Hotel Reeder

Dublin Core


Hotel Reeder


Downtown Businesses


The Hotel Reeder was a staple of downtown Florence during the early twentieth century. The location of the Hotel Reeder was on Tennessee Street, and the hotel was so large that it covered an entire block. The three-story brick building had a European-style café for the guests. The Hotel Reeder was so large that it tended to dwarf some of the smaller structures located close to the building. The Hotel Reeder had 97 total rooms for guests in the main building, with 27 adjoining rooms in an annex.

The Hotel Reeder originally had the “new building,” which served as the hotel, whereas the "old building" served as a livery where mules would be penned, bought, and sold on the upper floor of the older building. When the livery industry became an obsolete trade the mule pen closed, and the old building became a boarding house and a scrap iron business. Eventually the boarding house and the scrap iron business closed and the building was absorbed by the Hotel Reeder. The building was a part of the hotel until its closure in 1967.

During the 1920s through the 1940s the Hotel Reeder was the prestigious hotel in Florence, housing the headquarters of the Democrats in Florence. Many congressional representatives and dignitaries stayed as guests at the hotel. Probably the most famous of these dignitaries were the staff of President Franklin Roosevelt when he came to visit Florence and Wilson Dam in the early 1930s. Other famous visitors included the singers, actors, and actresses of the musicals, plays, and operas that visited the Princess Theatre in downtown Florence- since the Hotel Reeder was across the street from the entertainment venue. Even fox hunting conventions were held at the Hotel Reeder, and the participants would stay at the hotel, wake up very early, and travel to Rogersville to release the hounds and hunt foxes. On in to the 1940s the Hotel Reeder would have many soldiers and their families as guests of the hotel because of the Courtland Air Base in the area during World War II. Unfortunately, after World War II, the Hotel Reeder became less and less popular until the doors of the hotel closed in 1967.


M.C. Fesmire, University of North Alabama


Text Sources:

Hamm, Jane Johnson. "Florence Wagons 1889-2002 History & More." Florence, Ala.: Privately Published, 2002.

Barske, Carolyn. "Images of America: Florence." Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2014.

Florence/Lauderdale Public Library. Vertical History File. Florence, Lauderdale County, Historic Buildings, Reeder Hotel. “End Of An Area: Reeder Hotel Closing.” The Florence Times. October 11, 1967. Florence, Lauderdale County, Alabama, File 2-3.

McDonald, William Lindsey. "A Walk Through the Past: People and Places of Florence and Lauderdale County, Alabama." Killen, Ala., Bluewater Publications, 2003.

Picture Source:

UNA Archives & Special Collection. William L. McDonald Collection. “Hotel Reeder.” Florence, Alabama, Box 13: Downtown Businesses, 13-22.


Alabama Cultural Resource Survey


Early Twentieth Century-Mid Twentieth Century