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

History of Muscle Shoals, Alabama

 
 
History of Muscle Shoals, Alabama Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, December 17, 2011
1. History of Muscle Shoals, Alabama Marker
Inscription. The city of Muscle Shoals began with the construction of U.S. Nitrate Plant No.2 and Wilson Dam for defense purposes in 1918. The name came from the great stretch of rapids in the Tennessee River that contained rocky shoals and an abundance of mussels. (Muscle is an archaic spelling of mussel.) In 1921, automobile manufacturer Henry Ford became interested in buying the idle nitrate plant and the unfinished dam. He offered the government $5 million for the properties and promised to "build a city 75 miles long and employ one million people." His offer was eventually rejected by the Congress. Ford's involvement led to a tremendous real estate boom. A.L. Howell and C.T. Graves and other developers bought nearby cotton fields and laid out subdivisions, complete with streets, sidewalks, fireplugs and street lights.

On April 24, 1923, Muscle Shoals City was incorporated with a population of 727. George McBride became the first mayor. The Howell and Graves Junior High School opened in 1927.
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After a visit to Muscle Shoals by President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, the U.S. Congress passed the Tennessee Valley Authority Act. On May 22, 1933, President Roosevelt signed legislation providing for the development of the entire valley, as proposed by
History of Muscle Shoals, Alabama Marker Reverse side image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, December 17, 2011
2. History of Muscle Shoals, Alabama Marker Reverse side
Senator George Norris of Nebraska. The hydro-electric power generated by Wilson Dam induced Reynolds Metals, Union Carbine, Diamond Shamrock, Ford Motor and other companies to locate here. These industries and the relocation of U.S. Highways 43 and 72 led to rapid growth in the 1950s. In the 1960s, music legend Rick Hall brought FAME Recording studio to Muscle Shoals from Florence. Famous bands and singers (Clarence Carter, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Liza Minnelli, the Osmonds, Mac Davis, Duane Allman and many others come to record. Muscle Shoals soon became known as "The Hit Recording Capitol of the World."
 
Erected 2010 by Erected by the Alabama Tourism Department and The City of Muscle Shoals October 2010.
 
Location. 34° 44.63′ N, 87° 38.56′ W. Marker is in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in Colbert County. Marker is on Avalon Avenue. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2010 Avalon Avenue, Muscle Shoals AL 35661, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Singing River Sculpture (approx. 0.2 miles away); Howell & Graves School (approx. 0.8 miles away); Old Railroad Bed (approx. 2.8 miles away); Old Railroad Bridge
City Hall Muscle Shoals image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, November 16, 2009
3. City Hall Muscle Shoals
(approx. 2.9 miles away); Sheffield Colored School/Sterling High School (approx. 2.9 miles away); Tuscumbia's Oakwood Cemetery (approx. 3.1 miles away); Percy Sledge/Producer Quin Ivy (approx. 3.3 miles away); Trenholm High School (approx. 3.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Muscle Shoals.
 
Also see . . .  Encyclopedia of Alabama entry on Muscle Shoals. (Submitted on December 19, 2012, by Laura Hill of Auburn, Alabama.)
 
Categories. 20th Century
 
FAME Recording Studios Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, November 16, 2009
4. FAME Recording Studios Plaque
FAME Recording Studios Home of the Shoals Sound. Can be seen inside City Hall.
Street light of the beginning of Muscle Shoals and Memorabilia of the Shoals image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, November 16, 2009
5. Street light of the beginning of Muscle Shoals and Memorabilia of the Shoals
All can be seen inside City Hall
New City--Muscle Shoals image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, November 16, 2009
6. New City--Muscle Shoals
Can be seen inside City Hall.
A Few of the Artist That Have Recorded in Muscle Shoals image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 27, 2008
7. A Few of the Artist That Have Recorded in Muscle Shoals
Can be seen at Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia, Al
History of Muscle Shoals, Alabama image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 27, 2008
8. History of Muscle Shoals, Alabama
This Studio is Playing Music Recording in Muscle Shoals. Can be seen at Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia, Al
Just a few of many entertainers that have recorded in Muscle Shoals image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 27, 2008
9. Just a few of many entertainers that have recorded in Muscle Shoals
Can be seen at Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia, Al. Worth the visit.
Music Hall of Fame Tuscumbia, Al image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, April 7, 2010
10. Music Hall of Fame Tuscumbia, Al
Museum about the entertainers from Alabama and others that have recorded in the Shoals Area.
Wilson Dam Locks in 1997 image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, January 27, 1997
11. Wilson Dam Locks in 1997
Fame Studios Muscle Shoals Al image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, December 19, 2011
12. Fame Studios Muscle Shoals Al
Rick Hall ~Top Row far right~ image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 27, 2008
13. Rick Hall ~Top Row far right~
1985 Hank Williams, Nat King Cole, Buddy Killen, Rick Hall, Tom Sawyer, Vern Gosden, Norbert Putman, Arthur Alexander Can be seen at Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia, Al. Worth the visit.
<i>Muscle Shoals in Tennessee River, as Seen from Below Wilson Dam, Muscle Shoals, Ala.</i> image. Click for full size.
Postcard photo by Benj. West and published by Frank E. Cooper, circa 1923
14. Muscle Shoals in Tennessee River, as Seen from Below Wilson Dam, Muscle Shoals, Ala.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 1,228 times since then and 48 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.   12, 13. submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.   14. submitted on . • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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