Valley View Red Ore Mine, Robert S. Smith Drive, on grounds of "The Club", Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL
on grounds of "The Club", Birmingham, AL
Find maps of Birmingham, AL
Documentation compiled after 1968.
Survey number HAER AL-45
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (N885).
Significance: Although the Valley View Mine was not one of the largest, nor one of the most productive ore mines in the Birmingham District, it is nevertheless a significant example of a stage of mining operations critical to the evolution of the iron industry of Birmingham, crossing the boundary between the second and third phases of iron ore mining practice employed in the district. Within this paradigm, the first phase consisted of surface mining, as the outcrop of the ore seam was stripped along the entire length of Red Mountain. Although this practice was certainly employed at the Valley View Mine Site, little evidence exists throughout the district. This labor-intensive, low technology method of extraction left only an open trench, which has largely been obscured by erosion, reforestation, and subsequent development. The second phase involved the use of drift mines where ravines along the southeast flank of the mountain cut through the ore bed. At these sites, the ore was exposed so that mine entries could be driven along the strike of the ore seam. These operations typically consisted of a series of drift mines joined at the surface by an inclined plane that transported the ore after it was delivered to the mine entrance. This system of ore extraction was vital to the early development of the Birmingham District; with natural drainage and ventilation, and minimal surface apparatus, these mines were economical to operate. The availability of suitable quantities of ore at low cost gave local iron companies an advantage in the marketplace that encouraged the growth of a major industrial district.
Mines (industrial Facilities)
Anderson, Richard K., Delineator
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
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