Browse Items (949 total)

  • Collection: Alabama Places and Spaces

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The Florence-Lauderdale Public Library is located across from Wilson Park, one block north of its old location. The library features many educational programs and classes including genealogy classes and computer technology classes. The library has a…

The Killen Public Library is located off Highway 72 on JC Maudlin Highway. The library has a genealogy room, DVD rentals, as well as a summer reading program. The library is open Monday-Friday.

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WC Handy was born in Florence in 1873. Handy became internationally known as the "Father of the Blues" and his songs include "Memphis Blues", "Beale Street Blues", and "St. Louis Blues". The log cabin in which Handy was born has been moved to 620…

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When founded, Burrell Normal School was a high school for African-American students and included a year of teacher training for those who wanted to become teachers. In 1937, the school moved into the building that housed Slater Elementary School, and…

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Wendell Wilkie Gunn was the first African-American student to enroll at the University of North Alabama. He was also the first African-American student to earn a degree from UNA. Gunn went on to work in banking and became the vice president for Chase…

Caroline Lee Hentz
This marker is located on South Cox Creek Parkway (Alabama Route 133), Florence, Alabama.

The text on the marker reads: "Educator and author Caroline Hentz was among the first female novelists in America. Her 13 volumes were some of the most…

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Wilson Park was designated as a public walk by Ferdinand Sannoner in his original plan for Florence in 1818. It is a one square block with an area of 2.5 acres. On February 20, 1924, the Board of City Commissioners officially changed its name from…

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The Thimbelton home is located on 221 West Tuscaloosa Street in Florence, Alabama. Originally built as a two-story frame home in 1830, Thimbleton was modified to a Second Empire style home in the late 1800s. The home now has a false mansard roof…

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Collier Library was built by the Works Project Administration and opened to students in 1930. It was built in the Gothic Revival architectural style, like many of the WPA buildings on the University of North Alabama campus. In 1963, an expansion…

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The Rogersville Public Library is located just off Highway 72. It offers genealogy services, test proctoring, and Wi-Fi access. The library is open 9am-7pm Tuesday-Thursday, 9-5 on Fridays, and 9-3 on Saturdays.

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John Coffee was born in 1772 and served under Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812. John Coffee was one of the founding fathers of Florence and had a plantation northeast of Florence. Two acres were deeded separately to contain the family cemetery, as…

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Sweetwater plantation was built between 1828 and 1835 and it was inherited by Patton family. As working plantation, Sweetwater had many slaves; however, Sweetwater hold a place in African-American history, not just for its leave history, but also for…

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The site of St. Mark's missionary Baptist Church has been in continuous use by the African-American community of Florence since 1859. Originally, the church body met under a brush arbor. The current church building was built in 1901.

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Percy Casey was born in Florence in 1872 to Willis and Mary Casey. Percy worked two jobs--one as a boss repairman for the Florence Cycle Company and second as a pressman for the Florence Herald until his death in 1902. Percy was also a member of the…

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Dred Scott was born as a slave in Virginia. In 1820, he came to Florence with the Peter Blow family. Seven years later, the Blow's Inn was established and Scott served as a stable hand. In 1830, the Blow family relocated to St. Louis, Missouri and…

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A former slave, Ruben Patterson was taken to war by Colonel Josiah Patterson as part of the fifth Alabama Calvary. After the war Ruben owned a shoe shine stand and was known to the community as "Uncle" Reuben. He and his wife are buried In the…

The Hopewell Church near St. Florian was the site of tragedy when, in 1865, the grandfather of WC Handy, Christopher Brewer, was shot and left for dead by Elias Thrasher, "Mountain" Tom Clark, and their gang. They also tortured and killed Brewer's…

Locust Dell Academy was established by Nicholas Hentz and his wife Caroline in the 1840s. The school for girls was built by two slaves, Charles Gray and Washington Farris, who had been "rented out" by their masters. The school was absorbed by…

Harrison Ingram was well known in the Rogersville community. He was a stonemason and a carpenter and according to his family he was one of the first in his community to have electricity. Ingram and his father established an African American cemetery…

University of North Alabama was established in 1830 and for much of its history was an all-white institution. However, the University, then Florence State College, officially desegregated when Wendell Wilkie Gunn attended classes in 1963. The…

The Dred Scott Historic District was proposed as a national historic district. The historic district consisted of one square block between Court St., Tennessee Street, Seminary Street, and College Street. It was nominated on the basis of historical,…

In 1951, Florence city schools named an elementary school after its native son WC Handy. The school was considered very modern, was built during the administration of JW Powell, and had a faculty of twenty-six.

The congregation of Eastside Church of Christ was formed in Florence Alabama in the 1920's and was the first African-American Church of Christ congregation in the area. The church purchased its current building in 2004.

