SHOALS – Local residents will have an opportunity to Take a Walk on the Historic Side by participating in the annual Walking Tours of Historic Florence, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia each Saturday in April. The walking tours - which all begin at 10am - help promote our historic sites, neighborhoods, and unique architecture. A Tour of different historic locations will be featured each Saturday and will be guided by local historians. The tours begin at 10am, are free to the public and will last approximately 1-2 hours.
SATURDAY, APRIL 6
“Rock of Ages” Historic Tuscumbia Walking Tour. The free tour begins outside Coldwater Books, at 101 W. 6th St. The tour includes visits to two historic churches, St. John’s Episcopal built in 1852, and First Presbyterian Church built in 1828.
Sheffield – The free tour begins at Sheffield City Hall at 600 N. Montgomery Ave. The 2-hour tour will focus on historic homes along Montgomery Ave.
Florence - North Court & Seminary Streets tour will begin at Rogers Hall (Courtview) on the UNA campus. It features Rogers Hall, Coby Hall, the Governor O’Neal Home, Connor Place, Wakefield, the Robert Dean Martin Home, the Medical Arts Building, Pope’s Tavern, two Sears & Roebuck houses and more. Parking available on Court Street and at the UNA parking lot located at One Harrison Plaza. Tour Guide: Billy Warren.
SATURDAY, APRIL 13
“The Settlement around the Big Spring” Historic Tuscumbia Walking Tour. The free tour begins outside Coldwater Books at 101 W. 6th St. The tour will visit Spring Park where a settlement, that later became Tuscumbia, was established around 1815.
Historic Sheffield Walking Tour. The free tour begins at Sheffield City Hall, 600 N. Montgomery Ave. The 2-hour tour will focus on historic commercial buildings along Montgomery Ave.
Historic Florence - The Walnut Street Historic District boasts tree lined sidewalks, diverse architecture and elegant homes. The tour will begin in the UNA Tennis Courts parking lot on Hermitage Dr. Walk by 29 beautifully restored houses that originally comprised the Walnut Street Historic District and were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
The tour begins at the corner of Walnut St. & Hermitage Dr. Parking is available at the UNA Tennis Courts on Hermitage Drive. Tour Guide: Billy Warren
SATURDAY, APRIL 20
“The Building of a Town” Historic Tuscumbia Walking Tour. The free tour begins outside Coldwater Books and includes visits to historic buildings in the downtown area that were home to some of the first businesses in the city.
Historic Sheffield Walking Tour. The free 2-hour tour begins at Sheffield City Hall and will focus on historic homes along Montgomery Ave.
The tour of the Florence City Cemetery, on April 20 features unique headstones and monuments adorned with burial and religious symbolism. The cemetery established in 1818 contains graves belonging to early settlers, two former governors in the O’Neal family, along with other prominent community leaders and families.
The tour begins at Florence City Cemetery entrance at 705 E. College Street next to the Animal Shelter or entrances on Tennessee Street. Tour Guide: Harry Wallace
SATURDAY, APRIL 27
“Governing of a Town and County” Historic Tuscumbia Walking Tour.
The free tour begins outside Coldwater Books, 101 W. 6th St. The tour includes a visit to the Colbert County Courthouse and other buildings that played a role in the early governance of Tuscumbia and Colbert County.
Historic Sheffield Walking Tour begins at Sheffield City Hall, 600 N. Montgomery Ave. The 2-hour tour will focus on historic commercial buildings along Montgomery.
Historic Florence – University of North Alabama Campus - The history of the University of North Alabama contains both direct and indirect ties to institutions such as LaGrange College and Locust Dell Academy. From humble beginnings in rural Colbert County, UNA emerged as a leading teacher training college. The first building in Florence was Wesleyan Hall built in 1855. The tour begins in front of Rogers Hall where we learn the early history of the University and then walk through the campus to view the Lion Habitat, Willingham Hall, Wesleyan, Bibb Graves and many other historic buildings.
SATURDAY, MAY 4
Historic Florence - The Forks of Cypress Plantation was one of the oldest antebellum mansions in Alabama. It was built in 1822 by James Jackson, one of the first settlers in Lauderdale County. Bring your lawn chairs for the beginning portion of the tour which is at the Forks of Cypress. The second part of the tour will be at the historic Jackson Cemetery. Directions to the Forks are as follows: Take Cox Creek Pkwy to Jackson Rd. and turn right (no traffic signal at intersection). Turn right at the dead end. Park along the road or enter the gate to park in the field leading to the columns. Tour Guide: Harry Wallace.
For more tour information, call Florence-Lauderdale Tourism at 256-740-4141 or Colbert County Tourism at 256-383-0783.