Introduction to Fort Payne, Alabama

Fort Payne, Alabama is 47 miles SW of Chattanooga, Tennessee (center to center) and 89 miles NW of Atlanta, Georgia. It is in De Kalb County. The population of the city is 12,938.

Fort Payne History

Fort Payne was originally inhabited by the Cherokee Indians and known as the village of Willstown. Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee syllabary, also resided in this area for some time. Later on, the area was renamed after a fort that was built along the Trail of Tears in the 1830s. The fort was named after Major John Payne. The city became the county seat of DeKalb County in 1878. Fort Payne was incorporated in 1889.

Fort Payne and nearby Attractions

  • Fort Payne Depot Museum
  • Little River Canyon National Preserve
  • DeSoto State Park
  • Lookout Mountain Wild Animal Park
  • Cloudland Canyon State Park
  • Russell Cave National Monument

Things To Do In Fort Payne

You can visit the Fort Payne Boom Town Historic District and Fort Payne Residential Historic District while staying in the city. It is also worth visiting the Alabama Fan Club and Museum. Golf lovers can enjoy their leisure hours at the Terrapin Hills Golf Estates. The Little River Canyon National Preserve, Fort Payne Depot Museum, and DeSoto State Park are also ideal for spending a family day out.

Fort Payne Transportation

Air transportation is available from Richard B Russell Airport.

Fort Payne Higher Education

The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Gadsden State Community College, University of Alabama in Huntsville, and several other colleges and universities offer higher educational facilities.


Total Population 14,112
Male Share of the Population 50%
Female Share of the Population 50%
Senior Citizens 13.6%
Employed Population 16+ 5,564
Age of the Population 39


% of people married 49.1%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 13%
Median Earnings25+ $0
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $0
Median Earnings With High School Degree $0


Median Family Income $48,036
% Above Poverty Level 81%
% Below Poverty Level 19%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 20 minutes
% Working from Home 1.7%
% Walking and Biking to Work 0.9%
% Using Public Transportation %


People Living Alone 38.1%
Median Gross Rent $554
Median House Value $108,200


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 47.4%
US/American 0%
English 4.5%
Irish 8%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Fort Payne Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 47 miles SW of Chattanooga, Tennessee (center to center)
Nearest Large City 89 miles NW of Atlanta, Georgia
County De Kalb
Standard Zip Codes 35967, 35968
Phone Area Codes 256
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 34.44
Longitude -85.71

Fort Payne Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 10.3 miles
Jan Temp 26 to 48 F
Apr Temp 42 to 70 F
Jul Temp 65 to 88 F
Oct Temp 44 to 72 F
Annual Precip 58.3 inches
Distance 24.4 miles
Jan Temp 29 to 48 F
Apr Temp 43 to 71 F
Jul Temp 66 to 88 F
Oct Temp 46 to 72 F
Annual Precip 58.3 inches
Station ROME
Distance 34.6 miles
Jan Temp 29 to 50 F
Apr Temp 45 to 72 F
Jul Temp 67 to 88 F
Oct Temp 47 to 72 F
Annual Precip 56.1 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Collinsville 2,104 $30,208
Fyffe 1,358 $54,722
Hammondville 587 $44,219
Rainsville 4,992 $39,357
Sylvania 2,119 $51,600
Valley Head 587 $47,727

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Fort Payne Public Libraries

Dekalb County Public Library
Fort Payne, Alabama
(256) 845-2671

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Fort Payne Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
(256) 845-3150
Emergency Service: Yes

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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Fort Payne High Schools

201 45TH ST NE
Serves 752 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.7

Study Online in Fort Payne

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Info for Fort Payne Government Officials

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