Dothan, Alabama

Dothan Business Signs

Dothan is located in the southeastern-most corner of the present-day U.S. state of Alabama, approximately 20 miles west of the Georgia state line and 16 miles north of Florida.  Before the U.S. existed, this area of the North American landmass was inhabited for thousands of years “by successive cultures of indigenous peoples.”  By historic times, however, what would become the Dothan area was occupied by Alabama and Creek Native American tribal groups.  Between 1763 and 1783, this area fell under the purview of the colony of British West Florida.  Following the Indian Wars and the forcible removal of the “Five Civilized Tribes” from the area – the first European-American settlement in the area, “Poplar Head”, existed from the early 1830s until its abandonment by the time of the American Civil War.  After this war, however, a local Pony Express route was established and a town began to grow around it.  The citizens of the area called it “Dothan,” after an ancient Biblical city.  Dothan, Alabama was officially incorporated on November 11th, 1885.

Today, according to a 2015 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, Dothan, Alabama has a total population of 68,567 people.  According to that same estimate, the Dothan metropolitan area has a total population of 148,171 citizens.

Dothan, Alabama is infamous for its local peanut crop.  In fact, according to the Dothan Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, “one fourth of the U.S. peanut crop is produced nearby.”  Many of these peanut crops are even processed within the city limits.  For these reasons, Dothan, Alabama has often been called “The Peanut Capital of the World.”  Indeed, at the dedicated “Peanut Festival Fairgrounds” every year, the Dothan community holds the National Peanut Festival, which they boast is the United States’s largest peanut festival.  The National Peanut Festival’s purpose, as reported by the Alabama Tourism Department, is “to honor peanut growers and to celebrate the harvest season.”  At the festival, farmers are encouraged to take part in field crop exhibits where prizes are aplenty!  There is also great renown to be found by the farmer who has grown the biggest peanut!

Elsewhere in Dothan, Alabama, the city’s largest employer, according to the 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, is Southeast Alabama Medical Center, responsible for 2,500 employees.  Dothan City & Houston County Schools come in second, employing 1,973 people, while Flowers Hospital and the City of Dothan round out the list, providing 1,100 and 927 jobs, respectively.

Dothan, Alabama is also home to the United States Army Aviation Museum, which houses the largest collection of helicopters held by a museum in the world.  This museum, which opened to the public in 1968, “features some 50 aircraft on public display with aviation artifacts ranging from a replica of the Wright brothers’ Model B military biplane to an AH-64 Apache from Operation Desert Storm.  The museum has over 160 aircraft in its collection and holds 3,000 historical items.”

There are no professional sports franchises of note currently operating in the Dothan, Alabama area.  There are, however, a couple of notable buildings.  The Wiregrass Museum of Art, which was established in 1988, is contained in the same building the Dothan Municipal Light and Water Plant once operated inside.  This water plant, which was built in 1913, is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.  The Dothan Opera House, which was built between 1914 and 1915, is also listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  Designed by architects Morris & Morris, Dothan Opera House was built in the Classical Revival and Italian Renaissance styles.  It has an 800-person seating capacity.

Do you, by any chance, own a small business in the Dothan, Alabama area?  Considering embarking upon such an exciting endeavor?  These resources will certainly prove beneficial for you:

Apply for a Business License in Dothan, Alabama:

Central & South Alabama Better Business Bureau:

Dothan Alabama Area Chamber of Commerce:

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Shift Designs
Dothan, AL
Chris Lee