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Friday, December 27, 2013


The  Karsner-Kennedy  House

in  downtown Florence at 301 North Pine Street, is the second local structure to be listed on the National Register of Historical Places.The house is approaching 200 years of age and its architectural significance is aptly described on the markers.

This Karsner -Kennedy House marker was installed 
on June 27 of 2013.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Elgin / Elgin Crossroads

Elgin / Elgin Crossroads

Eastern Lauderdale County has had relatively few historical road markers. You will find “Butler Cemetery” on page 3 of my “Signs of the Past”, “Andrew Phillips” on page 8, “Daniel White” on page 31, “French-Glover Farm” on page 58, “Grassy Memorial” on page 66, “Rogersville Heritage Park” on page 71, and “Chief Doublehead” on page 172. By comparison the western side of Lauderdale County has close to a hundred markers. This imbalance may be addressed by the recent formation of the East Lauderdale Historical Society (ELHS). This society is erecting markers to fill this “marker vacuum”.

This “Elgin/Elgin Crossroads” historical marker was recently erected by the ELHS. Several people mentioned on the marker appear on other Lauderdale historical markers. “Gabriel Butler” appears on page 3 of “Signs of the Past”, “Daniel White” is featured on page 31, and you may read about the “Jackson's Military Road” on pages 91 & 92.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fort Willingham Armory & the 115th Signal Battalion

Fort Willingham Armory  

& the 115th Signal Battalion

The town of Florence has created a “Memorial Grove” on the site of the former National Guard Armory, on Florence Blvd where it becomes Tennessee Street (NE of Florence Cemetery). A monument there honors Police and Fire Heroes. There was previously a “115th Signal Battalion” marker (see page 2, Signs of the Past ) . It has been repositioned near the U.S.flagpole where it is more visible from Florence Blvd.

On November 2, 2013, a new historical marker was added to commemorate the Fort Willingham National Guard Armory

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Here Today, Gone Tomorrow"

"Here Today, Gone Tomorrow"

seems like a good description of the  
Southern Female University.

It burned down in 1911 so that now, a hundred years later, very few Florence citizens even know that it existed. You can see in the photographs that it was an enormous building: five stories tall. originally intended to be a Baptist University when it was opened in 1891 .  Local historian, Professor Ken Johnson, says that the Baptists early on withdrew their support and moved to Birmingham instead. 

In 1908, it re-opened its doors as the Florence University for Women.

Being an inconvenient distance from the town of Florence and having poor roads, it was not popular with women. Finally the 1911 fire spelled its demise.

Notice in the map that the FSU/FUW was in North Florence just south of the Florence Water Tower which is on Seymore Avenue.

"Seven Points" is colored yellow to help orient you.

The FUW was razed and today there are homes on its land. The only evidence for its existence is an occasional brick found in the ground and the historical signs erected in the Autumn of 2012.

"Nothing lasts forever."