New Birmingham was a boom town nearby in the late 1880s built around local iron ore operations. The furnaces, capable of producing 50 tons of iron daily, were named "Tassie Belle," after the wife of the town founder A. B. Bevins, and the "Star and Crescent." About 275 workmen were required to keep furnaces in continual operation. The town grew to over 3,000 people with a business district of 15 blocks including 32 mercantile houses, an ice plant, the spacious Southern Hotel, bottling works, and an early electric power plant. The 1883 panic bankrupted the industries and killed the town.