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TBT: Life in Birmingham on April 20, 1882 included a frost late in the month

The Iron Age was a Birmingham newspaper owned and edited by W. C. Garrett and Frank V. Evans in the early days of Birmingham. Below are some excerpts in the paper which provides a glimpse of life in Birmingham on April 20, 1882.

Brief Mentions in The Iron Age on Thursday, April 20, 1882 about life around Birmingham, Alabama:

Light frost Sunday night

Games has entirely deserted this marketplace

Legislative wire-pullers are now at work.

Saturn is approaching conjunction with the sun.

There is a demand for good saddle horses in the city.

Farmers are not frequenting the city much now-a-days.

Strawberries are selling in this market at forty cents a quart.

The spring and summer railroad excursions will soon begin

Middling cotton was selling in this market yesterday at 10 ¼ cts.

Mad-dog days are now approaching. – Shoot the worthless curs.

The prohibition correspondent throws out a strong suggestion.

An excursion of colored people to Trussville is announced for May 5th.trussville marker

There were about 200 pupils in attendance at the white free school Tuesday.

There are more real estate sales in Birmingham than in all the other Alabama cities combined.

Farmers of Jefferson; one word of advice to you: Plant sweet potatoes. They are selling in this market at $1.50 per bushel.

We still hear frequent complaints of depredations in the cemetery. Wont the authorities enforce the ordinance against these outrages.

Sloss Furnace is performing admirably. It is said that it will make about 25 per cent more pig iron per day than had been estimated it would.

Sloss furnace

sloss Furnace

The colored people are making arrangements for a fair to be held next month, the object of which is to raise funds for educational purposes.

Jno. A. Milner’s engineer corps are camped near the pump house locating the line of the Georgia Pacific railroad down the valley of Village Creek.

More rain; but we do not suppose the farmers will object to it just now; and weather is a matter of more consequence to them than to any other class.

A number of gentlemen in the city are organizing a gun-club. We have some crack marksmen in Birmingham, and no doubt the club will be an interesting one.

At the many brick-yards around town the work of making brick for the great building boom which is expected to strike Birmingham this summer, is progressing rapidly.

Since the Sloss Furnace was put in blast the pumping engines at the water works, have more work to do. Birmingham now consumes nearly one million gallons of water daily.

Sloss Furnace 1882 (Birmingham Public Library)

Sloss furnace 1882

We must congratulate the street committee upon the excellent work of macadamizing 2nd avenue. We hardly think there will be much more trouble with mud on that thoroughfare.

Arrangements are being quietly perfected for the building of several more blast furnaces in the vicinity of Birmingham. Six is the number now fixed by the knowing ones to be commenced during the coming summer.

The highest price ever paid for a horse if England is believed to have been paid by the Duke of Westminster, the richest peer in that country, who paid the extraordinary sum of $360,000 for an animal which he desired to possess.

In 1870 the population at Jefferson county was 12,492; the census of 1880 gave it 23,272; an increase of almost 100 per cent, within the decade. There is no other county in the State that can show such rapid growth and development.

We repeatedly receive inquiries from abroad as to timber in the vicinity of Birmingham. We are reliably informed that there are quantities of hickory-ash, white oak, post-oak, elm and pine of excellent quality and suitable for manufacturing purposes accessible to this city.

We learn that the Sloss Furnace is using 450,000 gallons of water per day. About one half the ammont used by the Alice Furnace, Rolling Mills, and other manufacturing establishments and the population of Birmingham combined. it pays therefore 8 cents per thousand gallons, or $36.00 per day.

Alice Furnace, ca 1889, first furnace built in Birmingham

Alice Furnace, ca 1889, first furnace built in Birmingham

Mr. A. A. Chisby and Mr. E. Erswell, having failed to consumate (sic) the trade on the corner lot heretofore mentioned, the property 75 x 100 feet was sold Monday to Mr. J. S. McConnell, of Elyton, for $7,000 cash and the money was paid down. Mr. Jas. A. Going, Real Estate Agent, made the sale.

The Elyton Land Company is now having surveys made preparatory to building another reservoir larger than the present one, and constant extensions of facilities for supplying the city with water, are necessary to meet the rapidly increasing consumption, but they will be made by this company as fast as may be necessary.

Elyton Land Co. Office Building – They used the ground floor. Later a Hotel was here, operated by Mr. Borders. This is the North East Corner of Morris Ave. and 20th St. In 1957 the site was used by the First National Bank as a parking lot for their customers – photographed by O. V. Hunt – William H. Brantley collection at Samford University LibraryElyton_Land_Co_Office_Building ca. 1940 ov. hunt samford univ.

An exchange very appropriately puts forth this suggestion: A teacher can hardly show worse stupidity than in imposing upon a naughty pupil an extra lesson as a punishment. The learning of a lesson ought to be full of interest and enjoyment, and anything tending to make it weariness is a mistake.

The city building ought by all means to be connected with the Telephone Exchange. The market house, Council Chamber, Mayor’s office, Clerk’s office, barracks, police headquarters and fire department could all use one station; and it does seem to us that the Council should not hesitate to subscribe. It would prove a great convenience, and save much trouble and expense.

It is Rumored

That the fruit crop is going to be immense.

That commercial drummers are numerous in the city

That the Sunday schools will arrange for picnics soon

That work will be commenced at once on the new reservoir

That famers are busy, and supply merchants feel their absence from town.

Than an effort is going to be made to suppress some of the low-down dens of the city

That a large first-class wholesale grocery house is to be established in Birmingham soon.

That the colored folks are to have full charge of the base-ball business in Birmingham this season.

That the water-pipe leading to Sloss Furnace bursted (sic) Tuesday, but is was fixed up all right in a few minutes.


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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey


One comment

  1. What a great article. Alabama Pioneers keeps getting better and better.

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