The lost cemetery is part of Oxmoor Furnace.
The furnace went into blast in the fall of 1863. It was a busy time in Ironton.
The furnace was nestled along the banks of Shades Creek and became the first blast furnace in Jefferson County.
Pig iron produced here was shipped to the Selma Arsenal and Gun Works. A portion also made its way to the Noble Brothers Foundry in Rome, Georgia.
With the outbreak of the Civil War, it was destroyed on March 30, 1865, by the federal cavalry.
The furnace remained in wrecked condition for years and was rebuilt and enlarged in 1873.
The furnaces of the day all used charcoal as fuel. They consumed massive amounts of wood charcoal.
This location was the site of the famed “Eureka Experiment” in 1876 that proved good quality coke produced from Alabama coal (not charcoal) could be successfully used in the manufacture of pig iron.
The experiment opened the door to the large scale growth of the Birmingham Iron and Steel District that followed.
The furnace went out of blast forever in 1927...