NAME: New Birmingham
COUNTY: Cherokee
CLIMATE: Warm winter, hot summer
Winter, spring, fall
COMMENTS: Near Rusk.
REMAINS: Not Much.
If it were not for the Tassie Belle Historical Park, New Birmingham would be hard to find, even for a ghost town. Once called the "Iron Queen of East Texas", so named for its iron production, the town was born, grew up and died within the space of five years. Founded in 1888 by the Cherokee Land and Iron Company with the aid of investor capital, the town grew to an estimated 1,500 residents, had two iron furnaces, an iron pipe foundry, a large brick kiln, and other manufacturing enterprises. It also had four hundred buildings, electrically lighted streets and even a streetcar system. It also boasted one of the showplaces of Texas, the Southern Hotel. Today, all this has disappeared except for the furnace at the Tassie Belle, named after the wife of one of the town's founders, Anderson Blevins. New Birmingham foundered for the lack of capital to sustain it during the panic of 1893 and an explosion and fire that destroyed the charcoal beds and power plant at the Tassie Belle furnace. Sufficient funds to rebuild were not available and within a matter of months New Birmingham died and its residents moved away. The site is a short distance southeast of the town of Rusk. SUBMITTED BY: Henry Chenoweth

Picture of Tassie Belle furnace in New Birmingham, Texas submitted by Kevin Stingley

Home of Anderson Blevins, founder of New Birmingham, Texas taken c.1891. Submitted by Kevin Stingley

Southern Hotel in New Birmingham, Texas taken c.1890. Submitted by Kevin Stingley