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Richard Alphine was born a slave on the Alphine plantation in Mississippi in 1853. Richard was 12 years old at the end of the Civil War and often told stories about his memories of the war. In 1918, Richard moved to Florence for work and lived with…

Born in 1837, Sam grew up with William "Billy" Patton, his young master. Because Sam's mother was the cook for the Patton family, he lived in the kitchen behind the big house. When Alabama seceded from the Union, Billy took Sam with him to war. In…

During the Civil War, Sherman's men raided the Sweetwater Plantation. One slave, named Edmund managed to warn the family of the raid. When the soldiers attempted to make their way upstairs to the rooms of the Patton's daughters, Edmund blocked their…

Chief George Colbert owned a ferry across the Tennessee River, connecting Colbert and Lauderdale Counties. Colbert owned many African-American slaves. One such slave was named Lem Colbert, who operated Colbert's ferry at Waterloo, Alabama.

John H. Rapier was a freed African-American in Florence, Alabama. Born as a slave in 1808, Rapier was emancipated in 1829 by the last will and testament of Richard Rapier. Upon receiving his freedom, John became a barber and earned an income of…

The first African-Americans who lived in the Shoals were slaves of the Chickasaw tribe. When the Chickasaws from Alabama and Mississippi were removed from their homes in the 1830s, the census included 1156 slaves. Tom Melton, an Irishman who lived…

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Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) is a comprehensive, public two-year college within the Alabama Community College System; it is one of 12 junior colleges created by the Alabama State Legislature during the administration of Gov. George C.…

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Stevenson's importance as the junction of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad and the Memphis and Charleston Railroad predates the Civil War. The town and its railroad junction were of strategic importance during the war for both sides. …

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Constructed in 1918, the Bridgeport Train Depot operated through the late 1960s and today is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It houses the Bridgeport Area Historical Association Museum. (Encyclopedia of Alabama)

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Skyline Farms was an effort to build a “new world” in rural America. It would be a world in which tenant farmers, hit hard by the Depression, would become self-sufficient landowners and live in an idyllic village. The program was started by the…

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The Brown-Proctor House is primarily significant for its associations with John F. Proctor, a local politician who purchased the house in 1907 and gave it its current appearance. Proctor was a prominent attorney who served in the Alabama House of…

Russell Cave is located in northeast Alabama near the town of Bridgeport in Jackson County. It is a significant archaeological site that provides a record of thousands of years of human use. Russell Cave was named a National Monument in 1961 and a…

During the Reconstruction Period following the Civil War, a freedmen’s community was established in this area called Averyville, named for the Pennsylvania minister and successful businessman Charles Avery, a longtime and faithful champion of Negro…

Vital Memphis-Charleston railroad, "backbone of Confederacy," spanned Tennessee River here. Bridge burned several times, 1862-63. General Mitchell (U.S. Flag), occupying Huntsville after Battle of Shiloh, seized Bridgeport in April 1862 and held it…

One of the Five Lower Towns established by the Chickamauga Cherokees in 1782 under the leadership of Dragging Canoe. Territorial Governor William Blount reported to the Secretary of War in 1792 that: "Crow Town lies on the north side of the Tennessee…

Created by an Act of the Legislature on December 7, 1821, Decatur County was comprised of portions of Madison and Jackson Counties. "Old Woodville," two miles north along County Highway 7, was designated as the County Seat. An 1823-'24 completed…

In 1946, Robert E. Jones, Jr. was elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives to fill Alabama's 5th Congressional District seat vacated by John J. Sparkman's election to the U.S. Senate. Elected to 15 consecutive terms, 1946-1976,…

Planter, tavern operator, newspaper editor, legislator, and land developer, he sought in vain to have the Jackson County Seat moved from Bellefonte to the settlement that bore his name. After his death in 1863, his widow reached an agreement in 1868…

On long island near Bridgeport. One of the Five Lower Creek towns.

In a W.P.A. narrative, Thomas Cole recounted his time as a slave on the plantation of Dr. Robert Coles in western Jackson County. Thomas Cole was born in 1845 and ran away to join the Union army in 1861. After seeing combat at Chattanooga, Lookout…

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Sauta was a small Cherokee village established about 1784 on the north side of the Tennessee River near its confluence with North Sauty Creek. The August 13, 1828, issue of the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper includes a letter from an acquaintance of…

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The structure known locally as "Little Brick" was built about 1855 during the railroad construction boom in Stevenson, Alabama. The property was purchased prior to the Civil War by Michigan native Walter Rosser who was in Stevenson working as a…

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Constance Ortmayer was born in New York City in 1902 and graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at Vienna, Austria. She returned to the United States in 1932 and was teaching art at Rollins College in Florida when she was commissioned to…

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To reach the Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery from AL-157 in Muscle Shoals, head east on 2nd Street/AL-184 and after 6 miles, turn right onto County Line Road. The church and cemetery are on the left.
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