The Shoals Area

Wilson Dam

The Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Area, commonly known as The Shoals, is a metropolitan statistical area in northwestern Alabama including the cities of Florence, Muscle Shoals City, Tuscumbia, and Sheffield, and the counties of Lauderdale and Colbert. The Shoals is known for its music recordings and birthplaces of W.C. Handy and Helen Keller. A number of our members enjoy displaying their antique cars at the W.C. Handy Festival in Florence and the Helen Keller Festival in Tuscumbia.

Wilson Dam, authorized by President Woodrow Wilson to help power the nitrate plants for munitions during World War I, was built just upstream from Muscle Shoals City. Construction on the dam began in 1918 and was completed in 1924. In 1922, Henry Ford tried to buy the nitrate works and the unfinished dam, but his bid was rejected by Congress. Nearby Ford City was named after Henry Ford.

The Tennessee Valley Authority was created by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, with the idea that Muscle Shoals City would be its headquarters. It was ultimately decided that the headquarters should be in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Helen Keller Birthplace

WC Handy Birthplace

Fame Recording Studio