Brock's Gap / Historic Gateway To Birmingham

Brock's Gap / Historic Gateway To Birmingham (HMHRZ)

Location: Hoover, AL 35244 Jefferson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 33° 20.328', W 86° 52.47'

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The South and North Railroad Cut.

In 1858, the State of Alabama, wanting to develop coal and iron industries in Jefferson County, Had John T. Milner survey Shades Mountain for the most practical route for the South and North Railroad to cross. He selected Brock's Gap, named for original land purchaser, Pinkney L. Brock. Work began immediately. The cut, now passing under South Shades Crest Road, was blasted by nitroglycerin through a bed of limestone 75 feet deep and was heralded as the deepest railroad cut in the world. Delayed by the Civil War, work on the line was finally completed by the firm of Bartley and Boyles of Helena Under Supt. J.F.B. Jackson in 1871.

Birmingham, the first industrial city in Alabama, developed around the intersection of the South and North Railroad with the Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad and was an important transportation center. It became a city of the New South following the ravages of the Civil War. Many destitute men rushed there to find work in the mines or on the railroads. The South and North Railroad became part of the L & N Railroad system. When L & N built the tunnel now in use under South Shades Crest Road, the old route became obsolete. This old railroad bed can still be seen on the opposite side of the road. The ground around the cut is littered with large blocks of stone cut from the mountain.
Placed ByBirmingham - Jefferson Historical Society and the Linn - Henley Trust
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 26th, 2014 at 11:40pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 511678 N 3688854
Decimal Degrees33.33880000, -86.87450000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 33° 20.328', W 86° 52.47'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds33° 20' 19.68" N, 86° 52' 28.20" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)205
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 15001-15099 Co Rd 97, Hoover AL 35244, US
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