Muscoda

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Muscoda or Muscoda Village is a community in the vicinity of Readers Gap south of Bessemer which was founded in the 1880s by the Smith Mining Company as an ore-mining camp.

The Smith company was acquired by the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company in 1889. Under the supervision of Don Bacon, they improved the mine works, making Muscoda the Birmingham District's most productive ore mine complex. The architectural firm of Wheelock, Joy & Wheelock was hired to design houses for workers, foremen and superintendents and their families that were constructed by C. D. Ratliffe. Later expansions were undertaken by TCI building superintendent John A. Baird.

TCI also constructed new houses and community facilities as part of its social science program in the 1910s and 1920s. These included a clubhouse, two churches, two schools, and a medical dispensary.

The mines were sold in the 1940s to the Woodward Iron Co., which developed the Pyne Mine hoistway in Shades Valley to access the lowest part of the mine. Woodward closed the Muscoda mine openings in 1953, but continued to extract ore from the Pyne shaft until 1971.

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