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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Brierfield in Bibb County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Bibb Furnace

 
 
Bibb Furnace Marker (left marker) image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, October 17, 2010
1. Bibb Furnace Marker (left marker)
Inscription. The Bibb County Iron Company under the direction of C. C. Huckabee of Newbern, Alabama, constructed a furnace here and poured the first iron in November 1862. Within a year, the Confederate government purchased the works and completed a second and larger furnace alongside whose stack exists today. Known as the Bibb Naval Works, the facility was a major contributor of iron used for Confederate ordnance especially the Brooke cannon.

On the morning of 31 March 1865, Union General James H. Wilsonís 10th Missouri Cavalry wrecked these furnaces and a rolling mill 2 ½ miles east. After the Civil War, former Confederate Ordnance Bureau Chief Josiah Gorgas (later Vice-Chancellor of the University of the South at Sewanee and President of the University of Alabama) acquired the works from the United States Freedmanís Bureau. The Brierfield Iron Works Company was organized, and after extensive repairs, the furnaces reopened. These efforts failed and in 1869 the furnaces and rolling mill were leased to Thomas S. Alvis, a Gorgas subordinate, whose business collapsed during the Panic of 1873. The furnaces remained idle until 1881.

Thomas Jefferson Peter, the former general manager of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, organized the Brierfield Coal & Iron Company and operated the works through most of the 1880s while
Bibb Furnace Marker (Center Marker) image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, October 17, 2010
2. Bibb Furnace Marker (Center Marker)
adding coal mines and coke ovens. A post office was established here named Furnace, and the nearby town of Brierfield was called the “Magic City of Bibb County.” Peter went bankrupt in 1889 and reorganized as the Alabama Iron & Steel Company. The furnace and rolling mill worked intermittently until just before Christmas 1894 when all operations ceased forever.
 
Location. 33° 2.346′ N, 86° 56.907′ W. Marker is in Brierfield, Alabama, in Bibb County. Marker is on Furnace Road (County Road 62) south of Montevallo Road (State Route 25). Click for map. Marker is located in the Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Park near the ruins of the furnaces. Marker is at or near this postal address: 240 Furnace Parkway, Brierfield AL 35035, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hayes-Morton House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sunshine & Dorothy Morton House (about 800 feet away); Bibb Naval Furnaces Brierfield Furnaces (approx. 0.4 miles away); Absalom Pratt House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Six Mile Male & Female Academy Site (approx. 4 miles away); Site of Six Mile Male And Female Academy
Map of Brierfield Alabama 1886 (Right Marker) image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, October 17, 2010
3. Map of Brierfield Alabama 1886 (Right Marker)
(approx. 4 miles away); Town of Wilton (approx. 4.7 miles away); Piper / Coleanor (approx. 6.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Brierfield.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWar, US Civil
 
Three Markers with the Bibb Furnaces in the distance. image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, October 17, 2010
4. Three Markers with the Bibb Furnaces in the distance.
Stone Marker in the foreground reads:

In gratefull appreciation to Kimberly-Clark Corporation for the generous donation of lands encompassing the remains of the Bibb Furnace and Brierfield Rolling Mill.

These gifts have made possible the creation of Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Park and preserved the heritage of Alabama's coal, iron and steel industries for future generations.

Alabama Historic Ironworks Commission March 1997
Center Stone Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, October 17, 2010
5. Center Stone Marker
Bibb Furnace Ruins image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, October 17, 2010
6. Bibb Furnace Ruins
Brierfield Baptist Church image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, October 17, 2010
7. Brierfield Baptist Church
This church still stands in the community of Brierfield.
Brierfield Store image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, October 17, 2010
8. Brierfield Store
Ruins of the Rolling Mill and Nail Factory image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, October 17, 2010
9. Ruins of the Rolling Mill and Nail Factory
Montebrier image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, October 17, 2010
10. Montebrier
This home still stands in the Brierfield Community as a private residence.
Brierfield Depot image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, October 17, 2010
11. Brierfield Depot
Bibb Furnace Circa 1905 image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr
12. Bibb Furnace Circa 1905
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,555 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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