Vincent cotton gin named historical site

The Florey Gin in Vincent has been named to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

The gin, built in the early 20th century, was used until approximately 1968, said Alabama Historical Commission spokesperson Elizabeth Brown.

“Everybody had a gin within a day’s ride or less of the cotton fields,” Brown said.

Vincent Mayor Ray McAllister said a Vincent citizens’ commitee plans to renovate the gin and use it as a destination for field trips and agricultural education.

“It’s a landmark, and it’s one of the last cotton gins that’s around anywhere in this part of the country,” he said. “It was a very important part of the economy years ago.”

McAllister said the Florey Gin serves as an example of days gone by.

“Back in the days when the cotton gins were in full operation, there was a tremendous amount of (cotton) grown here,” he said.

The cotton gin will help Vincent make a push towards becoming a tourist destination, the mayor said.

“Once there’s renovations done and it’s cleaned up so people can go in and look at it, even though it won’t be in operation, I think it’s going to be a landmark that people will want to take their children to,” he said. “I think with it being on the historic register, that’s just going to give it a lot more credibility.”

Brown said she was impressed with the work done by Vincent citizens to get their town noticed, including plans to plant a cotton crop to make a more realistic field trip destination.

“The people in Vincent were very interested and contacted our office about putting the gin on the Alabama register. And we were very pleased to do so,” she said. “You’ve got some great community-minded people in Vincent.”