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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Colbert County, Alabama
Adjacent to Colbert County, Alabama
► Franklin County (13) ► Lauderdale County (213) ► Lawrence County (46) ► Tishomingo County, Mississippi (20)
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|Bullet - marked tombstones in this cemetery show evidence of a brisk skirmish here Oct. 26, 1863, when Gen. P.J. Osterhaus's first division of Sherman's Corps came under fire from Gen. S.D. Lee's Confederate troops. CSA artillery on a hill near a . . . — — Map (db m83329) HM|
|During the early 1800s, a slave-owning planter class including George Colbert’s family, emerged among the Chickasaw.
George’s success stemmed from a variety of endeavors. He fought with the Americans against the Shawnee and Creeks, traveled to . . . — — Map (db m107261) HM|
|Here, near the bubbling waters of Buzzard Roost Spring, Levi Colbert (Itawamba Minko, “Bench Chief”) built one of the many inns—called stands—along the Natchez Trace.
But it was Colbert’s negotiating and language skills . . . — — Map (db m107265) HM|
|George Colbert's stand sat atop the ridge before you. As one of many inns that dotted the Trace between Nashville and Natchez, it provided travelers with food and lodging.
With a Scottish father and Chickasaw mother, George Colbert used his . . . — — Map (db m107260) HM|
|was moved by Benjamin Smith from Pontotoc, Miss. in 1825 to this site, known as Bennkhinnah, where it remained until 1837. Bennkhinnah Post Office, established at the Agency in 1829, was renamed Newport in 1837. In 1856 with D. C. Oates as . . . — — Map (db m156992) HM|
|This scene would have occurred far below the surface of the lake you see now. From 1802 to 1819, George Colbert operated a ferry across the quarter-mile breadth of the powerful Tennessee River. The ferry carried mail, militia, settlers, Indians and . . . — — Map (db m84705) HM|
|George Colbert operated a ferry across the Tennessee River from 1800 to 1819. His stand or inn offered travelers a warm meal and shelter during their journey on the Old Trace. Colbert looked after his own well-being and once charged Andrew Jackson . . . — — Map (db m69630) HM|
|This monument is to memorialize Chickasaw Chief George Colbert who operated a river ferry, traveler’s stand, and had a home on this Natchez Trace site. Colbert Co. AL was named in his honor. — — Map (db m84706) HM|
| Side 1 By 1805, half-blood Chickasaw leaders George and Levi Colbert were operating inns and a river ferry nearby on the Natchez Trace. The Chickasaw Indian Agency was moved to Agency Creek, now Malone Creek, (3.8 miles east) in 1825. Caney . . . — — Map (db m41132) HM|
|Levi Colbert, a Chickasaw Chief, operated a stand near here that served Old Trace travelers in the early 1800's. Adjacent to this area was a spring which provided an abundant water supply. — — Map (db m84708) HM|
|In the early 1800s, ferries like the one George Colbert ran near here on the Tennessee River linked segments of the Natchez Trace. Ferries carried people across the river—for a fee. Post riders, Kaintucks, military troops, casual travelers, . . . — — Map (db m107258) HM|
|Inns, or stands, provided occasional shelter for travelers along the Natchez Trace. These stands offered flood to eat and food for thought: local news, information, and ideas. The ever-changing mix of diverse populations—whites, American . . . — — Map (db m107263) HM|
|Frontier America once walked along the Natchez Trace.
The Chickasaw and Choctaw used the Trace for transportation and trade. After 1801, with tribal permission, post riders who rode the Trace connected isolated settlements in Mississippi and . . . — — Map (db m107257) HM|
|The Natchez Trace Parkway is designed to encourage leisurely exploration of the history and beauty of Old Southwest. Here are a few pointers to make your trip more enjoyable.
Regulations and Safety
Obey posted speed limits. Be alert for . . . — — Map (db m107254)|
|Alabama’s Winter Waterfowl
The Tennessee River Valley is the winter home for thousands of waterfowl. These birds migrate from across the northern US and Canada down through the center of the continent to the Tennessee River.
