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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Florence in Lauderdale County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Forks of Cypress

 
 
Forks of Cypress Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 27, 2020
1. Forks of Cypress Marker
Inscription.  The Forks of Cypress plantation was established in 1818 by James and Sarah Jackson. This home, believed the design of William Nichols, was one of Alabama's great houses, featuring perhaps the earliest peristyle colonnades in America. Built by skilled African-American artisans in slavery, the Forks stood until June 6, 1966, when it was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Its surrounding brick porch with twenty-three brick columns—once plastered with a mix of lime, horsehair and molasses and topped by cypress Ionic capitals—remains on limestone foundations.

Irish-born James Jackson, engineer, turfman, merchant, financier, planter, statesman, member of the Cypress Land Company, was a founding father of Florence. He was the major figure in establishing the local textile industry. As President of the Alabama Senate, he was its key advocate of the 1832 Treaty of Cusetta.

Rear
James Jackson's most enduring contribution was his legacy to the breeding of thoroughbred horses. With the purpose of improving American bloodstock, Jackson imported some of England's finest horses, most notably Leviathan, Gallopade,

Forks of Cypress Marker (rear) image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 27, 2020
2. Forks of Cypress Marker (rear)
and Giencoe. Peytona, bred at the Forks, in 1843 won the Peyton Stakes, the flushest purse ever, and the Race Between the North and South, for which she walked 1,200 miles to Long Island. Reel, the leading American broodmare of the 19th century, was another Forks-bred horse. Both were daughters of Glencoe, as was Pocahontas, England's all-time preeminent broodmare. Jackson's greatest horse was the immortal stallion Glencoe who led the Stud Book eight years, “a truly epochal animal such as appears only at rare intervals and with whom only a scattering few others of all time deserve to be ranked.” — James Hervey, Racing in America. His successful progeny insured such prevalence of the line that by mid-20th century virtually no thoroughbred in the world could be found who did not descend from Glencoe of the Forks of Cypress.
 
Erected 2010 by Alabama Tourism Department; Florence/Lauderdale Tourism.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansAnimalsArchitecture.
 
Location. 34° 50.854′ N, 87° 43.506′ W. Marker is near Florence, Alabama, in Lauderdale County. Marker is on Jackson Road (County Road 41) ¾ mile south of West Rasch Road (County Road 16), on the right when traveling
Forks of Cypress Before 1966 Fire image. Click for full size.
Alabama Historical Commission
3. Forks of Cypress Before 1966 Fire
south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Florence AL 35633, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Florence, Alabama (here, next to this marker); Hickory Hill Plantation Slave Cemetery (approx. 1.9 miles away); John Coffee: 1772-1833 (approx. 2 miles away); General John Coffee (approx. 2.1 miles away); Florence's Early Water Tower 1890 (approx. 2½ miles away); Ante-Bellum Cotton Mills 1840 (approx. 2.7 miles away); Capture of John A. Murrell (approx. 3.1 miles away); Gilbert Elementary School (approx. 3.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Florence.
 
Forks of Cypress Ruins image. Click for full size.
Alabama Historical Commission
4. Forks of Cypress Ruins
Glencoe image. Click for full size.
By J. C. Buttre, 1893
5. Glencoe
From Frank Forester's Horse and Horsemanship of the United States, Vol. One
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 29, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 57 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 29, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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Feb. 25, 2021