Eureka! Birmingham park trails reveal mountain's mining past |

Eureka! Birmingham park trails reveal mountain's mining past | Through the winter, Red Mountain Park ranger Eric McFerrin -- armed with a machete, chain saw and camera -- battled through thickets of privet and dense tangles of dead kudzu in search of remnants of Birmingham's history.
Sometimes, he felt like he was in a Central American jungle looking for a lost Mayan temple, but McFerrin was only a few miles from downtown. And the buildings, mine entrances and industrial artifacts he rediscovered and documented were neither ancient nor exotic.
Instead, he is clearing a trail to Birmingham's birth, steadily revealing details of history that for decades have been overgrown, covered up and largely forgotten. From sealed mine entrances to remnant railroad tracks to an ornate building housing machinery that lifted men and ore from deep underground, McFerrin is helping reconstruct the story the park hopes to tell.
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