On July 4, 1845, the piercing sound of a steamboat's whistle along the banks of the Coosa River served as an exotic, technological proclamation for the beginning of a new era in Northeast Alabama. The landing of Captain James Lafferty's steamboat, the Coosa, marked the genesis of a new town and the realization of a shared vision of Gabriel Hughes, Joseph Hughes, and John S. Moragne. From that moment on, hundreds upon hundreds of pioneering men and women immigrated to Gadsden in the latter part of the nineteenth century pursuing the American dream of land and opportunity.
Gadsden: City of Champions, with over 100 black-and-white illustrations, presents a comprehensive history of Gadsden's astonishing development and details the various stages of the city's evolution, from a neutral playing field between rival Cherokee and Creek tribes, to a wilderness stagecoach stop, to a humble village, to a major riverboat port, into a modern industrial city. Amid streetcars, opera houses, bustling mills, and unpaved streets, readers meet local figures, such as Colonel R.B. Kyle, Captain James M. Elliott Jr., Judge John H. Disque, Emma Sansom, and John W. Wisdom, and a host of colorful CHaracters-riverboat pilots, theater managers, mill workers, Pulltight saloonkeepers, and bootleggers-against an epic backdrop of war, Reconstruction, depression, fire, and prosperity.
About the Author
Local author and historian Mike Goodson has composed an engaging narrative that captures the spirit and charm of Gadsden's unforgettable heritage. Recalling the vigor, determination, and imagination of the city's earlier leaders and citizens, his words and images celebrate their achievements in creating a community that continues to flourish with each passing decade. Readers, both old and young, native and newcomer, will find Gadsden: City of Champions a compelling American story, one full of adventure, tragedy, and good fortune.