Birmingham in Jefferson County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Before Birmingham: Jones Valley
Native American presence
Recorded history and archaeological evidence indicate the presence of Native American people in Jones Valley stretching back 12,000 years.
• From 1500 to 1800 members of Alabama's Creek Nation fished and hunted in the area.
• The Creeks, or Muscogee, are believed by many to descend from the mound-building people who flourished in the area from 1000 to 1450.
Pioneers from Virginia, the Carolinas, and other states settled throughout Jefferson County and lent their names to towns and communities that dot the valley to this day.
• Among the first pioneers was John Jones, who traveled from Tennessee in 1815 to settle in the valley that today bears his name.
• By 1860, only 12,000 people lived in Jefferson County, and farming was the main occupation.
Toward an iron Industry
Although the dream of an industrial city in Jones Valley would not be realized until
• One early inhabitant, Baylis Grace, was said to first prove that Red Mountain contains iron ore when he sent local ore to a nearby forge and got back wrought-iron bars.
• Local iron, processed in Civil War foundries in Irondale, Tannehill, and Oxmoor, supported the manufacture of armaments of Selma.
Erected by C. Byron Ireland Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Glen Ireland II, and Mr. and Mrs. William R. Ireland Sr.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 33° 29.526′ N, 86° 47.714′ W. Marker is in Birmingham, Alabama, in Jefferson County. Marker can be reached from Valley View Drive west of Richard Arrington Jr Boulevard South. Located in Vulcan Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham AL 35209, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mineral Railroad Trestle (a few steps from this marker); A New City (a few steps from this marker); Industry (within shouting distance of this marker); Vulcan Statue (within The Lone Pine Mine (within shouting distance of this marker); The Iron Man: Vulcan (within shouting distance of this marker); South (within shouting distance of this marker); The Works Progress Administration (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Birmingham.
Also see . . . Vulcan Park and Museum. (Submitted on October 6, 2013.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 5, 2013, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 671 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on May 28, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 5, 2013, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.