Historic Markers Across Alabama

Central Iron Works

Marker ID:  
Location: on Lake Davidson Lane Helena, AL.
County: Shelby
Coordinates: N 33° 17.786    W 086° 50.576
  33.29643333    -86.84293333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMFB2M


During the final years of the Civil War, Montgomery merchants, Hannon, Offutt & Company, built a rolling mill here along the banks of Buck Creek. Called the Central Iron Works, the plant's construction was superintended by Thomas S. Alvis, a Virginia ironmaster who had recently completed a rolling mill for the Confederate government at Selma. The Central Iron Works had just begun operation when destroyed by Union cavalry under General James H. Wilson on March 30, 1865. Abandoned for 7 years, R.W. Cobb, B.B Lewis and Richard Fell bought the property at a tax sale, organized the Central Iron Works Company and began operation in 1873, primarily making Cobb's patented Alabama Loop Cotton Tie.

Cobb later served as Alabama Governor (1878-1882) and Lewis as University of Alabama President (180-1885). Nails became the chief product in 1882 until the company's failure. Reorganized and enlarged as the Shelby Rolling Mill Company in 189, products included bar iron and light T-rails, but within 2 years, this company also failed. The Alabama Tube & Iron Company purchased the property in 1901 and produced Wrought iron pipe. By 1910, the Conners-Weyman Steel Company operated the works making cotton ties, hoops and light bands. The Conners Steel Company acquired the plant in 1920 and dismantled the mill in 1923.

City of Helena and the Alabama Historic Ironworks Commission.

End of Central Iron Works