Florence, Alabama

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Florence is a city in Lauderdale County which is situated in the northwest corner of Alabama. According to the 2000 census, the city's population was 36,264. The seat of Lauderdale County, Florence is the largest city in the metropolitan statistical area known as the Shoals (which also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia) and is the economic center of northwestern Alabama.

Florence was surveyed for the Cypress Land Company in 1818 by Italian surveyor Ferdinand Sannoner who named it for his favorite city, Tuscany's famous capital, Florence - which also had a prominent river, the Arno. Florence was first incorporated in 1826.

Florence is the birthplace of W.C. Handy, the "Father of the Blues," as well as of pioneering record producer Sam Phillips, discoverer of Elvis Presley. T.S. Stribling, a 20th century author and Florence resident, wrote a prose trilogy about the city consisting of The Forge, The Store (which won the Pulitzer Prize), and Unfinished Cathedral.

Florence is renowned for its annual tourism events W.C. Handy Music Festival in the summer, and the Renaissance Faire in the autumn. Florence landmarks include the Rosenbaum home, the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home located in the Southeast.

Florence's municipal government is a mayor-council type.



Location of Florence, Alabama

Florence is located at 34°49'13" North, 87°39'46" West (34.820287, -87.662860)1.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 64.8 km² (25.0 mi²). 64.6 km² (24.9 mi²) of it is land and 0.3 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.40% water. Florence is located on Wilson Lake, a body of water on the North-flowing Tennessee River that is dammed by Wheeler and Wilson Dams, one which was built by president Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal's Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), one of several "alphabet agencies". Wilson Dam, which was authorized by President Woodrow Wilson in 1918, was the first dam constructed on the Tennessee River.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 36,264 people, 15,820 households, and 9,555 families residing in the city. The population density is 561.6/km² (1,454.6/mi²). There are 17,707 housing units at an average density of 274.2/km² (710.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 78.39% White, 19.20% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. 1.34% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 15,820 households out of which 25.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.6% are married couples living together, 14.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.6% are non-families. 33.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.20 and the average family size is 2.82.

In the city the population is spread out with 21.4% under the age of 18, 13.7% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 84.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 79.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $28,330, and the median income for a family is $40,577. Males have a median income of $34,398 versus $21,385 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,464. 20.4% of the population and 14.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 25.9% of those under the age of 18 and 13.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Culture & Events

Florence's McFarlane Park is a resting point for riders in the annual Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride which terminates in nearby Waterloo. The ride commemorates the final point at which area Cherokee Native Americans were shipped off to Oklahoma and the mid west by the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Situated in Florence, and founded in 1830 as LaGrange College, the University of North Alabama, a public, co-educational, higher education institution, is Alabama's second oldest university.

The Florence Indian Burial Mound is the largest of its type in the Tennessee Valley Region. The mound, which measures 310Hx230Wx42D and named "Wawmanona" was built circa 500 A.D. and is thought to be locale for tribal ceremony and ritual. A museum is adjacent the base.

Pope's Tavern, is a renown historical stop, and served as a hospital along the way of many skirmishing Civil War soldiers from the North and South, and is one of Florence's oldest standing structures.

The Mariott Shoals Hotel & Spa, formerly the Florence Conference Center, also features a revolving restaurant atop the Renaissance Tower, both which are nearby the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and overlook the Tennessee River and Wilson Dam.

Mystic Harbor Marina is situated on Pickwick lake adjacent McFarland Park.

Florence has numerous parks, and facilities for recreation. http://www.fpard.com/parks.html

The Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts is the center for numerous cultural activities, exhibits and events, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and provides administrative offices for Florence's six museums.

Florence also has a Children's Museum.

The recently completed and redesigned Florence/Lauderdale Public Library has a total circulation of 170,525.

The George Lindsay Film Festival has been ongoing for nine years, and is named in honor of the actor who is most famous for his character protrayal of "Goober Pyle" on The Andy Griffith Show. Mr. Lindsay is a UNA graduate.

External links

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