Prichard, Alabama

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Prichard is a city in Mobile County, Alabama, in the United States.

Prichard borders the northside of Mobile, as well as the Mobile suburbs of Chickasaw, Alabama, Saraland, Alabama, and the unincorporated sections of Eight Mile, Alabama. As of 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 27,963.[1] It is a part of the Mobile metropolitan statistical area.

Contents

History

Prichard began as a settlement in the 1830s bordering Telegraph Road (known now as U.S. Highway 43) It remained largely unsettled until the Clotilde landed in Mobile Bay prior to the Civil War. Africatown evolved into a greater part of the Plateau/Magazine area which developed along Telegraph Road, and eventually, Plateau and Magazine had their territory split between Mobile and Prichard.

After 1900, Prichard began a slow and steady development. In 1925, Prichard was incorporated as a city. During World War II Prichard became a company town as many Mobile shipbuilding companies built homes for their workers in Prichard. During the 1950s and 60's, Prichard annexed historic Whistler as well as parts of Eight Mile, Alabama and Kushla. The 40's and 50's saw phenomenal growth in the Mobile area, and Mobile, Prichard and Chickasaw all recorded their highest city-proper populations in 1960. Following the Civil Rights Movement however, Prichard's rigid system of segregation collapsed, and many blacks who had previously lived in the Bullshead/Neely/Trinity Gardens area of Prichard began moving into East Prichard (downtown Prichard) causing a dramatic white flight to occur.

In 1960, Prichard recorded a population of 47,371. In 1970, the population had decreased to 41,000 and by 1990 it had decreased to approximately 34,000. In 1970, Vigor High School on Wilson Avenue, which had been Prichard's white high school during segregation was 70% white, by 1980, it was 80% black, even considering the fact that most of Prichard's remaining white areas were in its district. In 1994, construction of Interstate 165 was completed, and it has produced some economic benefits in East Prichard. The 1980s downtown vacancy rate was near 80%, as of 2000, it was closer to 30%. In 2004, the Prichard Housing Authority began demolition of the Bessemer Avenue Housing Project in Bullshead.

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