ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Birmingham, Alabama
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Historic Sites of Birmingham, Alabama
Skyline of Birmingham, Alabama
The Magic City is a center for entertainment, sports
and the arts and is located in a region rich in
historic sites and points of interest.
Vulcan Statue in Birmingham
The massive statue of Vulcan
soars from a mountaintop in
Birmingham, a reminder of
the city's rich industrial history.
Tannehill Historical St. Park
The Civil War history of the
Birmingham area can be
explored at Tannehill
Historical State Park.
Peavine Falls
The beautiful waterfalls is one
of the points of interest at Oak
Mountain State Park.
Birmingham, Alabama - Historic Sites & Points of Interest
A Magic City Built On Iron...
Swann Covered Bridge
Blount County, just northeast
of Birmingham, is home to
three of Alabama's historic
covered bridges.
One of the best known metropolitan areas in
the South, Birmingham is the largest city in
Alabama and is the center of an area known
for its historic sites and points of interest.

The land on which Birmingham stands was
once part of the Creek Nation, a Native
American confederacy all but destroyed in the
Creek War of 1813-1814 and the smaller
Creek War of 1836. The first settlers of the
area, in fact, occupied fields once farmed by
Creek Indians.

What would become Birmingham was
founded in the 1830s as the community of
Elyton. The discovery of massive quantities of
iron ore in the surrounding mountains led to
the development of a fledgling iron industry in
the area by the time of the Civil War.

The Confederate military quickly seized on
this industry as a source of the iron it needed
to manufacture cannon, warships and other
military hardware. The furnaces were greatly
expanded and the manufacturing facilities in
Selma were able to turn out cannon and the
famed ironclad C.S.S. Tennessee using iron
dug from the hills of central Alabama.

This era of Birmingham's history can be
explored at such locations as
Ironworks Historical State Park, Brierfield
Ironworks Historical State Park and the
Alabama Iron & Steel Museum.

The iron industry was a key target of
Raid of 1865. Led by General James H.
Wilson, a Union army fought its way through
the area, destroying ironworks and doing as
much damage as possible.

By 1870, however, the community described
as a "poor, insignificant Southern village"
during the Civil War had come to life. The
arrival of the railroads brought a stunning era
of prosperity and in 1871 the city of
Birmingham was officially brought to life.

Despite a cholera epidemic and national
economic troubles, Birmingham thrived. The
rich local supplies of iron ore, limestone and
coal turned the once quiet country village into
a thriving city based on the iron and steel
industry. As the skyline soared, Birmingham
was dubbed the "Magic City."

The eyes of the world were turned on the city
during the 1960s when it became a focal
point of the Civil Rights Movement. Dogs and
fire hoses were turned on marchers and the
16th Street Baptist Church was bombed by
the Ku Klux Klan, killing several young girls.

Time began to heal the wounds, however,
and despite the disappearance of its iron
and steel industry, Birmingham experienced
a resurgence. Today it is a vital and exciting
city that is a center of commerce and industry.
Birmingham is a center for entertainment,
shopping, dining, sports and the arts.
click here to learn more.

The city is the center of a region that is rich in
history and mountain scenery. Follow the
links below to learn more:
Photos by Lauren McCormick
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
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