1891 New Birmingham, Cherokee County, Texas


Advertisement
United States' flag
North America » United States » Texas » Rusk
September 17th 2021
Published: September 19th 2021
Edit Blog Post

A few years ago I purchased a book on 1891 New Birmingham, Texas. I got pics from that book before I lost the book. The book documents the third year (of five years) that New Birmingham was a national boom town before it went bust in 1893.

In 1888 Anderson Blevins and a group of investors aquired the Cherokee Land and Iron Company and 20,000 acres of land with plenty of iron ore to be mined or picked up off the ground. (There was nearby lignite coal to be used for fuel.) In 1889 New Birmingham was incorporated and open for business. They had two 50 ton iron blast furnaces: "Tassie Belle" (named after Blevins wife), and the "Star and Crescent" that provided pig iron and iron pipe for sale. New Birmingham had one of the first, in Texas, coal powered electric generating plant that lit up the town. They also had a lumber mill, bank, weekly news paper, brick kiln, iron pipe foundry, and a spur railroad line and depot connecting New Birmingham with the existing local railroads. The Southern Hotel was a world class hotel for the time with electricity and hot and cold running water. US President Grover Clevland and Texas Governer James Hogg stayed at bthe hotel.

The Panic of 1893 (major economic depression) greatly reduced the demand for iron products; then the Tassie Bell furnace was destroyed by a fire and explosion (and other problems) caused the economic demise of New Birmingham. By 1902 the town's businesses were closed; and in 1910 New Birmingham was at popluation zero. There is very little remains of the town today.

The site of New Birmingham is on private property and closed to the public; located outside the SE corner of Rusk, Texas, by the East side of US Hwy 69. The Historic Marker for the Tassie Belle and Star and Crescent blast furnaces is near-by on the West side of US Hwy 69.

Walking West of the Historic Marker is the ruins of the two blast furnace facilities. I could not figure out what functions were served by the brick and concrete ruins that remain on that site.

completed


Additional photos below
Photos: 28, Displayed: 23


Advertisement

Tassie Belle FurnaceTassie Belle Furnace
Tassie Belle Furnace

(iron blast furnace)
Tassie Belle FurnaceTassie Belle Furnace
Tassie Belle Furnace

(iron blast furnace)
Star & Crescent FurnaceStar & Crescent Furnace
Star & Crescent Furnace

(iron blast furnace)


Tot: 0.034s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 9; qc: 32; dbt: 0.0059s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb