Historic Markers Across Alabama

East Birmingham

Marker ID: AHC 
Location: the intersection of 12th Avenue and Cahaba Street, Birmingham, Alabama
County: Jefferson
Coordinates: N 33° 32.59    W 086° 46.864
  33.54316666    -86.78106666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMD1A9


Founded in 1886 on 600 acres of land, was Birmingham was an agricultural area consisting primarily of dairy farms extending to the present Birmingham airport. The East Birmingham Land Company that developed the area was formed by local industrialists who proposed sites for manufacturing plants, employee housing and a streetcar line linking them to Birmingham. East Birmingham was annexed to the City of Birmingham in 1910.

In the decades after 1886, industrial enterprises and working-class housing sprang up on terrain crisscrossed by railroad lines and intersected by Village Creek. Plants made patterns, stove, lumber, brick, steam engines, and foundry and machine products. Early companies still in existence include Hardie-Tynes (1895), Stockham (1903), McWane (1922), Steward Machine (1905) and O'Neal (1923). Residents and industries drank from Village Creek and used its waters to grow crops and cool machinery.

Early housing subdivisions included Klondyke (1902), Lincoln City (1903), and Greenwood (1903), where many of the homes were owner occupied. An influx of rural Southerners bringing their hopes for a better life to the great industrial city of Birmingham generated housing booms in 1913-15 and 1924-28. East Birmingham became a working-class neighborhood whose streets were graced with a diversity of housing types seldom seen in other industrial communities.

Through the years, the East Birmingham community has been challenged by noise from the Birmingham airport, construction of an interstate highway, and the seasonal flooding of Village Creek, all of which led to the demolition of a great number of early houses. Yet, the East Birmingham neighborhood remains. This marker is erected in the longtime commercial district along 10th Avenue North, to commemorate the working men and women who founded East Birmingham.

End of East Birmingham