Alabama By-Products Company, Coke Plant, Highway 79 (Pinson Valley Parkway), Tarrant City, Jefferson County, AL
Significance: In 1918, the Koppers Company, a Pittsburgh engineering firm, constructed this coke by-product plant for the federal government as part of the World War I effort. Originally known as Birmingham By-Product Coke Company, this coke plant, the National Cast Iron Pipe Plant (est. 1912) and other quarry operations in the area attracted workers, who incorporated the City of Tarrant on August 17, 1918, population 734. Alabama By-Products Corporation (ABC), formed in December of 1920 to mine coal and produce coke, acquired the Koppers plant and increased its capacity several times, with proportionate increases in primary by-products: ammonia, benzol and coal tar. The plant has operated continuously ever since. It produces foundry coke, crude light oil, tar and sulphate of ammonia. It has been known as the ABC Coke Division of Drummond since the ABC-Drummond merger in 1985. Drummond promotional literature claims that Tarrant plant produces more foundry coke than any other plant in the U.S. Capacity production is 2,150 tons of coke a day. This coke is shipped by truck and rail. Drummond is the sole supplier for General Motors Central Foundry Division, the largest U.S. consumer of foundry coke. Drummond mines in northern Jefferson and Walker Counties supply metallurgical coal to the Tarrant plant. Historic plant buildings and coke ovens dating to the 1950s at this active plant are in excellent condition.
Survey number: HAER AL-19
Building/structure dates: 1918 Initial Construction