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

Helena, Alabama

 
 
Helena, Alabama Marker (side 1) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 14, 2014
1. Helena, Alabama Marker (side 1)
Inscription.
Side 1
At a crossroads, one mile south of Helena, a post office called Cove was established in 1849 and renamed Hillsboro in 1857. During the Civil War the South & North Railroad (the Louisville & Nashville Railroad) was constructed to just north of Hillsboro on Buck Creek to facilitate the shipping of coal and iron from nearby mines and iron works. The construction engineer, Peter Boyle, married Helen Lee, the daughter of early settler Needham Lee Jr., and named the railhead Helena Station in honor of his wife. Union raiders, under Gen. J. H. Wilson, stormed through the area on March 29-30, 1865, destroying mines, mills and furnaces. The post office moved to Helena in 1872 following the post-war revival of industry. The town was surveyed into lots and streets by mining engineer Joseph Squire in 1875 and incorporated in 1877 with M. H. Williams as mayor.
(Continued on other side)
Side 2
(Continued from other side)
By 1910, the town included four mercantile stores, two meat markets, two liveries, three doctors, a millinery, and a coal and a steel company. It served as the commercial center for neighboring mining communities such as Roebuck, Coalmont, Falliston, Mossboro, Zenida, Straven and Acton. The first metal bridge over Buck Creek was
Helena, Alabama Marker (side 2) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 14, 2014
2. Helena, Alabama Marker (side 2)
erected in 1911. The present concrete dam was completed c. 1913 furnishing the water power generating the town’s first electricity and allowing for the installation of the first telephone service operated by C. T. Davidson, the son of early settler John W. Davidson. On May 5, 1933, many of Helena’s early buildings were destroyed in a devastating tornado that killed 12 people and injured 75. Alabama Governor Rufus Wills Cobb (1878-1882) was a resident of Helena and a charter member of the Helena Masonic Lodge (1876).
 
Erected 2010 by the Alabama Tourism Department and the City of Helena.
 
Location. 33° 17.698′ N, 86° 50.612′ W. Marker is in Helena, Alabama, in Shelby County. Marker is at the intersection of Helena Road (State Road 261) and 1st Avenue East, on the right when traveling north on Helena Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5260 Helena Road, 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. Central Iron Works (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Helena Freight House & Depot (about 600 feet away); Harmony Graveyard (approx. 0.4 miles away); Shelbyville, A. T.
Marker along downtown Helena image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 14, 2014
3. Marker along downtown Helena
(approx. 2 miles away); Brock’s Gap / Historic Gateway To Birmingham (approx. 3.5 miles away); Cedar Grove Cemetery (approx. 3.9 miles away); The Founding of Alabaster / Siluria (approx. 4.5 miles away); Benton Family Cemetery (approx. 5.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Helena.
 
Also see . . .
1. History of City of Helena. (Submitted on August 14, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Eureka No. 4 Mine. (Submitted on August 14, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. DisastersIndustry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
 
Kenneth R. Penhale City of Helena Museum image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 14, 2014
4. Kenneth R. Penhale City of Helena Museum
Located right next to marker.
Marker & old mill & mine equipment image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 14, 2014
5. Marker & old mill & mine equipment
Concrete head slab from the former Eureka mine portal. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 14, 2014
6. Concrete head slab from the former Eureka mine portal.
 
 
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 440 times since then and 68 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 14, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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