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A river runs through it

The Assurance Group, Inc. (TAG) is located in The Shoals area of northwest Alabama. Four conjoining cities (Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia) situated on the magnificent Tennessee River are hosts to a myriad of cultural events. It is the river that attracted The Shoals' first inhabitants thousands of years ago when Native Americans came to rely on her rich life-sustaining offerings. And it is the river that draws people from all around the world today to partake in her bounty.

The Shoals is birthplace to "America's First Lady of Courage," Helen Keller and to "Father of the Blues," W.C. Handy. Another prominent resident, T. S. Stribling, chose Florence for the setting of his Pulitzer Prize award winning book, "The Store," which portrays southern life in the post-reconstruction years following the Civil War. More recently The Shoals area produced The Muscle Shoals Sound known all around the world by followers of contemporary music. The flow of music runs through the veins of this river town community supporting numerous recording studios, which have produced music by more artists than can be listed here. See Fame Studios' list of artists and bass player David Hood's site.

If quality of life is improved by recreation, then residents to the area must be among the most satisfied in the world. Two of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's most challenging courses along with the Robert Trent Jones Signature course at Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club are distinguished by their spectacular river vistas. The latter, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. sits in view of the former pair with only the vast Tennessee River dividing them. It has been said that, "The sun never sets on a RTJ course," but boaters viewing each parcel simultaneously would have to take issue with that statement... the combination of sun and water as dusk closes in creates a palette of color that is, at times, breathtaking.

If The Shoals is defined primarily by her river, a close runner-up would be her affection for trails. The largest organized motorcycle ride in the country, The Trail of Tears Commemorative Ride, concludes at our river's bank each September. The North Alabama Birding Trail is a prime example of what local enthusiasts will do to support their passion. Jogging trails abound in the many city parks known for their natural beauty, fountains, and water features. Biking enthusiasts have a real treat available to them on the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway. Horseback riders join together annually for the St. Jude Children's Hospital Benefit Trail Ride.

And speaking of equitation - it's a "large deal" in The Shoals. Most disciplines in horseback are available for the asking. Serious competitors from all over the country seek world-renowned Three Day Eventer, Jim Graham, for lessons and clinics at his Meadow Run Farm. Peytona Pony Club, a member of the United States Pony Clubs, provides exceptional instruction for ages 21 and under. Fox hunting with Full Cry Hounds is available to anyone who can ride the challenging cotton country after the crop is harvested each autumn. Western riders have their share of area support; Longhorn R Arena hosts exciting rodeos and team roping competitions held throughout the year. Western Saddle Clubs are active in many communities around the region. If sitting in a lawn chair to watch horses and riders is your pleasure perhaps an afternoon at Bluewater Creek Polo Club will suffice.

The river and trails combine for a fisherman's paradise on the Fishing Trail which consists of lakes Pickwick, Wilson, Wheeler and their miles of tributaries. Whether fishing from the shore with a bamboo pole or competing in any number of fishing tournaments held all four seasons of the year, the Tennessee River will provide good sport and good eating. Boating, water skiing, camping, hunting, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, spelunking, and most every activity imaginable are supported by organized clubs that keep individuals connected through common interests.

The only Frank Lloyd Wright designed home in the southeastern United States is located in Florence just a couple of miles from The Assurance Group, Inc.'s Service Center. Shoals area homes, churches, and commercial structures recognized on the National Register of Historic Places dating from the 1700's and 1800's display styles of architecture as varied as one can imagine. See the National Register of Historic Places in Colbert County and the National Register of Historic Places in Lauderdale County for a complete list. Our community is home to many more architectural wonders including Wilson Dam named after President Woodrow Wilson, which boasts one of the tallest single lift locks in the world.

The University of North Alabama and Northwest-Shoals Community College invite students from all over the world to take full advantage of opportunities in higher education. These institutions complement each other by working together to supply businesses with skilled labor by offering undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as career technical studies. Both centers of learning have excellent adult continuing education courses for continued personal growth and to support the ever-changing global workforce.

By now we hope you are as impressed by our community as we are; but know that you are in good company as our home, the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area, is one of only 49 regions in America so designated by Congress as "places where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape."

The Assurance Group, Inc. is indeed fortunate to call this area home; our associates are blessed to live in an area that richly nurtures them, both financially and soulfully. We'd love to show you The Shoals area and TAG's state of the art Service Center, so come be our guest in our unique community!