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 Hutchings

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.

Tiger Nash

Rating:
Sunday, July 1, 2018
Nice quiet clean campground. With the addition of full hookup now, it is a nice little get away. Not many things to do in the area. The park does have a nice pool.

Hugh Benefield

Rating:
Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018
Quite a small state park, but the effort made to recover state history is impressive. Can't wait to go back and walk the trails behind the structure.

Mike Lane

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

Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Park is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media