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northport, a history

Main Avenue angles up from the river, following an old Native American trail from the Black Warrior River to the hills. In 1822, it became the southern end of Byler Road, Alabama's oldest highway running from the Black Warrior River to the Tennessee River in North Alabama.

The Historic Downtown district, Main Avenue, The Black Warrior River, and Byler Road underscore the important links between the original settlement (1816), the incorporation of Northport (1871), and the trade opportunities wuth cities down river and abroad. Farmers, cotton plantation owners, timber harvesters, saw and grist mills, and nearby coal mines relied upon the river. Each week, steamboats would export produce and return with a variety of manufactured goods to be sold in the stores along Main Avenue.

Historic Northport has been preserved so you can see the physical reminders of industry that shaped Northport and allowed it to grow with its own identity. Notice along your walk the various historic accounts and the architecture of the stores, houses, and churches.

In the 1830s the city moved from its original riverfront location to its present location. In 1850, most of the businesses burned to the ground, and in 1932, a tornado wiped out many of the Victorian homes. For the most part, the buildings you see today are from the turn of the century.

Want to know where the name "Kentuck" came from? Click here.

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© 2020 by Kentuck Art Center.

Kentuck Art Center and Festival was established in 1971. Kentuck's mission is to perpetuate the arts, engage the community, and empower the artist. The Kentuck Festival of the Arts is held annually in October, and during that weekend, makes a $5.5 million economic impact on its community.

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