My family loves history and architecture, touring historic sites and taking impromptu road trips. And as a result of this, we are constantly seeking little hidden places to go and gems to find. I’ve posted about some of those little gems from time to time and a lot of them are around my hometown of Florence, Alabama. Every time I go and visit, it seems like we discover more interesting little tidbits about the area.
We were in Florence visiting my mom a couple of weeks ago, and had heard that an old home…a plantation, actually…had been restored and reopened recently, so of course we had to go and check out this latest “find.” I’m offering to take you along on this little road trip of ours, if you’re interested, and inviting you to step back in time with us and take a peek into a slice of southern American history, and the history of North Alabama, in particular.
Pond Spring Plantation was the home of General Joseph Wheeler, former Major General of Cavalry of the Confederate western army, The Army of Tennessee. Many local sites have been named after General Wheeler, including the nearby Wheeler Dam on the Tennessee River. After the Civil War, Wheeler fought again as a Major General in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War, earning the well deserved nickname “Fightin’ Joe” Wheeler. After the Civil War, Wheeler became a long time and noteworthy U.S. congressman, and was known as a national symbol for reunification and reconciliation in the late 19th Century. And as a U.S. congressman in the early part of the 20th Century, he was a driving force for progressive economic direction and growth in North Alabama. Quite a remarkable and accomplished man. Continue reading