Hillsboro is steeped in the romance and traditions of years gone by. Hillsboro is steeped in the romance and traditions of years gone by. Post office records from 1849 refer to the town of Cove, thought to be little more than a crossroads stage stop. The name changed to Hillsboro in 1856. During this time, a highly productive rolling mill was built to manufacture iron plates for remanufacturing for the confederate war effort. Classified as “top secret”, it continued to operate throughout the civil war, and near the end of the war in 1865, federal troops known as “Wilson’s Raiders” razed the plant, burning it to the ground.
During the reconstruction period following the war, the railroads began contributing to the growth in the area. One of the more well known railroads, L&N, sent an engineer named Peter Boyle to survey the land. Upon completing a new train station, he named it “Helena Station” after his sweetheart, Helen Lee, the daughter of a prominent local judge.
The area around the station began to develop and grow, eventually absorbing Hillsboro and officially incorporating as the city of Helena.
Once a thriving center of steel production and coal mining, Helena went to sleep for a period of time after the depression. But in recent years, newly annexed land west of the city toward the Cahaba River and beyond (known once again as Hillsboro) and a corresponding huge demand for housing has boosted construction in Helena. Stemming from the spill-over growth branching southward from Birmingham, the new construction signals another period of rapid economic and residential growth.*
*From http://www.cityofhelena.org. Visit this site for more information on the history of Hillsboro.