Two parallel lines of mountains run like faded scars across what was once otherwise unmarked landscape, now dotted with all the signs of industry and habitation. Though an occasional arrowhead or some other curiosity bears testament to a constant human presence throughout ageless pre-history, it wasn’t until the 16th century that anyone took any interest in the valley, and even then only in passing—it was added on to Spain’s increasing New World holdings, but not out of any material desire. There was no gold, at least not that which could be seen, and certainly not gold in the sense that the Spanish were after. The land, however, did look impressive with conquesting letters marching across it, and so served as useful if only that it made for a decent bargaining chip later on with the burgeoning United States.

Soon after the American Civil War, as the South rebuilt its infrastructure and new industries pushed into replace what had been lost, two railroads happened to meet in this otherwise unremarkable place, and at their crossing sprung up a trading post. What made this trading post more desirable as the years went on in comparison to other trading posts of the same size and importance was the nearby and convenient discovery of all the ingredients for iron, in great abundance. Soon the area boomed, with factories and the workers to fill them flocking to the new city. It is here, born in fire, that the city blossoms through the present.

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