Gadsden (Images of America)
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Gadsden began as a small stagecoach stop on the banks of the Coosa River, where weary travelers could rest while traveling between Jacksonville and Huntsville. Known as Double Springs, the small settlement consisted of several log dwellings, a store, a school, and a post office. In 1840, the coming of Gabriel Hughes and his wife, Asenath, followed by Gabriel's brother Joseph Hughes, led to the founding of a new town that would eventually grow into Gadsden.
In the days before and during World War II, new industry brought jobs to the Gadsden Ordnance Plant and civilian jobs to Camp Sibert. Following the end of the war, the area experienced a return to normalcy and a great time of growth when Gadsden's fighting men returned home.
Gadsden has also been blessed with exceptional leadership over the years, which has propelled it from a small village on the banks of the Coosa River to the "City of Champions" and an All-America City.
the light pole in front of the theater. Most of the things shown here are no longer there, including the bike rack, the alarm box, and the library in the background. The Pitman is currently in the process of being restored, although a complete restoration is many years away. This photograph shows the Pitman Theatre at night. This theater, with its neon lights, would light the upper end of Broad Street each evening, and the glow from the lights could be seen for miles. The advertisement at the
entertainers, and professional ballplayers return home on occasion to visit family and friends and reminisce about growing up in Gadsden, the “City of Champions.” One PEOPLE The city of Gadsden has had an abundance of capable leaders and “growers” since the days of its inception. People came to the area known as Double Springs beginning in 1840, when the settlement was little more than a stop on the stage route through North Alabama. Gabriel and Joseph Hughes purchased the stagecoach stop and
Raiders are seen here in action in an early-season game. On opening night, a crowd of more than 4,500 fans was on hand to see the Raiders take on the Phenix City Colonels at Murphree Stadium. The Raiders handed the visitors a sound beating, winning 31-0. This was the beginning of a perfect regular season in which the Raiders won 10 games. Lonnie Stewart is shown here with his two small sons, Lonnie Jr. (center) and Stanley. He was a very prominent businessman in the Gadsden area and operated
attendants would check the air in tires and also check under the hood at no charge. At this time, Broad Street was paved with brick pavers. Today, a large building stands on this corner. The concrete-reinforced bridge across Black Creek near Noccalula Falls is shown here. This structure, built in 1916, replaced a covered bridge and was one of the first of its kind built in the United States. This bridge was erected with mainly chain-gang labor. It has been replaced with a more modern bridge that
Copperfield. The Princess offered kiddie matinees on Saturday mornings, and the safety patrol boys from the different grammar schools in Gadsden received a free movie and cartoon on Saturdays. The line for this feature stretches as far as the eye can see down Broad Street. These photographs show the interior of the Princess Theatre after the two later renovations. The photograph above shows a banner for Melody Cruise. Note the first enlargement of the auditorium when the seating capacity went