Huntsville Alabama is located in the northernmost part of the state of Alabama. It is located mostly in Madison county but extends into Limestone County.
Huntsville, Alabama is the fourth largest city in Alabama with around 160,000 people and almost 400,000 when its suburbs are included. Several incorporated cities include Athens, Decatur and Triana.
Huntsville is located along the Tennessee River. The original city is in the Tennessee River Valley and surrounded by several plateaus like Monte Sano Mountain and Brindley Mountain. It is in a humid subtropical climate, with hot humid summers.
Huntsville was originally a cotton trading center for the Tennessee Valley. It is home to a large number of pre-Civil War homes, a recreated 1819 village and a number of Civil War historical monuments. Because the Huntsville elites were more loyal to the Union than the Confederacy, it was not burned as Atlanta was. Huntsville economy was originally based on textile mills and the cotton trade. The railroads were built to connect to Huntsville in 1855. The main depot is now the “Historic Huntsville Depot”, a museum and tourist attraction. Two active rail lines still run through the city.
Huntsville Alabama is home to the Marshall Space Flight Center and Cummings Research Park. It is home to the original U.S. Space Camp. Huntsville has the nickname “Rocket City” for the space program and missile programs based there.
The NASA and military research hub have brought a raft of other technology companies like ADTRAN, Intergraph and Avocent. Cinram manufactures blu-ray disks at a plant in the city.
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant is located on the Tennessee River near Athens, Alabama. Its three reactors are licensed to operate through 2026.
The Redstone Arsenal is nearby. The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command or AMCOM is based in Huntsville.
Huntsville is home to many textile mills and munitions factories. It hosts the Huntsville International Airport and University of Alabama in Huntsville. The International Airport is actually classified as part of the inland Port of Huntsville.
It has several museums like the Sci-Quest Science Center, the EarlyWorks Children’s Museum and the Hudson Alpha Institute. The city hosts a ballet, symphony and a number of other civic groups.
Huntsville Alabama is named for John Hunt, the first Caucasian settler. It was originally named Twickenham in 1805 but renamed in 1811 for the first white settler.
The first settlers of the area were the Chickasaw.
In 2009, Kiplinger Finance named Huntsville America’s best city.
German rocket scientists ferried out of Germany after World War 2 to start America’s rocket and later space program were brought to Huntsville. This rocket design team is credited for designing the rocket that took America’s first rocket into space.
Huntsville, Alabama ties Atlanta, Georgia on the highest per capita income in the Southeast.
The town’s motto is “We’ve got space!”
Huntsville ranked number one in terms of total number of engineers as a percentage of the workforce in 2005 in a study by Forbes Magazine. It was also rated the sixth best place for doing business by the same magazine that year.