Daniel Hillman, a Pennsylvania furnaceman, first built a bloomery forge on the banks of Roupes Creek in 1830, where he had found the richest deposits of brown ore in his experience. He wrote his son: "I believe, George, that my prospects for making a handsome property are better than they ever were..."
Nature has blessed Tannehill. The beautiful tree-lined valley, hillsides rich in ore and swiftly flowing Roupes Creek made this a perfect setting for a successful iron making operation, as the early settlers realized. The same ingredients afford today’s visitors a pleasurable escape from modern life.
Iron & Steel Museum
The Iron & Steel Museum of Alabama is a southeastern regional interpretive center on 19th century iron making technology featuring both belt driven machines of the 1800s and tools and products of the times.
Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park has more than 1,500 acres in three counties set aside for hiking, camping and outdoor recreation. A miniature railroad chugs through the pines. From spring through fall, the blacksmith, miller and craftsmen demonstrate their trades. Craft shops occupy restored pioneer cabins and artisans chat with visitors from their front porches. Steeped in history, Tannehill feels timeless. The cotton gin, pioneer farm and working gristmill preserve a long-gone way of life. Hiking trails retrace historic roadways. Artifacts of Alabama’s 19th century iron industry displayed in the Iron and Steel Museum put in perspective the massive stone furnaces, Tannehill’s awe-inspiring centerpiece.