Historic Walking Tours
Take A Walk On The Southern Side
Just like Sunday afternoon walks in the old days — stopping by to say hello or to sip a glass of sweet tea on the porch. Meander down historic Florence streets, peek into families’ lives from the past, step onto floors polished by generations. Hear tales of young husbands riding off to war, boisterous Christmases, children playing hide and seek under the stairs. Of mothers washing clothes in backyard iron kettles, silver-haired women stitching quilts for young brides, embattled men welcomed home from war by children they’ve never seen.
Guided tours are offered each Saturday in April at 10 a.m. Self guided tour brochures are available from the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Office. For more information, call 256-740-4141.
– Wilson Park Quadrant
The tour begins at 10:00 in front of Kennedy-Douglass and ends at the Federal Court Room upstairs in the post office. In the Federal court room, we will learn about the restoration and history of this significant room. Kennedy-Douglass will be opened before and after the tour for viewing of the Portrait Gallery showing 17 portraits of our founding fathers and early leaders.
– North Court & Seminary Streets: Tour begins at Rogers Hall, 1 Harrison Plaza, Florence, AL 35630
The North Court Street and Seminary Street tour will feature 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 many other homes.
– Walnut Street: Tour begins at corner of Hermitage Drive and Walnut Street.
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. Parking available at tennis courts on Hermitage Drive.
– Florence City Cemetery: 705 E. College Street, Florence AL 35630 or entrances on Tennessee Street
The tour of the Florence City Cemetery, established in 1818, features many unique headstones and famous gravesites among the rolling hills and towering trees. Florence City Cemetery contains graves belonging to early settlers, two former governors in the O’Neal family, along with other prominent community leaders and families.
– Forks of Cypress: Directions to the site are as follows: take Cox Creek Pkwy. to Jackson Rd. and turn right (no traffic signal at intersection) and turn right at the dead end.
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 and a friend of Andrew Jackson. Bring your lawn chairs for the beginning portion of the tour. Park along the road or enter the gate to park in the field leading to the columns.