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

 

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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 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

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