Helena in Shelby County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Central Iron Works
During the final years of the Civil War, Montgomery merchants, Hannon, Offutt & Company, built a rolling mill here along the banks of Buck Creek. Called the Central Iron Works, the plant’s construction was superintended by Thomas S. Alvis, a Virginia ironmaster who had recently completed a rolling mill for the Confederate government at Selma. The Central Iron Works had just begun operation when destroyed by Union cavalry under General James H. Wilson on March 30, 1865. Abandoned for 7 years, R.W. Cobb, B. B. Lewis and Richard Fell bought the property at a tax sale, organized the Central Iron Works Company and began operation in 1873, primarily making Cobb’s patented “Alabama Loop Cotton Tie.” (Over)
Cobb later served as Alabama Governor (1878-1882) and Lewis as University of Alabama President (1880-1885). Nails became the chief product in 1882 until the company’s failure. Reorganized and enlarged as the Shelby Rolling Mill Company in 1889, products included bar iron and light T-rails, but within 2 years, this company also failed. The Alabama Tube & Iron Company purchased the property in 1901 and produced wrought iron pipe. By 1910, the Conners-Weyman Steel Company operated the works making cotton ties, hoops and light bands. The Conners Steel Company acquired the plant
Erected 1998 by the City of Helena and the Alabama Historic Ironworks Commission.
Location. 33° 17.788′ N, 86° 50.575′ W. Marker is in Helena, Alabama, in Shelby County. Marker is at the intersection of Lake Davidson Lane and Helena Road (Alabama Road 261), on the right when traveling east on Lake Davidson Lane. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 29 Lake Davidson Lane, Helena AL 35080, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Helena Freight House & Depot (a few steps from this marker); Helena, Alabama (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Harmony Graveyard (approx. half a mile away); Shelbyville, A. T. (approx. 2 miles away); Brock’s Gap / Historic Gateway To Birmingham (approx. 3˝ miles away); Cedar Grove Cemetery (approx. 4 miles away); The Founding of Alabaster / Siluria (approx. 4.6 miles away); Benton Family Cemetery (approx. 5.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Helena.
Also see . . . Alabama Ironworks Source Book - Short paragraph & photo. (Submitted on August 14, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 14, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 480 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 14, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.