Ironton Register, April 21, 1887 – The glory of “Little Etna” as a furnace, has departed. Her machinery and buildings have all been removed, and only the stack and abutting masonry, which stand amid drifts of ore-dust and cinder deposit, are left to mark the site of an ancient and profitable concern. They will blacken with age, and in their widening crevices, tufts of grass and moss may find lodgement ere they feel again the heat of furnace fires. But the business of the furnace grounds is still kept up. 250 men are employed there among the hills getting out ore and lime for Alice furnace, so the office and store, the main center of these operations, are not foresaken, but very active.
One is reminded as he approaches the company’s office from the railroad, of the wood cut pictures of a village street found in old-time story books. The office is a very old brick structure with small windows and a steep roof, whose long slopes quite overbalance the height of the sidewalks. Its big gable end rises prominently in the picture. Just beyond the office the higher walls of the store house appear, and beyond these again, the Manger’s residence, almost hidden from view. This row of buildings occupies a slight eminence in the narrow valley, over which the road runs from our point of observation, descending again on the other side as it passes the dismantled furnace near by. A well trodden path leads up to the corner of the office, where begins a stone pavement rudely constructed of angular and uneven blocks of flagging long ago. It has worn smooth under the pressure of many feet. In the forks of a grand old tree near the corner, there is a bell whose notes proclaim at intervals the working hours of the day.
When the reporter made these observations, the weather was most propitious. The earth was clean from the washings of a recent rain. The sun shone brightly through cloudless skies, and a delightful breeze made manifest its bracing influence. Under these lovely conditions he took a seat beside the Etna manager, George Cox, and accompanied him on his daily ride over to Vesuvius furnace.