Visit a museum or monument every Monday and broaden your homeschool horizons. This week: Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, Alabama.
Every Monday we pay a virtual visit to a notable museum or historical monument in the United States, all in keeping with our comfortable philosophy of “teaching with-out the curriculum.” Spend a few minutes exploring the place online with your students, look up its location your atlas (riverhouses.org/books), learn a new name or a new date, and your little lesson is done. Over the course of the year, almost without realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new cultural, historical, and geographical information—and so will you!
This week’s state-of-the-week is Alabama, so we’re going to pay a virtual visit to the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, Alabama. Here’s the national landmark’s own website, with photos, historical background, and more:
The Sloss Furnaces are one of the few industrially oriented National Historic Landmarks in the country. Their website explains:
“‘A lot more than iron flowed from those furnaces. Our whole culture did. Our whole way of life.’
“Sloss Furnaces was once the largest manufacturer of pig iron in the world. It stands today just as it did in the late 19th century—a monument to the Industrial Revolution. With its web of pipes and towering stoves, this unique National Historic Landmark provides visitors a glimpse into Birmingham’s rich industrial heritage. It stands with pride and is a symbol of where the “Magic” began for Birmingham.
“Sloss Furnaces operated from 1882–1970 making it the longest continually running blast furnace in Birmingham’s history. We invite you to come visit and learn about the materials, the process, the products, and the people who ran the furnaces and built this city.”
If you have a “maker” student, what better place to explore online than this grand old center of industrial manufacturing.
¶ Your River Houses almanac (riverhouses.org/books) has a list of U.S. national parks and monuments on pages 425–432 and a list of notable U.S. museums on pages 247–248. The sidebar on the River Houses website (riverhouses.org) has links to the comprehensive America’s Parks website (americasparks.com), which includes national and state parks, historic sites, wildlife refuges, and more.
What museum or monument have you visited lately?