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

Blocton / Blocton Coke Ovens

Blocton Marker image. Click for full size.
By Julia Frost, September 11, 2010
1. Blocton Marker
Centered around the coke ovens, Blocton, first called Gresham, was the Cahaba Coal Mining Company town founded by Truman H. Aldrich in 1883-84. Other company officers included W. A. Clark of Muscatine, Iowa, and Cornelius Cadle, Jr., the town's first postmaster. The first coal was shipped in February 1884. Ten coal mines were eventually opened, the last in 1915 by the Tennesee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company division of U.S. Steel. In its hayday around 1900, Blocton was the largest company town in the Cahaba coal field and had nine churches, two depots, schools, fraternal lodges, a company store, waterworks, hospital and over 375 miners' houses. Blocton declined after U.S. Steel ceased operations in 1928.

Blocton Coke Ovens
Construction began on the bee-hive coke ovens in 1887. Shortly before Woodstock Iron Company directors Samuel Noble, Alfred L. Tyler & W.S. Gurnee became large stockholders in the Cahaba Coal Mining Company to ensure a steady supply of fuel for two new coke furnaces at Anniston. When the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company acquired the Cahaba Company in 1892, 467 ovens were producing coke for furnaces at Oxmoor, Bessemer, Birmingham & Trussville as well. After U.S. Steel assumed control in 1907, the ovens operated intermittently for a short time.
Blocton Coke Ovens Marker image. Click for full size.
By Julia Frost, September 11, 2010
2. Blocton Coke Ovens Marker
In 1985, large endwall stones were removed and later used in the restoration of the Civil War furnaces at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. The Town of West Blocton purchased the site in 1972 & 1997.
Erected 1998 by The West Blocton Improvement Committee, The Alabama Historic Ironworks Commission.
Location. 33° 6.896′ N, 87° 6.425′ W. Marker is in West Blocton, Alabama, in Bibb County. Marker is on Blocton Bypass (County Road 24) 0.1 miles east of Primitive Ridge Road, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: West Blocton AL 35184, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. West Blocton, Alabama (approx. half a mile away); Belle Ellen (approx. 1.4 miles away); Piper / Coleanor (approx. 4.2 miles away); Town of Woodstock (approx. 7.3 miles away); Woodward Post Office  (approx. 9.4 miles away); Cane Creek School (approx. 9.4 miles away); Civil War Site 1861-1865 (approx. 9˝ miles away); Six Mile Male & Female Academy Site (approx. 9˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Blocton.
Categories. Industry & Commerce
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 24, 2010, by Julia Frost of Hoover, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,235 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 24, 2010, by Julia Frost of Hoover, Alabama. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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