Archeological evidence suggests that the first building burned at some point, and while no exact date of construction is known for the current building, construction of the one-and-a-half-story, eight-room, Federal-style structure began sometime in the 1830s or 1840s.
An officer at the scene later remembered, “Never can I forget the brilliant scene, as regiment after regiment filed gaily out of camp, decked in all the paraphernalia of war, with gleaming arms, and guidons given to the wanton breeze.”
Sweetwater Mansion History
Sweetwater Mansion (also known as the Governor Robert Patton House), located in Florence, Alabama, is a plantation house designed by General John Brahan of the Alabama Militia. A veteran of the War of 1812, Brahan owned more than 4,000 acres in eastern Lauderdale County, Alabama. The eight room home was built of bricks manufactured on the site of Sweetwater Creek which lay just below the house. Sweetwater Mansion received its name from the creek and was first occupied by Brahan’s son-in-law Robert M. Patton, a post-Civil War governor of Alabama, who completed the mansion in 1835.
The mansion’s basement once served as a Civil War hospital and had also been a county jail. There are rumours of someone who once lived in one of the room upstairs who practiced dark magic but many believe this to be untrue.
On March 12, 1780, the Donelson Expedition, led by Captain John Donelson, camped below the shoals at McFarland Bottoms. The area was to become what is known today as McFarland Park and McFarland Bottoms or McFarland Bottoms Park. McFarland Park is located between the Tennessee River and downtown Florence Alabama and is a popular destination hosting festivals and special events. McFarland Park Campground Reservations
The campgrounds provide RV and tent camping with electrical and water connections, sewer hookups, waste stations, bathhouse and laundry facilities. Campgrounds are currently open year round. Our policy is first come first serve. There is no limit on the number of stays, only a limit on the maximum length of each stay (21 days). During the months of September through April there is no limit on the length of stay. For more information call (256) 760-6416 or (256) 740-8817.
Lauderdale County Alabama is located is the extreme northwest county of Alabama. It’s population is 92,709 and its county seat is Florence Alabama. Its name is in honor of Colonel James Lauderdale, of Tennessee. Lauderdale County was established in 1818, a year before Alabama became a state, Florence, the county seat of Lauderdale County, was also established in 1818. At this time a group of investors, under the name of Cypress Land Company purchased from the government 5,515 acres of land consisting of the original town site.
Lauderdale County Alabama, boasting a $10 million yearly income from its farms and many additional millions from its payrolls, stands on the threshold of a great era of progress. No area in the entire nation holds greater promise or offers more in good living, health, and contentment.
Waterloo Landing, located on Pickwick Lake (the former Tennessee River), was the site where, in July 1838, the 700-person Cherokee detachment led by Captain Gustavus S. Drane ended its 230-mile overland migration on the Trail Of Tears, boarded the steamboat Smelter, and left on the water route to Indian Territory. Here the party was united and set out on the eleventh aboard the steamboat SMELTER and two large double decked keel boats; the next afternoon they reached Paducah, Kentucky, where Lieutenant Deas left one of the keel boats which he found superfluous. He succeeded in mustering the Indians after a fashion and found that he had 489. (Grant Foreman, Indian Removal: The Emigration of the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians, Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1956 (copyright 1932), p.291)
Captain G.S. Drane to Major General Winfield Scott — October 17, 1838
Cherokee Agency, Tennessee
17th October 1838
… on my arrival at Waterloo, Alabama I was ordered to muster the company out of the service, to discharge my teams & embark on board the Steamboat Smelter & proceed to Fort Gibson by the way of the Arkansas river, I believed that route unhealthy, & requested Gel Smith to allow me to take the route by Boonesville, Missouri, the route selected previous to the party’s leaving Ross’ Landing.