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Beautiful Zion African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

Northport (Images of America)

Friends of Historic Northport Inc.

The name Northport reminds people that “North Port” was the northern-most point river traffic could navigate the Black Warrior River in the early years. Settled in 1816, Northport was first known as Kentuck or Cane-tuck because it was a cane-brake wilderness. In the 19th century, the land was fertile and cotton was king. Warehouses were built along the riverbank to store cotton to be loaded onto steamships bound for market. Due to periodic flooding, the center of town was relocated several blocks away from the river around 1830; Northport was incorporated 41 years later. The current buildings along both sides of Main Avenue were primarily built after the Civil War. Over time, several fires, flooding, and a tornado have changed the downtown landscape. As reported in the Tuscaloosa News after the March 21, 1932, tornado, “It looked as if Northport had been bombed.”

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