Jacob City: Water Tower Welcome
Jacob City is a Legacy Community that has a history going back to the early 1800s. The community is located between Campbellton and Cottondale in the northwestern part of Jackson County. It was formed by a group of former slaves who moved to Jacob City to gain isolation and safety from the racism prevalent in Webbville. The name Jacob City comes from Jacob Jones, a white man who owned property in the area where Jacob City is today. He offered housing and safety for many of the first black people that left Webbville. By the mid-1800s, Jacob City was known as the first black community in Jackson County.
By the early 1900s, Jacob City had become economically independent and had a growing population. However, like many other Legacy Communities during the time of out-migration, the city began to suffer economically due to a lack of economic and educational opportunities. Despite the out-migration that the city has suffered from, the community is still very close-knit and is home to many culturally important sites and traditions. One of these sites is St. Mary’s Missionary Baptist.
Throughout its history, Jacob City has also been home to other important social gathering spaces such as barbershops, beauty stores, and small cafes. Additionally, the town was home to a recreational baseball team that traveled around the area playing against other Legacy Community teams. Jacob City, known simply as Jacob at first, joined the League of Cities in the late 1900s and officially became Jacob City in 1984.
The dedication and loyalty of its residents are clearly shown through the annual celebration of Jacob City Day every September. The event started as a service day for residents, even those who moved, to come together to volunteer to clean up their community and share skills and ideas with one another. Today, the day has evolved into a city-sponsored 3-day festival celebrating the neighborly support that makes the city the strong community it is today. The festival hosts speakers, parades, a variety of music and food, and games for children. The festival ends with a Sunday service at St. Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church. These social gatherings, which have lasted throughout the city’s history, have formed the rich and colorful fabric of the community.