Vesuvius

This furnace is located on Storms creek, some eight miles north from Ironton, and two and a half miles from the Iron Railroad, by which it ships its ore. 

It has been in successful operation since 1833, and is now blowing a “warm blast.” using air at a lower temperature than “hot blast,” producing an average daily yield of ten tons of iron with charcoal fuel. This iron is especially adapted for use in car wheels and for chilled rolls and has consequently attained a very high reputation and a high price, far above the average of American iron, selling in the markets of Cincinnati, St. Louis, Lousville, and Pittsburg at a high average price. There are about 4,500 acres of land belonging to the furnace, rich in ores, particularly the limestone ores, and the red hematite variety, which is principally used in the furnace. The land is well cut by ravines and well watered, (an item of great importance in the burning of charcoal and making of furnaces), the water having sulphur, limestone and freestone characteristics. The ore lies in four or five different strata. The coal and veins of 36 and 40 inches of thickness, and easy mined extending over 500 or 600 acres, and inexhaustible quantities of molding sand lying in sandstone. The amount of ore used to the ton of iron is on an average of 2 or 3/4 tons together with 190 bushels of charcoal and 200 pounds of limestone. 

Source:
Lathrop, J. M. (1985). Atlas of Lawrence County, Ohio: Hardesty, 1882, Lake, 1887. Ironton, OH: Lawrence County Historical Society.

 

 

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The ad on the left was in an iron manufacturing publication. 

The note on the right is “scrip.” Furnace employees were not paid with money but with scrip. Scrip was printed in varying amounts and could be exchanged for goods in the company store – food, clothing, etc. at inflated amounts. 

Furnace workers never had money until the latter years and it was very little. They lived in company houses (the foundations of those still visible in Superior). 

Schools and churches were in close proximity, everything was purchased from the company store or provided by the company, doctors made the rounds in each village and all of the rural furnaces have accompanying cemeteries (with the exception of Oak Ridge. It only operated for a year and a half).

 
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J.W. Dempsey is buried in Woodland Cemetery

For Wayne National Forest’s page about Vesuvius Furnace, Click Here

Vesuvius Furnace Cemetery

The cemetery road is blocked to vehicles but you are allowed to walk along it….it is 0.6 miles out Co. Rd. 29 on the left.