franklin historical markers

Cedar Creek Furnace

First in Alabama
3 mi. west

Erected 1815 by Joseph Heslip who used the iron to make utensils for early settlers. Iron was from surface brown ore smelted by charcoal fires. 
[Before 1965: U.S. Hwy 431 near Russellville]

Jackson's Military Road

Built by Andrew Jackson, 1816-20. Shortened by 200 miles the route from Nashville to New Orleans. Provided much-needed road to Gulf for supply wagons and artillery. Built with U.S. funds and troops. Jackson's road served as model for 11 such roads built in 1820's. This road replaced narrow Indian trails. Lack of supply roads had hindered Jackson in Creek Indian War and campaigns against Spanish Florida, British at New Orleans.
[Before 1965: U.S. Hwy 431, Russellville]


First known as New Boston when a post office was established here in 1832, by 1834 the 
community was known as Newburg. The Newburg Masonic Lodge #388 was organized in 1872. Since its completion in 1878, the Lodge hall has been a center for community events, serving as 
the meeting place for the Masons and other clubs, as well as church, school, and voting precinct.
Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church, active since its founding in 1824 by Rev. James Smith, located 
1/4 mile east of this site.

Denton Hollow burial site of William Russell (ca. 1745-1825) one mile south. Major Russell, for 
whom nearby Russellville was named, served with Andrew Jackson during the Creek War and 
returned to this area to settle after the war.
[2009: Hwy. 24, 8 mi. east of Russellville]


Incorporated on November 27, 1819, three weeks before Alabama achieved statehood, Russellville was platted around the intersection of two historic roads.
Edmund Pendleton Gaines began work on the road that would bear his name on December 26, 1807. Gaines' Trace extended from Melton's Bluff, at the head of the Elk River shoals, to Cotton Gin Port on the Tombigbee River in present-day Mississippi. Lawrence Street follows part of that route through town.
Work on a more direct road from Nashville to New Orleans began in 1817 under Andrew Jackson's supervision. The route was called Jackson's Military Road, and Jackson Avenue as it passes through Russellville.