Fulton was a mining town in the 1900s. Fulton was incorporated in 1947. The town's name is derived from the combination of the names of two nearby communities, Fulton Springs and Glendale.
This area was once known as Fulton Springs. Prior to the building of Interstate 65, US 31 was the main route for travelers northbound from Birmingham towards Nashville, Tennessee. As a result, hotels such as the Keystone Lodge and Buchmann Motor Inn prospered. On the city's southern edge was located one of the few drive-in theatres in the Birmingham area (the "Skyview") This was torn down when I-65 was built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Pine Bowl bowling alley is still a long time fixture in the city.Traces of the old routing of US 31 are still noticeable in the city. From just south of the city hall to an old bridge on this city's northern side, most of this old routing is known as Stouts Road or in some case simply "old US 31."
Fultondale was a relatively stagnant community until the last decade. Growth has occurred in residential areas mainly west of Interstate 65, while retail development has focused along and near the I-65/Walkers Chapel Road exit.
Fultondale passed a smoke-free ordinance on July 11, 2011 which is believed to be the strictest ban on smoking in Alabama.
The current mayor is Jim Lowery, who is serving his fourth four-year term. Members of the City Council are Joe Bolton (mayor pro tem), Darrell Hubbert, Tommy Loden, Greg Morris and Josh Bryant.
On August 28, 2012, Jim Lowery won the election against candidate John Douglas, which began Jim Lowery's fourth four-year term. Douglas had been in a dispute with Lowery and the city of Fultondale over whether or not he needed new building permits to reconstruct his bar and grill, Home Field Sports Grill, since the devastating tornado outbreak in 2011 partially destroyed the building.
Fultondale has a new elementary school located along US 31 in the southern part of the city. Fultondale High School is located on Carson Road on the northeast side of the city. The school nickname is Wildcats and the school colors are orange and navy blue.
Due to difficult topography, for many years Fultondale was limited in its ability to grow. However, as technology improved, the ability to convert what had been difficult to unusable land for retail and commercial purposes improved. Besides the retail development of Colonial Promenade, other retail development nearby includes Lowe's and various chain restaurants such as O'Charley's and Outback Steakhouse. Other older, more mature business establishments line US 31 in the center of the community including supermarkets, casual fast food, banks, a bowling alley and skating rink.