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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Forks of Cypress remains

Forks of Cypress remains

Forks of Cypress was a Greek Revival plantation house near Florence in Lauderdale County, Alabama. It was designed by architect William Nichols for James Jackson and his wife, Sally Moore Jackson. Construction was completed in 1830. It was the only Greek Revival house in Alabama to feature a two-story colonnade around the entire house, composed of twenty-four Ionic columns. The name was derived from the fact that Big Cypress Creek and Little Cypress Creek border the plantation and converge near the site of the main house. Although the main house was destroyed by fire on June 6, 1966 (6/6/66), the site was placed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on April 14, 1992 and the National Register of Historic Places on October 10, 1997.

What makes it unusual to an unknowing passerby is a field with a bunch of columns in a rectangle. When the home caught fire, the entire mansion burned down, leaving the columns as a perimeter. According to legend, since Jackson raised horses, the columns had fire-retardant ground horsehair as an ingredient.

Before making my visit, I did not realize that the remaining columns were on private property and you can't get closer than a view like this from the road. Some people, such as a couple of my flickr friends, have gotten advance permission to get a closer view. Even if you can't get close to the original, you can get up close to a replica. 5 miles away in downtown Florence is a replica which was built to be used as a Regions Bank branch.

Another nearby site of local lore was recently demolished. The "Ghost Bridge" was the home to many local legends and on the original plantation property. For more info, look here:

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