Days Gone By - stories from the past

Slagheap Village – [film and pics] Here ‘s why this strange name was given to a WPA housing project in Trussville, Alabama

Known as Slagheap Village, the official name was the Cahaba Project in Trussville, Alabama. It was a WPA housing project built on “slagheap” land vacated by the old Trussville Iron Furnace, thus the name Slagheap Village.


Slag being used in Slagheap houses by photographer Arthur Rothstein Feb. 1937

Slagheap being used as construction material at Slagheap Village, Alabama Feb. 1937 by Arthur Rothstein

Originally planned by the WPA to be a farming initiative, during the Great Depression, the project stalled when it was found that the land formerly inhabited by the old Trussville Iron Furnace was unsuitable for conventional government housing.

Construction of the sewage plant at Slagheap

Slagheap - Construction of the sewage disposal plant. Slagheap Village, Alabama 1937 Arthur RothsteinBut local intervention and replanning of a “garden-type suburban town” rescued the project.

 One of the new houses at Slagheap Village, Alabama 1937 Arthur Rothstein

Slagheap - One of the new houses at Slagheap Village, Alabama 1937 Arthur Rothstein

These homes were originally rented to families, before being offered for sale in the early 1940’s.

Slagheap Village New Houses by photographer Arthur Rothstein 1937

Slagheap Village New Houses by photographer Arthur Rothstein 1937

The area had schools, sewer, indoor bathroom facilities, paved streets with curbs and gutters, parks and sidewalks.

Slagheap village scene – 1937 by Arthur Rothstein

Slagheap village scene - 1937 by Arthur Rothstein

 

Today, the Project is the heart of a growing community. Trussville’s Mall in the center of the historical district was designed to resemble the Mall in Washington, D.C. with the school and commissary (now the Chamber of Commerce) anchoring the east end.Slagheap Village house

This district contained 287 residential units consisting of triplexes, duplexes and single family homes.

 

These homes were originally rented to families, before being offered for sale in the early 1940’s.

The area had schools, sewer, indoor bathroom facilities, paved streets with curbs and gutters, parks and sidewalks. This was the first planned unit development in Trussville and is still a very desired address to this day. All homes had lots large enough for a garden spot with a shed to house a cow and chickens.

Trussville was once of the most important portions of Jefferson county, Alabama. That part of the county was settled at a very early day by such men as Warren Truss, the grandfather of the sheriff in 1887; Nicholas Talley, William Perkins, Charles C. Clayton, and Rickets Blythe, Elijah Self, Stephen Garner, B. Praytor, Andrew Bass, Burnell Bass, and others.

The territory extended over a portion of Cahaba Valley, including the present town of Leeds. In that portion of our territory lived John Oliver, for many years one of our representatives in the legislature. William Cameron was a resident and merchant of Cedar Grove.

There was also a numerous family of the McDaniels, and Worthingtons. In that portion of our county known as the Bethlehem neighborhood, in the western part of the valley, lived many good citizens, such as Wm. Brown, Sr., and his several sons; James Rutledge, Stephen Hodges, William Snow, Alvis Davis, etc.

The City of Trussville has received a historical designation for the Cahaba Homestead Village Historic District from the Alabama Historical Preservation Commission and has been listed on the National Historic Register in Washington D.C.

SOURCE

  1. Jefferson County and Birmingham History 1887 by Teeple & Smith Publishers
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Library of Congress

 

Revolutionary War Books

New Historical Series on Colonial America.

Shop Amazon Warehouse Deals – Deep Discounts on Open-box and Used Electronics

Check out genealogy books and novels by Donna R. Causey

As family historian, do you have friends and family ask you how to get started in family research? This is a hard question to answer in a few minutes. Refer them to the book below to help them get started in this fun hobby. Purchase several – Books make great Christmas gifts!

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources

Click here for all historic books by Donna R. Causey

When you purchase books by Donna R. Causey online – you are helping keeping this website FREE!

 


See larger image
Additional Images:

Where Do I Start?: HINTS and TIPS for BEGINNING GENEALOGISTS with ONLINE RESOURCE


Features: Where Do I Start
By (author): Donna R Causey
List Price: $6.95 USD
New From: $6.95 USD In Stock

(Visited 10,457 times, 1 visits today)

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 www.daysgoneby.me
All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com 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

Tags:

11 comments

  1. Bob Davis

    Contrary to popular belief, the project was not built by the WPA. It was built by the Resettlement Administration.

  2. My family moved here in 1940 and lived eight wonderful years. It was a perfect place go grow up in. We lived at 263 Magnolia Street, next door to the Leonard Lawson family and across the street from the Harry Daniels
    family. When the war started my Father went to Millington, Tennessee, as a Civil Engineer, to help build the Naval Air Station. My Mother kept us in Alabama for the next six years, hoping we could live there forever. We moved in 1948. Thanks for all the history and pictures. It really took me “home”.

  3. My father, James w. Adkins, and my mother, Lamana Adkins, moved to our home on 508 Chalkville Road in 1942. I would walk to a house on North mall to pay the rent. My dad went to work at Oakridge, TN. My dad returned home at the end of WWII and he purchased the house we lived in.

    Me and my brother lived in that house until we married. I married Jack Martin in 1957 and we have continued to living in Trussville where we raised our two children, Mark and Malea. My Brother, Gary, married June McGinnis in 1962 and had two children, James and Shannon. He moved several times, but eventually moved back to Trussville and lived where he lived until he passed away.

    Four generations – Me, my mother, my brother our children and grandchildren all grew up in Trussville and attended Trussville Schools.

    My father and mother continued living at 508 Chalkville Road until their deaths in 1983 and 1986 respectively. After my dad passed away, I renovated the house to minimize expenses. When my mother passed away, the house was sold.

    Trussville, with it’s schools and our church, has always been me and my family’s home.

    1. HELLO WANDA, I AM GARY MCREYNOLDS, DAG WAS AND IS MY NICK NAME. GARY AND I WERE GOOD FRIENDS AL THE WAY THROUGH HI SCHOOL. WE BUILT A NEW HOUSE IN PINSON IN 1968 MOVED TO JUPITER FL. IN 1973 THEN TO ORLANDO 1988 THEN TO DEBARY FL. IN 1996. WE JUST BUILT A HOUSE IN LAKE CITY, FL. WE NOW LIVE THERE. IT IS A LITTLE LIKE TRUSSVILLE BACK IN THE 50″S. I WAS IN YOUR WEDDING AND STILL GOT THE PICTURE OF ME AND GARY THERE. I HAVE TWO CHILDREN, STEVE AND JEANNIE, JEANNIE AND HER FAMILY STILL LIVE IN JUPITER AND STEV AND HIS FAMILY LIVE HERE IN LAKE CITY.

    2. Wanda- I have an Article that was in my mom’s scrapbook about you. If you’ll give me an email address I’ll send you a copy. It’s from around 1956ish.

  4. MIke Armstrong

    i did not know there was a furnace in trussville.

  5. Gail Watts Jenkins

    I go to Trussville quite often. Gotta try to find this. Does Trussville have a library?

    1. Linda D. Crumpton

      Yes on Park Drive next to the “old” high school…

  6. Tim May

    Graduated Hewitt in 1984,last class from the old high school

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *