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Seal of birmingham.jpg
Birmingham neighborhoods
District(s) 6, 7
Community Southwest community
Population 1,583
Area N/A
President Veronica Edwards-Johnson
Meeting site Henry Crumpton Community Center, (map)
Meeting day 1st Monday
Neighborhood map Powderly

Powderly is a neighborhood in Birmingham's Southwest community. The present neighborhood, which includes the community of Ishkooda and the Powderly Hills subdivision, is bounded by Northland Avenue to the North, 24th Street Southwest on the northwest, Ishkooda Road to the southwest, Ishkooda-Wenonah Road to the South, Spaulding-Ishkooda Road to the southeast, and Cooper Green Park and Frances Avenue to the northeast.

Much of the area referred to as Powderly has since been ceded to other city neighborhoods. The Powderly Library in Wiggins Park is actually in the Jones Valley neighborhood. Parts of the neighborhood are in District 6 and District 7 in the Birmingham City Council. It is represented in the Alabama House of Representatives in Alabama House District 52. The community is served by the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service from Birmingham Fire Station No. 25 on Wilson Road Southwest.

Veronica Edwards-Johnson is the president of the Powderly Neighborhood Association, which meets on the first Monday of each month at the Henry Crumpton Community Center on Gloria Road. Powderly shares the 35221 ZIP code with Grasselli Heights.


Powderly was first developed in 1887 as a community of low-cost worker's houses by the Beneficial Land and Improvement Company, headed by members of the Knights of Labor. The nearby community of Travellick was developed simultaneously and the communities were named for Terence Powderly and Richard Trevillick, two of the Knights' national leaders.

Members of the Knights of Labor, primarily miners, purchased shares in the new community, and in its first industrial development, the Powderly Co-Operative Cigar Works. The Birmingham, Powderly, and Bessemer Railroad began passenger service to the new community in 1888.

The Birmingham Baptist College moved to the community in 1912 and housed the Jefferson County Board of Education's Powderly High School during the Great Depression. The county also built Jones Valley High School (now Jones Valley Middle School) in Powderly in 1921. Powderly Elementary School now serves students in the neighborhood. The Children's Village group home is also located in Powderly.

Several votes and proposals would have either incorporated Powderly or seen it annexed into Birmingham in 1945 and 1946. A legal challenge to the proposed annexation was concluded in June 1951 when attorney J. Clewis Trucks announced that the group of residents he represented would not appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Construction of a new Birmingham Fire Station No. 25 began soon later.

In the early 2000s, the Watercress darter was found in a spring that flows in front of Faith Apostolic Church in Powderly by Samford University professors Mike Howell and Larry Davenport. Seven Springs EcoScape, a park designed to protect the darter, opened adjacent to the church in 2008.


  • 2010: 1,952 (97.9% Black)
  • 2020: 1,583 (94.3% Black)


  • Abernathy, John H. Jr (1960) The Knights of Labor in Alabama. Master's thesis. University of Alabama
  • Birmingham News, Oct. 18, 1946, "Citizens of Powderly turn down link with Birmingham", accessed via BPL Digital Collections, [1]
  • Birmingham News, September 1946, "Powderly Studies Own City or Tie with Birmingham", accessed via BPL Digital Collections, [2]
  • Birmingham News, Sept. 13, 1945, "Powderly told it can join city", accessed via BPL Digital Collections, [3]
  • Birmingham Age-Herald, (1945?), "Powderly vote kills proposal", accessed via BPL Digital Collections, [4]
  • "Grade separation work begins at Powderly" (September 8, 1964) The Birmingham News - via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections

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