I've lived in Northern Kentucky all my life, and in or around the city of Florence. Florence is basically a suburb of Cincinnati. It's important to note that the residents of NKy not only wear shoes very often, but also don't have strong Southern accents. They do have a weird way of using the word "please". I worked in a Call Center for awhile and was always amused when customers would ask, "Where's your accent?" You only have to drive about an hour to get to the Deep South part of KY. So, one has to wonder why we have a water tower with the words "Florence Y'All" proudly emblazoned across it.

In 1974 Mall developers gave a small plot of land to the City of Florence to be used for a water tower. The trade-off was that "Florence Mall" had to be painted onto it. The tower has a tall cylindrical base and octogonal drum on top. The drum has vertical red stripes on it except for a rectangle of white with "Florence Mall" written in black.

I had heard that the problem with this was that a private business couldn't be advertised on a public structure. It seems the truth is a bit stranger. The Bureau of Highways sent a letter stating that it was illegal to advertise something that didn't exist. The Mall was being constructed at the time. The next part sounds like something out of an urban legend but I have a source upholding it, and none against it. The City decided that repainting the whole thing, or even hanging a tarpaulin over it would be too expensive. So, some bright person came up with the idea of simply altering the "M" to look like a "Y" and adding an apostrophe as a temporary solution. Thus was born the Florence Y'all Water Tower.

Since then it has become THE landmark of Florence, Ky. It's probably been repainted like 5 times by now, and the annual city festival is even called the "Florence Y'All Festival". So, if you ever decide to visit Florence, make sure to stop by the Mall and get a picure with the Florence Y'All in the background.

Details culled from a column by Jim Reis of the Cincinnati Post. This is also the source referred to above. http://www.kypost.com/opinion/pieces032398.html

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