The Ghost of Roupes Valley Ironworks (Tannehill Furnaces)

The Ghost of Roupes Valley Ironworks(Tannehill Furnaces)

Shannon Hollon

Since the late 1800s, locals have told of ghostly images and presences at Tannehill furnaces. The work at the furnaces was hot, dangerous, and nonstop.

Ghost Story of Isam Hardee

A story tells of the sad fate of a slave ironworker by the name of Isam Hardee. Isam was a trusted worker at the ironworks. The Furnace master trusted him so much it was Isam’s regular duty to take a mule and pick up the hired workers wages from the bank in Bucksville and bring them back to the paymaster at the Works.

Roupee Valley IronworksRoupee Valley Ironworks

One day as Isam was on his was back from Bucksville, highwaymen with shotguns ambushed him and robbed him of the wages. Isam knew the furnace master and ironworkers would be furious. They would never believe he was robbed. He was so distraught he climbed the charging bridge and jumped into the fiery furnace Number 1 rather than be lynched by a mob.

Prowled the yard looking for his body

The 2800 degree flames consumed his body. Only a tiny piece of iron and slag was salvaged for his family to bury. Afterwards workers claimed that Isam’s ghost prowled around the furnace yard, searching for his body.

Uncle Bob Fuller - A Tannehill SurvivorUncle Bob Fuller – a Tannehill survivor and friend of Isam Hardee

Even many years after the furnace was destroyed and abandoned, some  locals say a shadowy figure still appears at sunset near the charging door of furnace Number 1.

Based on the Book: Tannehill Ghost Stories and other selected shorts
By: James Bennett

Tannehill and the Growth of the Alabama Iron Industry by James Bennett



  1. Karen James Brewer be careful out there!

  2. what year did this happen? and how do we know he was a slave? there were free blacks in Alabama, some were paid workers and some were convicts sent to work as laborers. Every black person was not a slave. Stop.

  3. Who sad that’s what happened, he was dead nobody was going to say he got robbed. Black people don’t commit suicide fast. Sounds fishy to me.

  4. Tara Pennington Reanee Thomas Amanda Marlow

  5. Grew up in that area never heard that store before. Nor seen any ghost at Tannehill.

  6. […] at Village Springs, in the north-eastern portion, and extends down in a south-western direction to Roupe Valley, which has long been famous for its immense deposits of iron ore, and where the first iron was made […]

  7. […] prelude to McAdory High School was opened in Roupes Valley in 1868 by the name of Pleasant Hill Academy. In 1908 it was moved about 300 yards to its current […]

  8. Hey my name is brianna and i am doing a essay about the bayview bridge and i was wondering if anyone has anything they would like to share please feel free to email me. Thank you and have a great day.
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  9. Wow love it great photo!

  10. […] War played out night-after-night in fens and fields — from the boys in both Blue and Gray, the slaves that toiled and died in servitude, the despondent suicides, the unspeakable sorrow of dead children, voodoo possessions, […]

  11. Melanie Stickler Falconer