Careful . . . — — Map (db m107253) HM|
|Old Brick Church began in 1820 as the Mt. Pleasant Cumberland Presbyterian Church and met in a frame building which burned in 1824. The present building has undergone few changes since its construction in 1828 when the congregation was officially . . . — — Map (db m147370) HM|
|In the early 1820s, wealthy landowners in the Leighton, Alabama, area established a village on the crest of the mountain to the southwest of this site. This community eventually had about 400 inhabitants and became known as LaGrange. In the 1820s, . . . — — Map (db m141747) HM WM|
|After LaGrange College moved to Florence in January 1855, a group of LaGrange citizens organized a college in the vacant buildings under the old name. Rev. Felix Johnson was elected president. To increase the patronage, a military feature was . . . — — Map (db m141750) WM|
Leighton developed at the intersection of the Byler Road (1819) and
the Tuscumbia - Courtland Stage Road (1820), where the Jeffers/Gregg
Tavern served the needs of travelers as early as 1810. Leighton was
named for William . . . — — Map (db m153259) HM|
The region's rich history of Methodism predates the creation of
Colbert County. Local Methodists helped raise $10,000 to persuade
the Tennessee Methodist Conference to build LaGrange College (4
miles SW), which opened in 1830. . . . — — Map (db m153325) HM|
|This is the site of LaGrange College Chartered in 1830 by act of the Legislature of Alabama An Institution of High Order for men attended chiefly by students from the southern states.
The college was burned April 28, 1863 by Federal Cavalry . . . — — Map (db m141745) HM|
The town of Leighton was named in honor of the Reverend William Leigh, son and grandson of Revolutionary War veterans. He was born in Amelia County Virginia, Oct 4, 1790 and moved to Alabama about 1823.
Leigh settled nearby . . . — — Map (db m106112) HM|
Capt. Benjamin F. Little, a former Confederate soldier, opened a store here after the railroad from Tuscumbia to Russellville was built in 1887. A train station and several houses were soon erected. A rail spur provided access to . . . — — Map (db m68954) HM|
| Many Kinds of Birds Call North Alabama Home
The northern tier of Alabama has two distinct landforms-the Tennessee River Valley and the Appalachian Plateau. A variety of terrain provides wonderful birding habitat and offers excellent . . . — — Map (db m150937) HM|
|In the early 1930s, which Wilson Dam serving as the starting point for the newly formed TVA and its river development plan, an era of new prosperity in the region began. TVA embarked on one of the largest U.S. hydropower construction programs . . . — — Map (db m106193) HM|
|Just downstream from Wilson Dam lies a series of trails maintained by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Starting at the Visitor Center, explore the trails as they meander along the riverbank and through the forest
1.Wilson Dam Visitor Center . . . — — Map (db m106186) HM|
| Gulls are a Diverse and Fascinating Group of Birds
Popularly known as sea gulls, these birds actually occur at the seashore and far inland as well. Each winter thousands of gulls gather along the Tennessee River. Three species form the . . . — — Map (db m106184)|
|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 . . . — — Map (db m83388) HM|
|Scan the wooded island just across the Tennessee River for numerous bundles of sticks scattered through the canopy. These bulky structures are the nest of Great Blue Herons. Dozens of these nests are scattered across the island, and each year Great . . . — — Map (db m106179) HM|
| Wilson Dam
Potential floodwaters that surge downstream on the Tennessee River are collected in Wilson Lake. Then, through carefully controlled releases, the water is gradually sent through the dam. Releasing water through the dam serves . . . — — Map (db m124083)|
Muscle Shoals City was incorporated on April 24, 1923. Among the leading developers were New York realtors A.L. Howell and C.T. Graves. Their interest in Muscle Shoals was inspired by the vision of Henry Ford to use power from . . . — — Map (db m28580) HM|
|The Muscle Shoals National Recreational Trail complex is a 17-mile paved and primitive trail and bikeway for public use located on TVA’s Muscle Shoals Reservation. This National Recreation Trail System connects numerous historical sites including . . . — — Map (db m106117) HM|
| Natural and Cultural Preservation
TVA is fully committed to protecting our natural and cultural resources. And nowhere is that more evident than right here at Wilson Dam.
