Naming the Shoals: Part IV – Tuscumbia

March 10, 2017
by Staff Reports

The city of Tuscumbia is one of the oldest communities in the Shoals. It’s either the same age as Florence or two years younger, depending upon one’s point of view. From the official town history:

The town incorporated as Ococoposa in 1820. The name was soon changed to Big Spring. This name, however, still did not seem to do the town justice. In 1822, a vote was taken to change the name to either Anniston, after the first white child born in Big Spring, or Tuscumbia, in honor of the Chickasaw Indian chief living here. Tuscumbia won by one vote.

Should we consider Ococoposa a nickname? Probably not. How about Big Spring? Ditto.

So what is Tuscumbia’s nickname? If Florence, Sheffield, and Muscle Shoals each have two sobriquets, doesn’t Tuscumbia have at least one? Those we’ve asked have uniformly replied in the negative.

In the interest of fairness, it’s incumbent upon PNS to dub the city of Tuscumbia with an appellation it can be proud to display on billboards leading into the town. A historian residing in legendary Limestone County has come to the town’s rescue and coined a brilliant nickname for the Colbert County town. From this point on, the picturesque municipality shall be designated:

Tuscumbia – Gateway to Barton.


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