town running northwest-southeast. The Great Northern Airport is located approximately two miles north of town. CSX Transportation, Inc. operates a line through the town.
Events and Places of Interest
The Chattahoochee River offers recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming. Chattahoochee State Park is located just south of Gordon.

Additional Resources

Dickson, Martha Lee. Gordon, Alabama: Pioneer Riverboat Town. Montgomery, Ala.: Walker Printing, 1999.
Houston County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Houston County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2003.
Published:  August 22, 2016   |   Last updated:  August 22, 2016