Take a trip back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s as the coal industry catapults the region into the forefront of the iron and steel industry. Coal from the region was used in Birmingham, Anniston and surrounding areas. To make the transportation more efficient, ovens were built to burn the coal into coke – a product that burns hotter than coal itself and is lighter to transport. A battery of more than four hundred ovens were built near the town of Blocton.
Now owned by the town of West Blocton, the ovens are the centerpiece of the Coke Ovens Park. A massive boardwalk allows visitors to ascend over the remains for a full view of the beehive-shaped ovens. Interpretive signs are available to explain the making of coke and it’s significance in Alabama’s industrial history. On the day of the festival, volunteers will be available to discuss the ovens and answer questions.
The ovens are overgrown with trees providing a wonderful setting for a walk. So, after you’ve been to the morning program and been to the river to see the lily, drop by the park and experience The West Blocton Coke Ovens Park. More information can also be found at http://www.cokeovenspark.com.