The Vulcan

May 5, 2016

We are still here at the Hoover Rv Park which has become like home to us! This has been an easy place to hang out, with shopping close by, our daughter living about 15 min away, no one real close to us and we do see trees, we have full hook ups, and the best part no red mud!! With Jo and Craig next to us we have parked so our awnings connect which gives us great shade. It’s great when eating outside and playing some cut throat games of dominos.

With Guy and Craig going thru and cleaning the basements they came up with lots of stuff to give away and lighten the load!! Our daughter, Kristi and son in law Jason came over to pick up all the loot with their truck our son Stephen.  While in the basement Craig found his fire helmet he wore as a fire fighter and was gracious enough to let our grandson Craig try on. No, the helmet was not on the give away list!!

One of the places I have always wanted to visit was Vulcan Park, since it had been refurbished and opened back up to the public in 2004. We have lived in Alabama for over 20 years and have not visited any of the places that we want to take Jo and Craig to, so everything we do will be new to us as well!! I think Guy and I were so content to spend every day at the lake where it was so peaceful sitting on the dock with wine in hand just watching the water go by!!

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Vulcan god of fire and metals

In ancient Rome, Vulcan was the god of the forge, which is a furnace where metal is heated and hammered out into useful items. Vulcan was ugly and lame, he was thrown from Mount Olympus  and landed on the island of Lemons in the Aegean Sea and worked as a blacksmith, using a volcano as his forge. He made weapons and armor for all the gods but was kind and peaceful himself. Vulcan married Venus, goddess of Love and Beauty.

But what does an ancient god have to due with a modern city, you ask?

The Vulcan is a landmark for Birmingham, Alabama. Back in 1904 Birmingham’s founders wanted to advertise Birmingham and its industrial area that had all the resources like coal, iron ore and limestone, the raw materials for making iron and steel. Because the city was growing so fast it became known as the  “The Magic City” as it is still called today. Birmingham became the largest industrial center in the South due to the iron and steel industries. At one time there were 4 large companies: Sloss Furnace, Woodward, US Steel and Republic Steel which all owned its own ore mines, coal mines, quarries and blast furnaces which enabled them to control every step in transforming raw materials into steel.

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 The Vulcan Stands today on Red Mountain, where all the components are located to make iron and steel, which is iron ore, sandstone and limestone.

The city hired Giuseppe Moertti from Italy to design and monitor the building of The Vulcan. It is the worlds largest cast iron statue in the world and largest ever made in the U.S. Moretti designed and made a full-size clay model of the Vulcan in less that 5 months.The castings were created in plaster molds which were shipped to Birmingham Steel to molds the statue in iron. The casting was done in 21 pieces. At the World’s Fair in June 7, 1904 The Vulcan statue won the Grand Prize as well as medals for the sculptor and foundry.

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The Vulcan God of Fire and Forge

There is a glass elevator right next to the statue that takes you to the walkway above. The problem Jo and I had with the walkway were the holes in the walkway where you look down to the ground below!! Jo got right back on the elevator and was gone in the blink of an eye. But I wanted pictures of the area so I stayed and held on for dear life! As I write this my hands are sweating just thinking about being up there!!

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The Vulcan weights in at a mear 101,200 lbs, the statue itself is 56′ tall and sits on a pedestal that is 124′ tall, which makes it 108′ tall. The Vulcan holds a hammer and spear in his hands showing that the hammer was used to forge the spear as a completed piece of his work.

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The entrance wall into the museum
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Downtown Birmingham, Alabama
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Me, Lacilou, Jo and Craig looking down into Birmingham, Al

When I was checking on things to do in Birmingham I knew I wanted to see a play or some kind of concert and was so surprised to find that the Celtic Woman were coming while we were still here. Guy and I had seen them about 5 years ago and were excited to see them again.

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Celtic Women is an all-female Irish musical ensemble conceived by 3 men, one the former musical director of the Irish stage show Riverdance. In 2004, they recruited 5 Irish women to perform as the Celtic Women, one of the women, Mairead Nesbit plays the fiddle while she dances around the stage. The original group changed in 2010 to the women who perform today. They have produced eight albums and have sold over nine million records and been named billboard World Album Artist of the year six times.

Jo and I decided we needed to make May 5, a date night with dinner and the Celtic Women. We thought we would have Mexican food as it was cinco de mayo, we thought we were there early enough at 5:00pm to get a table but that was not the case..there was 1 1/2 hour wait!! So we ended up with going to The Southern Restaurant, it was an alright dinner but not Mexican.

Stay tuned to the Rovers as we check out the foundary!!                                                                Y’all have a blessed week and come on back to see us

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9 thoughts on “The Vulcan

    1. Hi Debbie, we have had a wonderful time!! It has been fun exploring this city!! We have also been enjoying the grandkids baseball games while we have been here!!

  1. We had considered staying at Hoover RV Park when we left Summerdale on our way to Michigan but was unsure how far off I-65 it was. What are your thoughts about the facility? We have been looking for another stopover park ever since they closed the little roadside park in Clanton.
    Another coincidence, we too have a daughter named Kristi (same spelling), who is married to a Jason.

    1. Hi Gayle! Thanks for reading my blog!! I have been reading yours for a few years and had hoped many times to meet up with you while you were in LA!!(lower Alabama) but the timeing was always off!!
      This is a great stop over, it is a parking lot, there are a few trees if you are lucky enough to snag a spot! This park will be closed starting June 1 for 1 year. They are taking out some sites(maybe 20-25) to make a soccer field. They will be adding more to replace those and hopefully add more. It is easy to get to from 65 and about 5-6 miles from there! It is behind the baseball field that is used for
      Numerous functions. It is quiet except for a train a few miles away! I would stay here for an overnight or two!!
      I knew that you had a Kristi and Jason as you have talked about them.
      I know how hard this time is for you.
      But did want to say congratulations on the new great grand baby!!

      1. You will love the Yooper. The trolls from down under (the Mackinac Bridge) loving refer to it as God’s Country. Have you ever visited before? I would recommend the Porcupine Mountains area, a tour around Keweenaw Peninsula, then along the Lake Superior shoreline ending in Paradise. There are beautiful waterfalls, lighthouses, breathtaking scenery, & rugged coastline along this route. I also would be remiss if I didn’t mention a stop at the Jampot in Eagle Harbor for jams & baked goodies, made by monks. Include a stop at the Hilltop Restaurant in L’Anse for a cinnamon roll where just one can feed a family of four & don’t forget to sample a U.P. staple, pasties! The best can be had at Muldoon’s in Munising. We will be heading up for a family reunion for a week in July. I am already planning an outing to Oswald’s Bear Ranch with the grandkids. BTW, the city & county parks are the best for camping.

  2. Forgot to mention, since you’ll be so close, don’t miss a day trip to Mackinac Island. Take a ferry out of St. Ignace & do wait to take the last ferry ride back to the mainland. Seeing the Mighty Mac all lit up at night is worth it.

    1. Thanks for the information, Gayle, I am trying to plan our trip now and not sure where is the best to go. Looking forward to checking out the area we have gone over to the Traverse side and Sleeping Bear dunes last year which was wonderful. Not sure when we will be able to head up that way but sometime in June.

      1. Don & I both were born & raised in MI & I also lived in the U.P. at one time so if you have questions that you think we could help you with then by all means ask away. Currently we are about 30 miles SE of Traverse City so we visit it & the Sleeping Bear Dunes area frequently. sftbalmm09@yahoo.com

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