Hedona

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Hedona or Hedona Mine was a small mining camp and railroad stop located on the Birmingham Mineral Railroad, near Brown's Gap on the south slope of Red Mountain, and along the present Berwick Road in Mountain Brook's English Village. It was developed along with the railroad's Red Gap Branch in 1884.

Brothers John T. and Willis Milner owned the property by virtue of their 1873 land patent. Willis sold his share to George McLaughlin and Charles Linn in the mid 1870s. John Milner began exploratory mining operations in 1883 and incorporated the Red Mountain Mining & Manufacturing Company with McLaughlin in 1886.

With the drift mine producing, a tramway was constructed to carry its output to the railway siding. The Hedona Mine was never a major operation and operated only intermittently before 1905. The company was dissolved in 1912 and the property sold at auction. Willis Milner and Lillian Orr were the high bidders and Milner former the Milner Land Company to develop the Milner Heights subdivision on the property.

While the mine no longer produced, the rail spur at Hedona remained in use. Milner utilized it as a transfer point for equipment brought by rail for construction of the Cahaba Pump Station. Materials were loaded onto ox-carts at Hedona for the last haul to the Cahaba River site.

Residential development in the area gained steam in the 1920s, especially with the Robert Jemison Jr's development of Redmont Park. As the area developed, the Hedona rail station served numerous small business in the vicinity. By 1946, however, the presence of rail operations were considered a nuisance by residents of Redmont Park. A suit filed that year, McClung v. the Louisville & Nashville Railroad went to the Alabama Supreme Court, which ruled in 1951 that the railroad could remain in use, but only with heavy restrictions on noise, dust and noxious odors. Under those restrictions, rail operations dwindled. The Red Gap Branch was abandoned from Hedona to Irondale in 1953.

References

  • Newman, Jeff (October 2012) "Old Hedona Mine in Redmont Park Now Just a Memory." The Jefferson Journal. No. 4