“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tuscumbia in Colbert County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)

History of Tuscumbia, Alabama

History of Tuscumbia Alabama Marker (side 1) Photo, Click for full size
By Sandra Hughes, September 6, 2010
1. History of Tuscumbia Alabama Marker (side 1)
Inscription. (Obverse):
The area around the Big Spring was inhabited by prehistoric Native Americans as early as 10,000 years ago. The first settlement was a French trading post and Indian village about 1780 on Cold Water Creek (Spring Creek) near the river. The first permanent white settlers were Michael Dickson and family, who arrived by keel boat about 1817, followed shortly by four brothers-in-law, Isaiah McDill, James McMann, Hugh Finley and David Matthews. Jackson's Military Road was constructed through Tuscumbia in 1817. The town was incorporated on December 20, 1820 as Ococoposa (Oka Kapassa), a Chickasaw expression meaning Cold Water, with Thomas Limerick as the first mayor. General John Coffee laid out the town and a land sale was held in 1820. The name of the town was changed to Big Spring in 1821 and changed again to Tuscumbia in 1822 in honor of the Chickasaw chief who lived here when the early settlers arrived.
(Continued on other side)
(Continued from other side)
During the antebellum period, Tuscumbia thrived with commerce aided by its agrarian base and the incorporation of the Tuscumbia Railroad Company, the first railroad west of the Appalachian Mountains. The railroad connected the town with its steamboat landing on the Tennessee River. Later, it was
History of Tuscumbia Alabama Marker (side 2) Photo, Click for full size
By Sandra Hughes, September 6, 2010
2. History of Tuscumbia Alabama Marker (side 2)
extended through Courtland to Decatur. Several large bands of Cherokee and Creeks passed through Tuscumbia on the "Trail of Tears" during the Indian Removal in the late 1830s. During the Civil War, the town was occupied several times by Union troops with sharp skirmishes being fought. In 1867, Colbert County was formed from the northern half of Franklin County and was named for prominent Chickasaw leaders George and Levi Colbert. Tuscumbia became the county seat. Helen Keller, the internationally known blind and deaf humanitarian, was born here in 1880 at Ivy Green.

Tuscumbia is one of Alabama's oldest towns with more than 100 antebellum commercial buildings, churches and homes. Tuscumbia Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Erected 2010 by The Alabama Tourism Department And The City of Tuscumbia.
Location. 34° 43.878′ N, 87° 42.221′ W. Marker is in Tuscumbia, Alabama, in Colbert County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and West 6th Street, on the right when traveling south on South Main Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 111 W 6th St, Tuscumbia AL 35674, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Petrified Conifer Tree / Petrified Lycopod Tree Stump
History of Tuscumbia Alabama Marker & Town Photo, Click for full size
By Sandra Hughes, September 6, 2010
3. History of Tuscumbia Alabama Marker & Town
(about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tuscumbia Big Spring (about 500 feet away); Cold Water Falls (about 500 feet away); Sacred Tears (about 600 feet away); Jackson's Military Road (about 600 feet away); American Indian History (about 600 feet away); Colbert County Courthouse Square District (approx. 0.2 miles away); Howell Thomas Heflin (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Tuscumbia.
Also see . . .
1. "Dedication Video" ::. (Submitted on June 10, 2011.)
2. Encyclopedia of Alabama entry on Tuscumbia. (Submitted on December 19, 2012, by Laura Hill of Auburn, Alabama.)
Categories. Native AmericansRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
Helen Keller Birth Home Photo, Click for full size
By Sandra Hughes, December 20, 2009
4. Helen Keller Birth Home
Train Depot In Tuscumbia Photo, Click for full size
By Sandra Hughes, April 17, 2010
5. Train Depot In Tuscumbia
Tuscumbia Store Buildings Photo, Click for full size
By Sandra Hughes, September 7, 2009
6. Tuscumbia Store Buildings
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 2,580 times since then. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of San Salvador, El Salvador. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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