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Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Frank Lloyd Wright House in Alabama

The Rosenbaum House is not as old as many of this area's mansions, however it certainly is unique.

This house is of interest to people all over the world because it was designed by the controversial architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It does not YET have a roadside historical sign, however its importance guarantied it a place in my book "Signs of the Past".  Near the front door is a plaque and that served as a "sign" for the book. The Florence Historical Board is planning to add a "sign" in the 2014.

Stanley Rosenbaum was a young professor at, what is now called, the University of North Alabama.  His parents had the house built in 1940 for the young newlyweds Stanley and Mildred and as their family grew, Wright added an addition in 1948. In 1978 the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was obtained by the city of Florence in 1999, restored to its original condition, and then opened as a museum in 2002.  It is the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Alabama and the only Wright structure in the Southeast open to the public. 

Frank LLoyd Wright enormously influenced the architectual world  but because of the repairs and renovations needed by many of his designs I somewhat question his engineering ability. Certainly he was a very influential and talented artist.

If you haven't visited this unique home, you must put it on your "bucket list".

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I moved to Florence in 1975; hence I missed the horrible excitement on that day in 1966 when the "Forks" burned down from a lightning strike.  Word of the fire rapidly spread and people say "it seemed the whole town drove out to see the flaming embers".

The Forks of Cypress roadside sign is relatively new, having been installed in October 2010 by the town of Florence.  Interestingly the sign contained some unforeseen errors.

The title was supposed to read "Forks of Cypress" but said "Florence, Alabama" instead. More serious, the bottom note erroneously said "erected by .... the city of Athens".

  A new sign was promised but was not in place when my book "Signs of the Past" was sent to press.  Hence I only included the body of the sign in the book without the incorrect phrases.

The corrected sign is now in place on Jackson Rd.

I wonder how many people know that just about all thoroughbred horses today trace their lineage to Glencoe at the "Forks of Cypress".  That's quite a  legacy !

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Run over" TOM CLARK

Mountain Tom Clark

I would guess that the most famous (infamous) sign in my book is that of the outlaw who boasted that "no one would run over Tom Clark".  After being apprehended and hung, Tom was buried under the street so that everyone could "run over" him.  Some historians suspect that Tom's family may have surreptitiously dug him up at night to be "planted" elsewhere.  Whatever the truth, it makes a great legend.     
On page 117, because there is no known photograph of Tom Clark., I also included a wonderful picture of the Florence Marshal William Blair who apprehended "Mountain" Tom. Blair's photograph was received through the kindness of my friend Amy Fulmer.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Good "Signing" at Cold Water Books

I had a great time signing my book at
Cold Water Books in Tuscumbia, June 25th.

It's a wonderful way to meet interesting people and so many people were from elsewhere, coming here for the June 23-26 Helen Keller Festival.