Showing posts from December, 2009

Miners tell of life on Red Mountain before it was a park

Before it was a park, it was their office Retired miners remember toiling in Red Mountain
THOMAS SPENCER News staff writer
Publication Date: December 20, 2009 
Aside from the occasional screech of a red-tailed hawk or the distant moan of a freight train, the forests and kudzu fields of Red Mountain Park are a quiet oasis now.
But decades ago, the mountain was a bustle of activity - crisscrossed by ore trains and punctured with mines that catacombed the mountain and stretched out under the floor of the Oxmoor Valley.
''It was quite an operation when it was going,'' said 81-year-old Amos Horton, who worked the mines from 1947 until they closed in 1962.
As the Red Mountain Park and Greenway Commission labors to create a 1,200-acre recreational park on the slopes and ridges west of Interstate 65, it's also trying to recover the stories of people like Horton who made a life in mining camps and descended to the depths of the mines to extract the ore that fed Birmingham's …