Here, the 25-acre Old First quarters Small Wild Area showcases the . . . — — Map (db m106189)|
|This sculpture is dedicated to the many individuals whose efforts made Muscle Shoals and the Muscle Shoals area the “Hit Recording Capital of the World,” and to those who continue that legacy.
Legend of the Singing River
The . . . — — Map (db m167279) HM|
|When the bombing of Pearl Harbor suddenly thrust the United States into World War II, President Roosevelt knew that industrial might would be the key to Ally victory. He needed to build thousands of ships, planes, and bombs, and that meant an urgent . . . — — Map (db m106194) HM|
|The Tennessee Valley Authority is much more than just “a power company.” TVA has been proving this for more than 80 years by powering the region’s progress and managing the natural resources in its care for the greatest public good. . . . — — Map (db m106190) HM|
|TVA has a rich history of improving quality of life and economic prosperity for people and businesses in the TVA service area. As times have changed, TVA has changed with them, updating and refining its focus to better serve it's enduring mission . . . — — Map (db m106187) HM|
|During the 19th Century, Muscle Shoals, the shallow but often-flooded rapids of this section of the Tennessee River, impeded navigation, steamboat traffic and agriculture, so the federal government explored the possibility of opening the channel to . . . — — Map (db m105705) HM|
| Wilson Dam and the TVA System
From the very beginning, TVA knew how important Wilson Dam would be to their operations. In fact, the Wilson Dam area served as the headquarters for TVA's initial agricultural and chemical programs. Today, Wilson . . . — — Map (db m124084)|
|Wilson Dam is the longest-operating hydroelectric facility in the TVA System and certainly one of the most significant. Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, primarily to supply power for nitrate production during World War I, Wilson Dam became . . . — — Map (db m106188) HM|
|With the U.S. entrenched in World War I, President Woodrow Wilson called for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build nitrate plants at Muscle Shoals to produce explosives for the war effort—and a hydroelectric dam to power them both. . . . — — Map (db m106191) HM|
|Dedicated to Civilian defense workers in critical industry for the war. US Army directed construction and production via Air Nitrate Corp. Army Projects here in 1917-1918 required 20,000 workers recruited from across the USA. The great flu-pandemic . . . — — Map (db m138776) HM WM|
| Escape to an Earlier Time The giant trees of Northern Alabama's mature forest have stood throughout generations, witnessing considerable natural, historical, and cultural changes. Some probably witnessed the Civil War while others only date . . . — — Map (db m117058) HM|
|Center of Industry for new town of Sheffield. Five blast furnaces with 75 ft stacks build 1886~1895 1/2 mile west. Promoted by E. W. Cole and E. Ensley. Iron ore and limestone from Franklin Co., coke from Walker Co. and Virginia used. Hattie Ensley . . . — — Map (db m28428) HM|
| Side A Prehistoric man arrived in this area bout 10,000 years ago.
Later Indian cultures left many stone artifacts and pottery vessels.
