“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Birmingham in Jefferson County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)


Smithfield Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, January 24, 2009
1. Smithfield Marker
Inscription.  Marker Front:
This residential area was carved from the Joseph Riley Smith plantation, a 600 acre antebellum farm, one of the largest in 19th century Jefferson County. Smithfield lies to the west of Birmingham's city center on the flat land & hills north of Village Creek & has the city's earliest & most substantial concentration of black, middle-class residences, small commercial enclaves & churches. The neighborhood illustrates the lifestyles of a wide spectrum of black Birmingham citizens in the early 20th century, & provides an exceptional view of the emergence of a black white-collar class in the city. Residential structures include a variety of industrial housing types, as well as examples of the fashionable styles built for community leaders

Marker Reverse:
Dr. A. M. Brown, Prof. A. H. Parker & Rev. R. T. Brown, & the fine work of black architect Wallace A Rayfield & black contractor T. C. Windham. First lots were sold in 1882 & land formally subdivided in 1886 with streets & avenues named for the Smith family. Physician - planter - entrepreneur Smith deeded lots to family members who built homes on the
Reverse: Smithfield Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, January 24, 2009
2. Reverse: Smithfield Marker
ridge to the north, later known as College Hills. The Smithfield & Joseph Riley Smith Historic Districts were entered into the National Register of Historic Places in October of 1985. Erected May 18, 1986 by the Birmingham Historical Society & The Smithfield Community.
Erected 1986 by Alabama Historical Commission, the Birmingham Historical Society, and the Smithfield Community.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArchitectureChurches & ReligionIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
Location. 33° 30.834′ N, 86° 50.19′ W. Marker is in Birmingham, Alabama, in Jefferson County. Marker is at the intersection of 8th Avenue West and Center Street North, on the right when traveling east on 8th Avenue West. Marker is located in front of the Smithfield Library. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 8th Avenue West, Birmingham AL 35204, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Graymont Elementary School (approx. ¼ mile away); Disabled American Veterans (approx. ¾ mile away); Birmingham - Southern College (approx. ¾ mile away); Walker Memorial Church (approx. 0.8 miles away); Wilson's Raiders
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(approx. 0.9 miles away); Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (approx. 1.3 miles away); Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth (approx. 1.3 miles away); Jim Crow on the Books (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Birmingham.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 2, 2019. It was originally submitted on January 29, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,745 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 29, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 28, 2021