Helena, located in North Shelby County, is synonymous with rapid but controlled growth. The pace at which we are developing has allowed us to maintain our small town charm, yet gives us the resources necessary to provide the services that our citizens and businesses need and deserve. Helena has grown into a city that offers a lot of the conveniences of larger cities yet still maintains its family-oriented atmosphere.
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 material 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 name Pete 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. M.H. Williams, a railroad agent, served as the City’s first mayor. Helena was a regular little metropolis by all accounts. It was during this period when the steel mill was reopened by Burwell B. Lewis, Rufus W Cobb and others. Mr. Cobb went on to become Governor of Alabama and spent his later years as Probate Judge of Shelby County.
Great Place to Live
One of the most thriving suburban communities in the Birmingham area, Helena is one of the special communities in Shelby County that exemplifies the American Dream.
A drive around Helena today is a display of well planned, progressive development that includes some of the most prestigious and affordable housing in and around Birmingham - without the hassles.
With the creation of new restaurants, food markets, retail and specialty shops, the area is quickly becoming service oriented. The revitalization and restoration of Old Town Helena is also perking interest from individuals and potential businesses throughout central Alabama. While a quaint housing development along the banks of Buck Creek takes residents back to a more laid back period, businesses located along Main Street provide a relaxed shopping experience.
The Shelby County Chamber serves the City of Helena.