In the 1780s, a French trading post and Indian village were located near the mouth of Spring Creek. . . . — — Map (db m83389) HM|
| Side A Ashe Boulevard was built on the early railroad bed which connected Florence and Southport to the main railroad line in Tuscumbia. Trains first traveled along the railroad bed and across the Tennessee River in 1858 after the Memphis . . . — — Map (db m39237) HM|
|In 1832, the Alabama legislature authorized the Florence Bridge Company to construct this bridge across the Tennessee River. In 1840, it opened as a toll bridge. Twice damaged by storms, it was reopened in 1858 as a double-decked bridge by the . . . — — Map (db m40596) HM|
"When A Man Loves A Woman"
Hospital orderly Percy Sledge recorded 'When a Man Loves a Woman' at Quin Ivy's studio in 1966. Sledge's breakup with a girlfriend inspired the lyrics credited to songwriters . . . — — Map (db m83390) HM|
|On Jan. 21, 1933 President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed an immense crowd at this crossing from his railroad car and promised "to put Muscle Shoals back on the map." He then toured the idle U.S. Nitrate Plant No. 2 and Wilson Dam with . . . — — Map (db m83392) HM|
Sheffield Colored School
Public education for Sheffield's black children began in 1889 in a framed building at E. 20th St. and S. Atlanta Ave. with Henry Hopkins as teacher. Professor Benjamin J. Sterling (1847-1941), a . . . — — Map (db m82423) HM|
| This sculpture is dedicated to the many individuals whose efforts made Sheffield and the Muscle Shoals area the “Hit Recording Capital of the World,” and to those who continue that legacy.
Legend of the Singing River
The . . . — — Map (db m167280) HM|
| In 1918, during World War I, the U.S. Government built this unique village of 85 bungalows, school, and officers barracks to house personnel at nearby Nitrate Plant No. 1. Prefabricated and standard size materials were used in construction along . . . — — Map (db m88110) HM|
| Side 1
Oka Kapassa (Ococoposa), meaning "Cold Water", was the Chickasaw name given to Spring Creek and to a trading post established near the Tennessee River about 1780. About 1817, Michael Dickerson and others were greeted at what by . . . — — Map (db m83393) HM|
|Annie Sullivan Macy revealed the mystery of language to seven year old Helen Keller by spelling the word W-A-T-E-R into her hand as water flowed over the other hand — — Map (db m106094) HM|
|Built between 1828 and 1832, Belle Mont is a foremost example of Jeffersonian Palladian Architecture in the deep south and one of Alabama's first great plantation houses.
It was build for Dr. Alexander W. Mitchell, a native of Virginia, and a . . . — — Map (db m29561) HM|
|22 structures, first Northwest Alabama historic district placed on National Register of Historic Places (1973): Courthouse, erected 1881, shows Italianate and Greek Revival influences. Fifth Street, Commercial Row, seven adjoining brick structures . . . — — Map (db m28584) HM|
|World's Largest Man-Made Natural Stone Waterfall
to be known in existence
80 feet wide, 48 feet tall
1,780 tons of Colbert County Sandstone
4,320,000 gallons of water per day passes over falls
Largest stone weights 77,000 pounds
120 days . . . — — Map (db m83394) HM|
Ethel Davis' vision and determination to enhance the quality of life in the Shoals through support and encouragement of the arts led to the foundation of the Tennessee Valley Art Association in 1963.
The following year the City of . . . — — Map (db m83395) HM|
|This congregation was organized in July 1823 as Concord Church, later known as Union Church, then as Tuscumbia Baptist. Jeremiah Burns was the first pastor. It began meeting at this site about 1845 in a plain wooden building. The New England-style . . . — — Map (db m28564) HM|
First Presbyterian Church was organized April 13, 1824, by Scots-Irish settlers. The sanctuary, erected in 1827, is the oldest in continuous use in Alabama. Its Georgian Gothic style remains essentially unchanged. The brick walls are laid in . . . — — Map (db m40429) HM|
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 . . . — — Map (db m83396) HM|
|Howell Thomas Heflin retired from a lifetime of distinguished public service in 1997, having served Alabama in the U.S. Senate for three consecutive terms. There he was known as a national leader on judicial, agricultural, defense, and space issues. . . . — — Map (db m28586) HM|
|The Family Home of Captain Arthur M. & Kate Adams Keller was built 1820, being the second house erected in Tuscumbia.
