[The images in this section of Birmingham Rails were photographed at the Linn Henley Research Library in Birmingham, Alabama by Birmingham Rails. Call # TN24.A2 R4]
The Red Mountain Iron and Coal Company was a corporate successor to the Alabama Arms Manufacturing Company, and was incorporated November 5, 1862.
According to Woodward's account, the new company began to build two furnaces in late 1862 -- only one of these was completed. The railroad that was to be part of the venture may or may not have been built. That question is still being considered. Suffice to say that the RMICCo did produce iron for Selma.
There are conflicting accounts of the rail line from Oxmoor to the Alabama and Tennessee Rivers rail line at Calera. Most accounts indicate that there was no rail line built north of Shades Mountain during the Civil War. There is however a strong indication that the line of the proposed rail road was graded, and structures built, and that this graded roadbed (without rails) was used by ox carts to transport iron over Shades Mountain to a railhead built by the Red Mountain Company. See the information in the advertisement to the right for an explanation. [A related topic is the Ross Bridge page on this website.]
At the end of the war, in April, 1865, Union forces, known as Wilson's Raiders swept through central Alabama and destroyed nearly all manufacturing facilities, particularly iron and arms facilities. In 1868, after the destruction that is war, the original investors sought to sell the assets of their company or to gain new capital for its continued development.
Click on the advertisement at the right to see the prospectus -- would you have invested?
This booklet was circulated by (among others) Lehman Bros. company, which is a major financial house even today. It is interesting to note the Lehman Bros. began in Montgomery, Alabama, and moved to New York later. Part of this history is related on the Lehman Bros. website.
After you review the prospectus and consider whether you want to invest in the Red Mountain Company, come back here and follow this interesting history farther.
The next part of the story: "Eureka!"