Historic Markers Across Alabama

Helena, Alabama

Marker ID: ABT 
Location: Helena, AL
County: Shelby
Waymark: None


Side 1:
At a crossroads, one mile south, a post office was established in 1849 called Cove, renamed Hillsboro in 1857. During the Civil War, the South & North Railroad (now the Louisville & Nashville) was constructed to just north of Hillsboro on Buck Creek to facilitate the shipping of coal and iron from nearby mines and iron works. The construction engineer, Peter Boyle, married Helen Lee, the daughter of early settler Needham Lee, Jr., and named the war-time railhead Helena Station in honor of his wife. Union raiders under Gen. J. H. Wilson stormed through the area destroying mines, mills and furnaces on March 29-30, 1865. Following the war and the revival of industry, the post office moved to Helena in 1872, the town surveyed into lots and streets by mining engineer Joseph Squire in 1873 and incorporated in 1877 with M. H. Williams as mayor. By 1910, the town included 4 mercantile stores, 2 meat markets, 2 liveries, 3 doctors, a millinery, a coal and a steel company and served

Side 2:
as the commercial center for neighboring mining communities such as Roebuck, Coalmont, Falliston, Mossboro, Zenida, Straven and Acton. The first metal bridge over Buck Creek was erected in 1911. The present concrete dam was completed c. 1913 furnishing the water power generating the town's first electricity and allowing for the installation of the first telephone service operated by C. T. Davidson, the son of early settler John W. Davidson. Many of Helena's early buildings were destroyed by a devastating May 5, 1933 tornado that killed 12 people and injured 75. Alabama Governor Rufus Wills Cobb (1878-1882) was a resident of Helena and a charter member of the Helena Masonic Lodge (1876).

End of Helena, Alabama