Maggie Furnace aka Iron & Steel Furnace
One of the most confusing and little known furnaces is the Iron & Steel Furnace. It began as the Maggie Furnace, an addition to the Ironton Rolling Mill, which was one of the first businesses to be built in town. It was bought, sold and sent into receivership numerous times giving it such names as Maggie, the Eagle Mill, Ironton Furnace (often confused with the Ironton Iron Co.’s ‘Ironton Furnace’, Union Furnace (frequently confused with the original Union Furnace which was many miles away), New York & Ohio Iron and Steel Furnace and Republic Iron and Steel. Below are some of the Sanborn maps showing the same furnace under different owners — and names.
The post card on the left shows Union Furnace blasting. Maggie Furnace changed hands several times and ended as the Union Furnace until its demolition in 1923.
The first blast furnace in Lawrence County was also named “Union” but it was built in 1826 and located several miles away from the river.
Eugene Willard’s book, “A Standard History of the Hanging Rock Iron Region in Ohio” shows the 1875 Ironton Furnace and later renaming to Union Furnace.
Ironton Register, April 28, 1892 – Mr. W. H. Hawkins, the gentleman who owned the “old mill,” and sold it to the home company, was in town this week, hoping to make some arrangement for the disposal of the Ironton furnace. He offers some fair inducements but no conclusions were attained.
Ironton Register, September 23, 1897 – Iron & Steel Furnace Sold – Last Saturday, Sheriff Ward sold the Iron & Steel furnace to Col. H. A. Marting for $2000. The appraisement was $3000. Sale was on a suit by the county for about $1400 taxes. The Iron & Steel Furnace was built in 1871 and cost over $100,000. Shortly after it was completed there was a slump in the iron business and so the furnace was never a money making enterprise. But the price of $2000, is a terrible descent from the original cost of over $100,000. This is because, the condition of the furnace makes it worth little over the cost of scrap. The boilers are burnt out. The ovens out of date. The engines, too small. All the brass mountings have been carried off. The furnace lining is worn out. It would cost almost the price of a new furnace to get it in condition to run.
The purchaser will dismantle the furnace and use the ground, about an acre, in connection with the Eagle Mill. But he will not be able to carry out this purpose, for two years, as the former owners have had that time to redeem the property, by paying a penalty of 25 per cent.
“The Iron Trade Review” Sept 30, 1920, Pg 924
The Maggie, later known as the Ironton furnace, was built in 1875 by the Iron and Steel Co., and had a daily capacity of 40 tons. This stack later became the property of the Union Iron & Steel Co.
As you can see this furnace had many names, making it a challenge to research!