|Birmingham, Alabama, skyline|
"We left Montgomery early. At the edge of this town we crossed the Alabama River. We passed through several progressive little towns and saw some good looking farms. All the trees are budding out and the scenery is very beautiful.
"We stopped over in Birmingham to see our brother-in-law, Mr. Laney. We drove around to see the city and it is a beautiful place.
"After leaving this city we drove through some mountainous county. The roads were just fine and the
scenery beautiful. We passed by some coal miners . . . There was several mines on the road. In a few places
roads were under construction and they used large machines for this work.
|Birmingham coal miners|
Library of Congress photo
"We crossed the Black [Warrior] River and the Tennessee River. The latter is very large and a ferry is used to carry the cars across. About six or eight are carried across at one time.
"Just before arriving there we passed through Albany and Decatur, which are called “The Twin Cities.” These were pretty places in North Alabama.
|Black Warrior River|
Courtesy Alabama Travel
Again Hazel does not make note of their route from Montgomery to Birmingham and then on to Decatur. But it again it seem likely that they traveled along the most direct road, U.S. 31.
Albany, Alabama, was also known as New Decatur. A year after Hazel and Don passed through Albany, Decatur annexed it and the separate town ceased to exist.
Birmingham today is still home to coal mining and large steelmakers, but they no longer play the role in the city’s economy that they once did. Modern Birmingham is better known for its medical and research centers and national construction and engineering firms.