Historical Maps of the Rock Mountain Area

 Click on Maps to Enlarge Them

Bear Meat Cabin Road, more commonly known as Old Huntsville Road, was the Indian trail that the majority of the first white settlers used to get to this area of Jefferson County.  (State of Alabama Map of Historical Roads)

Old Hunstville Road Bear Meat Cabin


1892 Map. Rock Mountain is labeled “Sand Mountain.”  Red Ridge (the Strip Pit) is labeled “West Red Mountain.” The Blue Creek Coal Basin is the site of the most recent coal mining. “Sharp” was located behind present-day Big Lake; Sharp was really just a homestead of the Sharp family.

Rock Mountain as sand Mountain Alabama


1960 Alabama Highway Map. The “Wagon Road” ran parallel to present-day Power Plant Road. West Lakes (at far right) is the site of the present-day West Lake Mall. This was the source of water for the city of Bessemer.

Bessemer Wagon Trail


1899 Bessemer Land and Improvement Co. The DeBardeleben Red Ore Mines were at McAshan Mountain and Red Ridge (the Strip Pit). At the upper right is Old Jonesboro, the first settlement in this area. “New Jonesboro” is  where the town of Old Jonesboro moved over a period of time because it was not on the route of the new railroad. Arch Bridge (the old concrete bridge is on Rock Mountain Lakes Road and the interstate) was built over Five Mile Creek in 1917. The town of Bullard Shoals no longer exists. Johns was a thriving mining town with a population of about two thousand.


1888 Map showing Old Jonesboro. Rock Mountain is located on the map between Five Mile Creek and Blue Creek. Mill McAdory, on Valley Creek, was part of the McAdory Plantation, which encompassed much of the length of present-day Power Plant Road.Old Jonesboro Alabama


Land Ceded by the Creeks  to the United States in 1814. This included Rock Mountain and the rest of west Jefferson County. Though this area was heavily populated by Native Americans before the Europeans arrived, the Creeks did not build permanent villages here. Since they were farmers, they preferred more fertile land,

Creek Indian land ceded to United States

This is a clip from a 1935 map that mentions Davy Crockett’s visit to Jones Valley. He spent time in Old Jonesboro and then travelled to Tuscaloosa. He travelled the Old Huntsville Road that would have taken him near to where the Arch Bridge( next to Rock Mountain Lake Road) is today.  I have a chapter on this in my book. Crockett was a legendary figure even in his own time,

davy crockett visits jonesboro alabama


1847 Map showing Roupes Valley and Jones Valley.  Jonesboro and Elyton (near Birmingham’s present day West End community) were the two major towns at this time and they were connected by a stage route

1847 map bessemer alabama


1877 map of the Alabama and Chattanooga railroads.

alabama and chatanoogs  railroads 1877


1935 map which mentions the  Rock Mountain Fire Tower. The towers on this map were tied into proposed “convict camps.”

1935 Rock Mountain Fire Tower

1960 map with Griffin Lake, This was several years before the first Rock Mountain Lake was built and possibly before Little Griffin was built.

griffin lakes 1960



5 thoughts on “Historical Maps of the Rock Mountain Area”

  1. I’m trying to find a more precise location for the actual first Huntsville Road in the Lake View area west of Norwood Gap and east of the Million Dollar Lake Dam on 216 in Tuscaloosa County. There is part of an old unpaved one-lane road across part of a friend’s property in the Million Dollar Lake subdivision about a quarter mile north of 216. This old road appears to have been abandoned over a century or more ago. I would appreciate any help or suggestions.

  2. Jim, I don’t have any knowledge of the exact location the Huntsville Road. Since then both development and neglect has interrupted the route. Regarding the old road that you have found, it is likely that that was an old farm or logging road at one time. In the Rock Mountain Lakes area, which is very close to Million Dollar Lakes, I have found numerous old roads since I first moved here in the early 1960s. Farms in this area were for the most part abandoned before the 1960s but the roads remained. Now, most of them are very hard to find. Some of them were just logging roads that were used to get the wood out with mule and wagon.

    1. Thanks for the prompt reply. This particular road reminded me of am original portion of the old Natchez Trace over in Mississippi and I hoped maybe it might be part of the Huntsville Road since it seems to approximately align with Norwood Gap.

      I’m going to check further and perhaps look at some old property descriptions in the courthouse.

      1. You can get on Old Huntville Road- at least part of it from Old Tuscaloosa Highway in McCalla. From Old Tuscaloosa Highway to Charles Hamilton Rd and Old Huntsville rd is off of CH rd. And it just runs intoI-459 and dead ends there. But if you look it up on Google maps you can follow the road it picks back up on the other side of I-459 and continues a little bit and runs right into the Old Arche Concrete Bridge on Rock Mountain Lake rd. By the way there is an Old Indian Cave in that area on the banks of Five-Mile creek but it’s on the other side of the Interstate 20/59 from the Arche bridge. I’ve been there a few times. It’s a really old cave it’s been dated back from 8000 BC-1000AD from all the artifacts tht was found from human activity. It was excavated back when the construction of the interstate was build. Also a portion of an Indian village was partially Excavated. Honesty I think that’s a lil too far back for humans to be on the earth. If you follow human history backwards in the bible the earth wasn’t flooded until somewhere around 2370 BCE. And sometime after the flood is when god had confused their language and then everyone started to take their families and to spread through out the earth. So there is no way that there were humans on this side of the earth that far back. So I’m thinking the cave was used by humans/Indians anywhere from 1000BC-1800CE. So the 1000AD sounds more like it than the 8000BC does. But the cave is Awesome is probably the deepest cave I’ve been it besides caverns. It goes in at most 80ft deep and you can actuall stand up and walk in it once you get past the first 20 feet. It’s pretty wide at the entrance. There’s a couple small brown bats in there lol. It is in the woods but it’s on some private property. But if your are extremely quiet you should be able to walk to it without attracting the owners lol. Becareful an Happy Caving.

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