History of Woodstock, AL
Bibb County, founded as Cahawba County in 1818, played an important role in the early industrial history of Alabama. Ironworks and foundries produced goods from the brown iron ore found on Roupes Creek. Woodstock, known as North Bibb until 2000, is a small town of the northern boundary of Bibb County. The town of Woodstock is the only community in the area that straddles two counties, Bibb and Tuscaloosa. This tranquil little community on Alabama 5 was once the center of a thriving railroad business.
Woodstock was first settled in the 1820’s with a formal land grant to William Houston on February 27, 1826. The settlement was established along the old Tuscaloosa to Huntsville Stage Coach Line. Woodstock got its name when Dr. J. U. Ray named it after the home of his ancestors, Woodstock, England. Dr. Ray’s American ancestors arrived in America from England at Jamestown, Virginia. In 1870, Dr. Ray built the first depot for the newly constructed Alabama-Chattanooga Railroad. After the Alabama Great Southern Railroad came the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. Each operated a depot in the area. In 1872, a line was installed down to West Blocton to ship the large abundance of coal found in the area. Woodstock became a break and storage yard for coal, red and brown iron ore and cotton. After the Civil War, rich iron ore deposits were mined. In 1872, Mr. Giles Edwards moved to Woodstock from Tannehill and built a blast furnace to manufacture pig iron.
Mr. Edwards was later joined in the business by his son-in-law, James W. McQueen, who went on to become the president of Sloss-Sheffield Iron Company in Birmingham. In addition to the iron ore mining, coal mining, and farming, a jug factory was built to take advantage of the large deposits of fire clay that was in the area. The clay was used to make bricks, jugs, pots, and churns. As many as eight trains per day stopped in Woodstock, carrying away its riches, six of them carrying mail. Woodstock was also the roots of a newspaper business in the 1800s. This publication moved to Six Mile and then to Birmingham where it became the Birmingham News. The Town of Woodstock was formally incorporated in 1996 as North Bibb with Carl Jones as Mayor. Woodstock formally changed its name back to The Town of Woodstock by Ordinance 2008-08-03, effective October 1, 2000, S. B. Albert Hutchens, Mayor.