Woodward Iron Company
The Woodward Iron Company operated mines, quarries and furnaces that were connected by a private industrial railroad in Jefferson County. The three ore mines were Woodward Mine #1, #2 and #3. Mine #1 was located south of Paul’s Hill in Bessemer and was the site of the administrative offices, doctor’s office, commissary and Red Ore Elementary School. Mine #2 was south of Lipscomb and west of TCI Mine #7. Mine #3, also south of Lipscomb, was the last operational site on Red Mountain and closed about 1953. The tipple was located at the #3 Mine on Red Mountain. There was a tailings dump on the south side of the mountain, at the end of track at Woodward #1 site.
The Woodward Line was an industrial track operated by Woodward ran on the "north" face of Red Mountain. The line came up the mountain, crossed under the TCI Railroad, and had an interchange track with it. Then the Woodward line, using a switchback configuration, worked along the face of Red Mountain to each of the three mine sites. To the west of this location, is the Sloss #2 Mine site, and to the east is the TCI/USX Wenonah #7 Mine site and head of the High Line.
The Pyne Mine site was located west of Red Mountain in the Shades Valley area south of Bessemer on U. S. Highway 150. Slope mines on the northwest face of Red Mountain sloped steeply, about 30 degrees, downward to the southeast. There were very few deep shaft mines for iron ore in the District.
In 1918, Woodward began construction of the vertical shaft Pyne Mine, which reached iron ore about 1200 feet below ground. This mine was operated for a period of years, closed, and reopened for demand in World War II. It closed about 1972.
- Birmingham Rails by John Stewart