On this day in Alabama history: Shelby Iron Works was sold

On this day in Alabama history: Shelby Iron Works was sold
Ruins of Furnace No. 1 at Shelby Iron Works. (Photograph by Jet Lowe in 1993, HAER, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

March 18, 1862

Horace Ware, founder of the Shelby Iron Works, sold most of the interest in his company for $150,000. A native of Massachusetts, Ware partnered with his father to construct several crude forges in Bibb and Shelby counties and, by the age of 20, was a leader in the state’s iron industry. He constructed the Shelby Iron Works, Alabama’s first permanent ironworks, in the 1840s and later added the state’s first rolling mill to produce 12 tons of marketable iron bar daily. The ironworks was a major supplier of iron to the Confederate arsenal until its destruction by Wilson’s Raiders in April 1865. Today, its ruins are located a few miles south of Columbiana, and a fall festival is held there each year.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

Related Stories