Browse Items (1192 total)

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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…

Oak Grove African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1870 by Charles Weems, Joe Person, and Jim Simpson. At the time of its founding, the church only had 12 members. The church was originally built in Oakland, a community just west of…

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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…

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A letter to P.M.B. Young from a friend who is sick and unable to leave home.

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The unknown writer is telling Tom about his/her baby daughter and hopes that she will be able to visit her soon. 2 handwritten pages. *The second page is written in a different hand.

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Letter written by Henry asking Tom if he could borrow “either a horse or mule” for an upcoming trip. 1 handwritten page.

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(T.J. Jones?) writes to his brother incurring about job prospects and the possibility of him coming to work for him. 2 handwritten pages.

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According to the photographer: "A somewhat unusual passenger on the 73 bus; he sat in his seat, washing himself matter-of-factly, as if it were a perfectly normal place for a cat to be." Bob the ginger cat is the companion of James Bowen, who is a…

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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Order from Confederate Army headquarters, Dept. of SC, GA & FL assigning Major General Young to the command of Iverson's Division to assume his commission. By command of Lieutenant General Hardee. Original document consists of one handwritten page.

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This image is a watercolor painting of the Nunn-Winston Home, also known as the Neva-Winston House, in Auburn, Alabama done by W.C. Baker, Jr. in 1934. The house was built in 1850. The painting shows the front exterior of the home with its double…

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Sailboat right before a storm hits in the North Sea, showing the potential danger of relying on this kind of transportation

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This image is a watercolor painting of the Pollard Mansion (also known as the Colonel Charles Teed Pollard House) in Montgomery, Alabama done by D. Benton in 1938. The mansion was built in 1853. The painting shows the front exterior of the house with…

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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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Constructed by the Union Army in the summer of 1862 and expanded in 1864, using soldiers and freed slaves, Ft. Harker was built on a broad hill a quarter-mile east of town. It overlooked Crow Creek and was well within firing range of Stevenson’s…

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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…
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