Information on:

Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Park

240 Furnace Parkway
205-665-1856

About the Park:

In a hollow, beside a wet weather stream that would forever after be known as Furnace Branch, a group of men calling themselves the Bibb County Iron Company built a furnace in 1862. Spurred on by the desire to make a fortune from the South's desperate need for iron for war materials, the company was soon producing, in the words of a contemporary iron founder, "the toughest and most suitable iron for making guns above any other iron in the South."

The notoriety for making superior iron so impressed Richmond that in 1863, the Confederate government purchased the ironworks and soon added a second furnace and rolling mill.

Of course, this reputation for making iron did not go unnoticed by Union authorities either. In the early morning hours of March 31, 1865, the Federal Tenth Missouri Cavalry saddled up in Montevallo and dashed to the Brierfield Ironworks. Within minutes, the works were in flames.

After the war, the former Chief of Confederate Ordnance, and future University of Alabama president, Josiah Gorgas, organized a company to repair and operate the works. But these efforts ended in failure, and from 1873 to 1880, the furnaces at Brierfield were silent.

Then, in the early 1880s, Thomas Jefferson Peter came to town. A former general manager of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, Peter had big plans and money to back them up. He made Brierfield boom. Everything was new, better or bigger, and Brierfield was called the "Magic City of Bibb County."

By the end of the decade, however, the future was not so bright. The huge metal furnaces in the new city of Birmingham could produce ten times as much iron per day as the old brick furnace at Brierfield. Peter struggled on. Finally, in the cold darkness of Christmas Eve morning, 1894, the Brierfield furnace blew out forever.



Reviews

Amanda Stuart

Rating:
Sunday, June 10, 2018
This place is peaceful and the people at the country store are the sweetest. The facilities could use some love (aka funding) though, especially the pool bathrooms. I still plan to take my kids to the pool here this summer though, the other visitors are laid-back and friendly. If you plan to walk around instead of drive bring the bug spray with you.

Brooklyn Moore

Rating:
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
I've went here to camp and swim ever since I can remember. The lifeguards are really nice. And the water temperature is perfect! Also have cabins you can rent out. And they have a little store in the middle of it all close to the pool to buy wristbands and rent out their facilities. You can rent out the pool for parties but you can over reserve it at 6:00 pm. That's when the pool closes. But if your looking for somewhere, nice, clean and family fun, this is where to go.

Venecia Hubbard

Rating:
Saturday, May 26, 2018
In 1862, five planters and mechanics erected a blast furnace in Bibb County. In 1863 the Bibb County Iron Company sold the works to the Confederacy. For the duration of it’s existence it would prove to be the only ironworks actually owned by the Confederate States of America.You can view the Historic furnace ruins, and Pioneer style homes and buildings. As well as enjoy Hiking and Nature Trails, Camping, Country Store, and Swimming Pool. Fun family day!

Mike Lane

Rating:
Sunday, May 20, 2018
Nice quiet place. Not crowded most of the time. Could use some walking trails.

Virginia Springer

Rating:
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Very nice campground and historical day use park. Has a nice pool, several hiking paths, a gun range and historical buildings to tour. Playground equipment is very dated. Campground spaces are well shaded, spacious, fire pit, picnic table, on level gravel pads with full hookup for RV's. No reservations, first come first serve. But call during business hours and she will tell you availability. Very friendly folks. Close to Montevallo, AL.

Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Park is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media