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Citronelle, Alabama

Citronelle is a city on the northern border of Mobile County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 3,905. It is included in the Mobile metropolitan statistical area. It is about 34 miles from the port of Mobile near the Gulf Coast.

Citronelle, Alabama
"The Best Kept Secret in Southern Alabama"
Location of Citronelle in Mobile County, Alabama.
Location of Citronelle in Mobile County, Alabama.
Coordinates: 31°5′33″N 88°14′39″W / 31.09250°N 88.24417°W / 31.09250; -88.24417Coordinates: 31°5′33″N 88°14′39″W / 31.09250°N 88.24417°W / 31.09250; -88.24417
CountryUnited States
 • MayorJason Stringer
 • Total26.12 sq mi (67.65 km2)
 • Land25.85 sq mi (66.94 km2)
 • Water0.28 sq mi (0.71 km2)
312 ft (95 m)
 • Total3,905
 • Estimate 
 • Density150.47/sq mi (58.10/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)251
FIPS code01-15064
GNIS feature ID0116155


This area was inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. By the time of European contact, the historic Choctaw and Creek people hunted in the area.

The first known European explorers of this area were French in the 18th century. They learned that the land had healing herbs and mineral springs. The area was settled in 1811 and established as a jurisdiction (incorporated) in 1892. The name "Citronelle" is French and is derived from the citronella plant, which is native to the area. In the late 19th century, the town became a popular resort destination because of the climate, herbs, and its healing waters. Many hotels were built to accommodate the surge of visitors.

On May 4, 1865, one of the last significant Confederate armies was surrendered by Lieutenant General Richard Taylor under the "Surrender Oak." This was the third in the series of five major surrenders of armies that ended the war. The two previous surrenders occurred at Appomattox Court House, Virginia between General Robert E. Lee and US General Ulysses S. Grant; and the second and largest at Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina between US General William T. Sherman and General Joseph E. Johnston.

A living history/reenactment of the surrender occurs each year in Citronelle. The historic "Surrender Oak" no longer stands, as it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1902.

In 1955, oil was discovered in the area. Today Citronelle is known as the oil capital of Alabama.[3]


Citronelle developed on what is known as the Citronelle Dome, a salt dome formation that is still rising, as shown by the centrifugal drainage of streams away from the center. In 1955 oil was discovered in this geologic structure at a greater depth than had previously been considered as feasible. The Citronelle Dome was developed as among the first of many "deep" oil fields. The discovery well yielded oil from the Glen Rose Formation at a depth of 10,879 ft (3,315.9 m).[4]

"Citronelle Dome is a giant salt-cored anticline in the eastern Mississippi Interior Salt Basin of southwest Alabama. The dome forms an elliptical structural closure containing multiple opportunities for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and saline reservoir CO2 sequestration. Citronelle Oil Field, located on the crest of the dome, has produced more than 169 MMbbl (million barrels) of 42-46° American Petroleum Institute (API) gravity oil from the Lower Cretaceous Donovan Sand."[5]


Citronelle is located at 31°05′34″N 88°14′40″W / 31.092653°N 88.244315°W / 31.092653; -88.244315[6].

The city is located in the northern part of Mobile County on the border with Washington County. The city is located along U.S. Route 45, which runs from north to south to the west of the downtown area. Via US 45, downtown Mobile is 34 mi (55 km) to the southeast, and State Line, Mississippi is 30 mi (48 km) northwest.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.7 square miles (64 km2), of which 24.4 square miles (63 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (1.01%) is water.


Census Pop.
Est. 20183,889[2]−0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
2013 Estimate[8]

As of 2010 Citronelle had a population of 3,905. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 70.7% white, 20.2% black or African American, 4.9% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 1.5% from some other race, 2.2% reporting two or more races and 2.6% Hispanic or Latino from any race.[9]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 3,659 people, 1,318 households, and 1,009 families residing in the city. The population density was 149.9 people per square mile (57.9/km2). There were 1,441 housing units at an average density of 59.0 per square mile (22.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 76.96% White, 18.61% Black or African American, 2.76% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. 0.82% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,318 households out of which 38.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.2% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.4% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the city, the population was spread out with 28.3% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,739, and the median income for a family was $39,922. Males had a median income of $32,200 versus $19,702 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,455. About 12.0% of families and 15.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.1% of those under age 18 and 19.1% of those age 65 or over.


The city is served by the Mobile County Public School System and has the following public schools:[11] McDavid-Jones Elementary School (K-5),[12] Lott Middle School (6-8),[13] and Citronelle High School (9-12).[14]

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "2018 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  3. ^ Citronelle: History, Citronelle Chamber of Commerce Archived June 3, 2002, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Eaves, Everett (1976). Braunstein, Jules (ed.). Citronelle Oil Field, Mobile County, Alabama, in North American Oil and Gas Fields. Tulsa: The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. pp. 259–275. ISBN 0891813004.
  5. ^ HILLS, Denise J.1; KOPASKA-MERKEL, David C.1; PASHIN, Jack2; WALSH, Peter M.3; and ESPOSITO, Richard A.4; GEOLOGIC CHARACTERIZATION SUPPORTING ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY PILOT, CITRONELLE OIL FIELD, SOUTHWEST ALABAMA, Geological Society of America, paper presented 12–13 March 2009, Southeastern Section Conference, accessed 3 November 2009
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  9. ^ 2010 population by place by race or Hispanic and Latino origin for Alabama report from the US Census
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  11. ^ "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP (INDEX): Citronelle city, AL." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on November 28, 2018. Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
  12. ^ "McDavid-Jones." Mobile County Public School System. Retrieved on November 27, 2018.
  13. ^ "Lott Middle." Mobile County Public School System. Retrieved on November 27, 2018.
  14. ^ "Citronelle High School Attendance Zone." Mobile County Public School System. Retrieved on November 27, 2018.
  15. ^ "Citronelle's Wonderboy". Mobile Bay Magazine. April 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2019.

External linksEdit