Historic Markers Across Alabama

Wallace S. McElwain / Irondale Furnace Ruins

Marker ID:  
Location: on Stone River Road north of Old Leeds Lane, Mountain Brook, Alabama
County: Jefferson
Coordinates: N 33° 30.414    W 086° 43.596
  33.5069    -86.7266
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMCZBH


Wallace S. McElwain

McElwain trained in a gun factory in New York and in a foundry in Ohio before moving to Holly Springs, MS, where he operated Jones, McElwain and Company Iron Foundry. He was well known in the Southeast for his beautiful cast iron designs, which still adorn many buildings in the French Quarter in New Orleans. After the Civil War began, he received the first order for the production of rifles and cannons from the Confederacy. He moved his operations to Jefferson County when Union forces approached Holly Springs. He died in Chattanooga, TN.

Irondale Furnace Ruins

This blast furnace was built in 1863 by Wallace S. McElwain under contract to the Confederate Government to supply pig iron to the arsenal in Selma. Facility encompassed 2,146 acres and included an ore mine, quarry, tramway, foundry, blacksmiths' shops, stables, and employee housing. Destroyed March 29, 1865 by the Fourth Iowa Veteran Volunteers, it was rebuilt in 1866 and operated until 1873. First iron furnace in Alabama to go back into operation after the Civil War. Located 1/4 mile southwest of here. Renovated 2006.

Erected 1993 by Birmingham-Jefferson Historical Society / Memory of Elmer C Thuston.

End of Wallace S. McElwain / Irondale Furnace Ruins