Lauderdale County (Images of America)
Lauderdale County lies in the northwest corner of Alabama, bordered on the north by Tennessee and defined on the west and south by the Tennessee River. Created in 1818, the county gets its name from Lt. Col. James Lauderdale, who died serving in county pioneer and War of 1812 hero Gen. John Coffee's volunteer cavalry. Conditions well suited for agriculture and commerce attracted early settlers like Richard Rapier, James Jackson, and Samuel Burney, who flowed into the county using the same paths and trails forged by the Chickasaws and Cherokees who came before them. Much of the area's activity centered around water, from the clear, bubbling springs at Jonathan Bailey's health resort, Bailey Springs, to the Muscle Shoals Canal, an early attempt to safely circumvent the river's treacherous rapids. Creeks and streams still feed cotton fields and fertile farms and, along with the river, offer recreational fishing, swimming, and boating.