Here on June 27, 1880 was born America's First Lady of Courage Helen Adams Keller — — Map (db m29089) HM|
|After the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, General Andrew Jackson proposed this road as a shorter and improved route for military movements between Nashville and New Orleans. The U.S. War Department authorized Jackson to appoint an engineer and . . . — — Map (db m83401) HM|
| Plaque A 85-90 Million Years Old
Possibly a Bald Cypress
from the Cretaceous Period
or the Age of Dinosaurs Plaque B
325 Million Years Old
A Member of the Giant Club Mosses
from the early Coal Age — — Map (db m29287) HM|
| Panel 1
Tuscumbia and much of the Shoals area played an integral part in the "Trail of Tears" with the Tennessee River route and the overland routes. In 1825, the U.S. Government formally adopted a removal policy, which was carried out . . . — — Map (db m83403) HM|
|This congregation was organized in the 1830's, with services being held in private homes and the Methodist meeting house. The present building was first used in October 1852 and completed the following year. During the Civil War, Union troops . . . — — Map (db m28422) HM|
|Musicians have long crossed the Alabama -Mississippi border to perform and record. Mississippians such as Albert King, Little Milton, and Pops Staples recorded at studios in Muscle Shoals and Sheffield, including those owned by Mississippi natives . . . — — Map (db m50652) HM|
| The Challenge "Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness; no little deaf, blind child untaught; no blind man or woman unaided?
I appeal to you Lions, you who have sight, your hearing, you who are strong . . . — — Map (db m108373) HM|
|The Moon Tree was grown from seeds that journeyed to the moon and back aboard Apollo 14 during the period of January 31-February 9, 1971.
The seed was germinated by the U.S. Forest Service in Gulfport, Mississippi, and the seedling was presented to . . . — — Map (db m108374) HM|
Formal education for Tuscumbia’s African American children began in 1870 at the Freedman School taught by Judge Wingo and his daughter in a church at the foot of the hill. In July 1877, the Osborne Colored Academy was established . . . — — Map (db m80944) HM|
|Big Spring (average daily flow 35,000,000 gallons) provided water for town founded on its banks.
Michael Dickson of Tennessee was first settler (about 1817). Town laid out in 1819 and incorporated as Ococoposo (Cold Water, 1820).
Name changed to . . . — — Map (db m83453) HM|
west of Alleghenies
1832 ~ begun here; completed to Decatur, 45 miles east, in 1834.
Cotton shipped by this line around nearby Muscle Shoals, then by boat down Tennessee ~ Mississippi R to world markets.
1851 ~ expanded to . . . — — Map (db m28413) HM|
|This burial ground was designated on General John Coffee's 1817 survey and original map "Plan of a Town at the Coldwater Spring." The oldest tombstone carries the burial date 1821 and the cemetery contains graves of veterans from all wars beginning . . . — — Map (db m28567) HM|
|Obtained from Ft. Rucker, AL by American Legion Post No. 31
April 28, 1999
*Weapons: 105 mm rifled cannon. 7.62 mm and .50 caliber machine guns.
*Engine: 750 hp. 12 cylinder air-cooled diesel.
*Crew-4 men: Weight-107.900 lb.: Speed-30 mph: . . . — — Map (db m107646) HM|
|Construction on the home which became the center building of Deshler High School was begun in 1824 by Clark T. Barton. William Winston purchased and completed the Georgian-style dwelling in 1833. The largest remaining antebellum house in Tuscumbia, . . . — — Map (db m28565) HM|
|The Winston family settled this area in the early 1820s. Andrew Jackson purchased the property at the U.S. government land sale and conveyed it to Col. Anthony Winston (1782-1841) who lived nearby in a two-story brick Federal-style house (razed . . . — — Map (db m28566) HM|
| Side AYellow Fever Epidemic 1878
Taking 31 Lives in Tuscumbia Citizen's Relief Committee:
F.H. Aydlett, H.M. Finley, J.J. Davis, James Jackson, Chm.
J.W. Rand Jr., F.A. Ross, J.N. Sampson, Sec. and C. A. Womble. . . . — — Map (db m29263) HM|