Florence (Al) - USA, Alabama
The City of Florence was founded in 1818 on the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River in the northwest corner of Alabama. It is a part of the Shoals area that also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia. The history of the Florence and the Shoals began over 10,000 years ago when There is evidence Native Americans inhabited the area at the ancient Florence Indian Mound. Founded in 1818, it was named after Florence, Italy, by its Italian surveyor, Ferdinand Sanona. The area is rich in Civil War history. Although no major battles were fought here, there is ample evidence of skirmishes all over the area. Popes Tavern, a one time stagecoach stop, served as a hospital for both Union and Confederate troops - depending on who controlled the area at the time. It now serves as a museum that highlights Florence's rich history. From antebellum mansions to Art Deco buildings, Downtown Florence is a treasure trove of architectural styles - Federal-style townhouses, modern and grand Victorian houses. W.C. Handy, who wrote famous songs like "St. Louis Blues" and "Beale Street Blues" was born in a small, log cabin in Florence in 1873. His birthplace is now a Museum. Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House is the only example of the architect's work in the state. The beautiful University of North Alabama (1830) is located in Florence and features some unique historic buildings. In nearby Tuscumbia you can vist the Helen Keller Birthplace ( Ivy Green), Belle Mont Mansion, - built in the early 1800s and one of Alabama's most distinguished houses, and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.