Saturday, June 13, 2009
Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park - Birmingham, Alabama
Located just minutes from downtown Birmingham, Alabama's Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park is a major Civil War landmark.
Covering 1,500 acres of beautiful rolling country, the park centers around historic ironworks that once produced up to 22 tons of iron per day for the Confederate war effort. Tannehill iron was used to manufacture everything from cannon and artillery projectiles to cookware for the Southern military.
The massive furnaces at Tannehill were built using slave labor between 1859 and 1863. An estimated 500 workers lived on-site, operating the charcoal fueled furnaces to produce iron from locally mined ore. The product of the operation was shipped by wagon to Montevallo and from there by rail to the massive Confederate industrial complex at Selma.
The Tannehill furnaces operated until just weeks before the end of the war. On March 31, 1865, the ironwarks was seized by 3 companies of the 8th Iowa Cavalry as part of General James H. Wilson's raid through Alabama and Georgia. The wooden structures of the ironworks were burned and the massive stone furnaces damaged.
Now beautifully restored, the Tannehill furnaces are the historical centerpiece of a massive park that also preserves other historical structures and offers a wide array of recreational opportunities including cabins, campgrounds, a miniature train, picnic areas, hiking trails and more. To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/tannehill.