Did you see her? Most people who have lived in Jefferson County, Alabama for a while have heard the ghost story about the ‘lady of the lake’ at Bayview bridge. The way the bridge was constructed caused tires to make strange noises when you crossed it and high school boys use to take their girlfriends across the bridge to scare them. The old bridge was replaced in 1977, but many say that the area still remains haunted.
Bayview Bridge ca. 1960s (Jefferson County Historical Assoc)
There are many stories about the identity of the ‘lady of the lake’, but the following stories were often repeated.
- The first is that the ghost is supposed to be a lady that lived in Edgewater back in the early 1940’s that had hired a lady in Bayview to make her wedding dress. It was before everybody had cars and people still walked most everywhere they went. It was stated that the girl had gone to her final fitting and was on her way back home with her dress when she was attacked by a pack of wild dogs and killed. Another version states that the girl ran away from her wedding when she crossed the bridge and her car ran off the bridge and a third version states that she crashed through the guard rail on the night of her wedding and she is looking for her groom.
- Another story is that a mother and her child were crossing the bridge in their car and it crashed into the creek. The mother survived but the child did not and the mother haunts the bridge looking for her child.
- Once a man reported a new car suddenly stopped on the bridge and he saw strange misty figures on the bridge.
- Hand prints on windshields were often reported by people.
Do you know of other stories?
Model Village built by Tennessee Coal and Iron Company
In the 1900s, Tennessee Coal and Iron Company built a model village for its coal mining operations west of Docena in Jefferson County and even received an award at the New York World’s Fair. Bayview was the last of TCI’s town-building ventures.
In the process of building the community, they dammed up Village Creek at a point where there was a steep gorge and made a man-made lake. The dam diverted water to be used in the Ensley Steel Mill four miles away and was considered an “engineering marvel in its day.
The community included a commissary for shopping, doctor’s office, schools, community center/library, churches, and parks. Public bus service was available to other communities in the county.
Mulga Bayview Community, Off Birmingport Road, Jefferson County, Alabama (Library of Congress)
Company Church in Mulga (Library of Congress)
Mulga Commisary, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL – Three entrances to former company meat, grocery and dry goods (Library of Congress)
Mulga Left Pavillion – Mulga Commisary, Off AL 269 at I 20-59, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL (Library of Congress)
Houses were owned by TCI and rented to the workers
This community typically consisted of two, three, four, and five room houses that were owned by TCI and rented to the workers. The rent was USD $2.00 per room per month for the TCI employees living in the homes. Later TCI eliminated the rental program and sold the homes to the workers. TCI was later purchased by U.S. Steel corporation.
TCI Double two-room house with side porches and steel roof Edgewater Community (Library of Congress)
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