Local historian Joel Mize is hosting a tour of historic Byler Road on Saturday, Sept. 7, beginning in Florence at 10:30 a.m. 

The tour will last approximately six-and-half hours, including stops at Hatton Hill and at Rock Springs Cemetery in Mount Hope. Mize said the tour will also include a lunch stop.

Byler Road was the first roadway authorized by Alabama after it attained statehood in Dec. 1819. The privately funded road came through Lawrence County from Tennessee and stretched to Tuscaloosa, our state’s first capital. 

The historic roadway is named for Captain John Byler, who commissioned the roadway and eventually settled in Lawrence County. 

Mize’s tour will begin at the Indian Mound Museum, at 1028 South Court Street, in Florence. Participants will meet at the museum for a briefing on Paleo, Archaic and Woodland history in North Alabama. 

Mize said tourists will then caravan to various sites and historic markers, which include Jackson Military Road at Shoals Creek, a new historic marker to be dedicated at Bainbridge during the tour, Leighton Civil War Museum, LaGrange College site, Old Bethel at Gaines Trace Crossroad, the Byler Toll-road historic marker, Vandiver’s Mill, Major W.M. Russell’s gravesite at Denton Hollow, and Byler’s Gap and homestead. 

Mize said the tour will also include a stop at Rock Springs Cemetery where Captain Byler is buried along with five other soldiers who fought in the American Revolution.

“An 18-passenger van will be available for those who wish between-site discussion with fellow tourists and guides for a cost of $10 per seat,” Mize said.

To reserve a seat, or for more information, contact Mize at 256-856-0354.

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