In 1830 Daniel Hillman built a forge where Bibb, Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties meet. In 1859 Moses Stroup built a large iron making furnace on the site. During the Civil War it was the largest iron making center in the state and the Confederate government’s chief source of iron for weapons. The site was destroyed by the Federal Army on March 31, 1865. Today it’s a state park called the Tannehill Ironworks where the large reconstructed furnaces can be seen as they appeared in 1860. Stroup’s forge not only produced iron for the military but also household items like kettles, ovens, holloware, bells, nails and machine parts. Much of these items can be seen in the Iron and Steel Museum located in the park. If you visit the museum today you can see in an out of the way corner a large iron bowl that was created at the site sometime around 1860, the “Holy Grail” of iron bowls you might say.