Exploring Alabama’s long lost cemeteries.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by DeBandi, May 8, 2010.

  1. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    This is a dangerous place.



    Hard to believe this was a cemetery.
    :scratch

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    It is believed that this cemetery was established in 1825.

    The last bodies were placed here in 1912.


    Let's go look around...



    :nod
    #81
  2. dirtphoenix

    dirtphoenix from the ashes...

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    This is fantastic! I love old cemetaries and used to photograph them a lot. My favorite one was back in rural IA that you had to hike up a stream to get to. It was a smallish family plot in which a lot of them had died about the same time from the 'plague'. I'm not sure if it was the actual plague or some other devastating outbreak...fascinating and tragic all the same...
    #82
  3. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    From fathers to brothers, sisters and mothers, they’re all here.






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    Time has taken its toll. This cemetery has not seen a burial in over 98 years.





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    #83
  4. RandyG

    RandyG Adventurer

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    Awesome report!
    #84
  5. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Brilliant once again!!!
    #85
  6. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    Most of the markers no longer exist.

    Evidence of vandalism is all around.


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    Little Mary Alice's grave is but one of several disturbed graves.



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    :scratch



    This long lost cemetery is listed on the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.



    The cemetery was purchased by the Red Mountain Park in 2009.







    I suspect many of the occupants of this lost cemetery were employed at a local iron furnace less than a mile away.

    This area was originally known as Ironton and played a major role in the Birmingham iron industry.


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    In 1876, this was the location of the "Eureka Experiment."


    More later. :pynd

    #86
  7. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    The lost cemetery is part of Oxmoor Furnace.



    The furnace went into blast in the fall of 1863. It was a busy time in Ironton.

    The furnace was nestled along the banks of Shades Creek and became the first blast furnace in Jefferson County.

    Pig iron produced here was shipped to the Selma Arsenal and Gun Works. A portion also made its way to the Noble Brothers Foundry in Rome, Georgia.


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    With the outbreak of the Civil War, it was destroyed on March 30, 1865, by the federal cavalry.


    The furnace remained in wrecked condition for years and was rebuilt and enlarged in 1873.












    The furnaces of the day all used charcoal as fuel. They consumed massive amounts of wood charcoal.

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    This location was the site of the famed “Eureka Experiment” in 1876 that proved good quality coke produced from Alabama coal (not charcoal) could be successfully used in the manufacture of pig iron.




    The experiment opened the door to the large scale growth of the Birmingham Iron and Steel District that followed.




    The furnace went out of blast forever in 1927...
    #87
  8. Brown Dog

    Brown Dog North Georgia Dual Sportr

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    Nice pics & History Dave. I hope that Poison Oak / Ivy around those Graves
    doesn't bother you :scratch
    #88
  9. rescueMAN

    rescueMAN Been here awhile

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    Some sad folks around to go and dig into graves!

    Great reports, keep them coming :rofl
    #89
  10. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    great read. I got here quick as I could.
    i'm a naturalized Texan, but my heart is in Alabama. Around Ruffner mountain I would ride the old mining roads all day, and venture into the long forgotten iron ore mines.
    Lumber/logging roads, mining roads all through that area..... love it
    #90
  11. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    i only remember one other thread that had me shedding tears and that due to personal tragedy.

    this one did it on page 2.

    Any of you ride along Little River Canyon on top of Sand Mtn? Know the church built into the side of a rock up there? I wandered in there one day and saw the 'memorial wall' where they honor all their pastors. There staring back at me was a portrait of my uncle Milton. Didn't even know he had served there... beautiful country...
    #91
  12. Shaykon Qwinney

    Shaykon Qwinney Been here awhile

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    Been a long time Dave!

    Thanks for taking us along with you again! Great stuff! I really enjoyed the info on Mary Gordon Duffee too. Keep it coming! :ear
    #92
  13. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free! Administrator

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    Once I heard a person say that there were three deaths in a person's life.

    The first was the day the person stopped living. The next was their funeral day. And the final day of death for a person is the last day someone speaks their name.

    For some that last day will come fairly quickly after the other two. For most of us who have not been famous for some reason or made some world influencing mark in history, that day comes maybe 40 or 50 years after the other two.

    If those things are so, then some of these folks in your report have had their final day delayed much longer because of you, David.
    #93
  14. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    speaking of Ruffner Mtn. is now a city park of more than 1000 acres. My memories are hazy but I'm pretty sure there are some graves there.
    I checked the brief Wiki and the Nature Center's own website - no mention of tombs/graves/cemetery/tombstones etc. Its sad but the place probably has fewer visitors now than it did when it was a defunct old holding of the mining company.

    Alabama is peculiarly blessed from an ADV inmate's viewpoint. Whenever I fly into Birmingham airport, I"m amazed looking down at the wealth of dirt/churt/gravel roads all around the county and surrounding areas. I lived there a long time and road a bit but I bet I did not explore 2% of what's out there.

    A lot of the magic comes from a land situation that is the reverse of Texas. Texas people are proud of the fact that 90%+ of all the land here is owned by private individuals/families and/or their trusts/estates. But that makes for lousy ADV because even county-funded roads are gated/locked... off-limits to riders. In 'bama, there are vast tracts of pristine woodland and ranges that are held by large corporate and utility interests: lumber, mining, and interestingly - Power companies [and water utilities to boot]. For a pittance one can get a recreational permit that gives you the run of the place on an annual basis. I have ridden thousands of miles in those places and never even asked ONCE for i.d. etc. I learned to hunt, fish, shoot, and ride on those blessed tracts of land.

    So its a peculiar world: the media paint the picture of Evil Big Business being the arch-devil of the Environmental orgs, but the reality is otherwise. If Environmental groups owned all these zillion acres they would be off limits to folks like us. I do not abuse nature, I try to always leave it a little cleaner and better appreciated than when I entered.

    So.... :lurk .... MORE! we want MORE!
    #94
  15. Ridge Rider

    Ridge Rider Blackbird/Ninja Rider

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    RCB: Ruffner is a park of its own, and Red Mountain Park is another of over 1100 acres. Both have great riding trails, but are off limits to bike riders now. Both have lots of interesting places to photograph. More later, company coming. Wade
    #95
  16. mike

    mike Long timer

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    This thread has inspired me to do a report on a cemetery I discovered last weekend. It's not lost by any means, but it looked very interesting. Going back when it cools off, maybe November.:lol3
    #96
  17. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    I'm all in for cool.
    its been around 105 here lately..... I like motorcycles, but.... :nod
    #97
  18. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    Thank you Zapp22....
    #98
  19. Sgtv4512

    Sgtv4512 Adventurer

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    Very interesting! Love reading these!:thumb
    #99
  20. BUBB

    BUBB lynch not Zimmerman

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    I'm here because I'm not all there.
    me too