Pratt Coal Mines

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In 1878 the Pratt Coal and Coke Company was formed as noted above.  The company eventually became part of the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company, in 1886, which in turn became part of U.S. Steel in 1907.  So, this is significant.


Another part of the story is the railroad side.  As soon  as Pratt Coal and Coke started mining operations, they needed a way to get the coal to market.  They built a railroad from the Pratt mine camp, northwest of Birmingham to the city, a distance of about 6 miles.  This was completed in 1879 -- later this became the basis of the Birmingham Southern Railroad, as it was absorbed by TCI&RR before there was a Birmingham Southern RR.  This 1887 map (UA Map Archives) by Beers, Ellis and Company shows the Pratt Coal and Iron Co. RR and the parallel tracks of the Kansas City, Memphis and Birmingham entering downtown Birmingham from the northwest.


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