Tuscumbia log cabin surfaces memories of original civilization - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Tuscumbia log cabin surfaces memories of original civilization

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For most travelers, this was the first sign of civilization after a lot of time on the road. For most travelers, this was the first sign of civilization after a lot of time on the road.
TUSCUMBIA, AL (WAFF) -

Tuscumbia may be remembered best as the historic home of Helen Keller, but it also has a place in the history of the American stage coach.

A certain log cabin is easy to miss if you're traveling along a busy thoroughfare in Tuscumbia.  It was moved across the road some years back.

"This was a stage coach stop and Jackson Military Road was a pretty famous road. The only other road in this area was the Natchez Trace," Bill Shoemaker said. Andrew Jackson traveled the road which was built around 1819.

It was suggested by Jackson to shorten the time for travel across Natchez Trace. A historic marker is also on the site. Jackson Military Road was a very important part of transportation in the settlement of this area.

"The passengers came in either on horseback or carriage. But this is the first place they could stop in Tuscumbia," Shoemaker said. 

For most travelers, it was the first sign of civilization after a lot of time on the road.

"Some had traveled for days. Some had not had a chance for, really, a break and this was their first chance. They got information and they got their needs taken care of."

Inside, there are artifacts left by Native Americans living in the area prior to it becoming a settlement. Frontier life is also on display thanks to many of the donated items.

John McWilliams works for the city and is a city historian. He's written several history books. That history seems to come to life when you visit the log cabin. The area was called Coldwater because of a nearby spring. 

When they moved this building across the street, they tried so hard to keep everything together as it was more than a hundred years ago. That includes the mortar. They even got help from the state's historical society to use the correct compound for the mortar.

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