Historic Markers Across Alabama



Brock's Gap / Historic Gateway To Birmingham The South and North Railroad Cut.



Marker ID:  
Location: on South Shades Crest Road ¾ mile south of Bessemer Cut Off Road (State Highway 150), Hoover, Alabama
County: Jefferson
Coordinates: N 33° 20.328    W 086° 52.47
  33.3388    -86.8745
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMDAWQ
 



Text:

Brock’s Gap
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.

Historic Gateway To Birmingham


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.

Erected by Birmingham - Jefferson Historical Society and the Linn - Henley Trust.








End of Brock's Gap / Historic Gateway To Birmingham The South and North Railroad Cut.