Northport

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City of Northport
Northport seal.jpg
Incorporated 1871
Population 23,330
Mayor Bobby Herndon
School district Tuscaloosa County Schools
Government

Northport City Council
Northport Fire Department
Northport Police Department

Web site cityofnorthport.org
Northport locator map.png
Locate with Google Maps

Northport (incorporated in 1871) is a city of 23,000 located on 14.9 square miles north of Tuscaloosa on the north bank of the Black Warrior River in central Tuscaloosa County.

History

Though the area of Tuscaloosa Falls had been used by Europeans as a ford across the Warrior River since the 1770s, the first permanent settlement near present-day Northport took place in 1813. It was originally called Kentuck, adapting a native word for "canebrake" which may also have been in popular use as a synonym for a "paradise". By the 1820s the cluster of houses and stores and its village tavern served as a cotton port for Northwest Alabama at the terminus of the newly-constructed Byler Road.

By the 1830s the village had moved further from the flood-prone riverbank, but remained an important cotton port, with warehouses and gins crowding the riverfront. Otis Dyer operated a ferry to Tuscaloosa. The community gradually became more commonly known as North Port for its position north of its larger neighbor. A bridge was constructed across the river, but was destroyed by soldiers commanded by General John T. Craxton in April 1865 as they marched toward the University of Alabama.

The town of Northport was incorporated in 1871. By 1901 the city had a depot for the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and boasted 600 residents. Its first free school was completed that year and became part of the Tuscaloosa County Schools system in 1920.

Demographics

As of the 2010 census, there were 23,330 people residing in the city's 9,430 occupied housing units, for an average household of 2.47 persons. The population density was 1,565.8 people per square mile, with housing units at an average density of 632.9/sq mi. The racial makeup of the city was 68.4% White and 26.9% Black or African American. 4.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 2000, there were 7,844 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 83.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,206, and the median income for a family was $48,673. Males had a median income of $41,008 versus $26,340 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,163. About 11.6% of families and 13.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.4% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Northport is governed by a Mayor and City Council, elected concurrently to four-year terms in a non-partisan ballot. The council is made up of five members, each representing a district of the city. A City Administrator, appointed by the Council, manages the city's day-to-day operations, guided by the budget and policies set by the Council.

The current Mayor is Bobby Herndon. The current council is Steve Webb (District 1), Jay Logan (District 3), William Tunnell (District 3), Steve Acker (District 4), and Bart Harper (District 5). The City Administrator is Scott Colliins.

Northport's municipal government includes Departments of Administration, Finance, Planning, Public Safety and Public Works. The Northport Fire Department is headed by Chief Glynn Wheat and the Northport Police Department by Chief Robert Green.

The Northport Civic Center at 3500 McFarland Boulevard, completed in 1985, houses government functions as well as meeting and banquet facilities.

Culture

Northport is best known for the annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts, held each October at Northport Park. The Kentuck Museum Association also operates a year-round Kentuck Art Center with an exhibition gallery and studios for local artists. Historic Downtown Northport also features several other galleries, which participate in "Art Night", coinciding with Tuscaloosa's Art and Soul event on the first Thursday of each month.

On the first Tuesday in December, Northport celebrates a Dickens Downtown festival with special decorations and and scenes from "A Christmas Carol" performed by members of Theatre Tuscaloosa.

The Northport Heritage Museum, opened in 2001, tells the story of the community's long history with exhibits of artifacts, documents and photographs.

Tuscaloosa County seal.png Tuscaloosa County
Topics

Communities | County Commission | Schools | Sheriff

Cities

Brookwood | Coaling | Coker | Lake View | Northport | Tuscaloosa (seat) | Vance

References

  • Persinger, W. S. (1931) An Early History of Northport, Alabama. unpublished manuscript. University of Alabama Special Collections
  • Stell, Jackson R. & Marie S. Ball (February 15, 1980) "Northport Historic District". National Register of Historic Places Inventory—Nomination Form (listed May 1, 1980)
  • Avant, Lydia Seabol (April 24, 2010) "Northport to dedicate historic marker." Tuscaloosa News
  • Northport, Alabama (April 27, 2010) Wikipedia - accessed April 28, 2010

External links