Historic Photographs

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Port Townsend vicinity

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Irondale Iron & Steel Plant, Port Townsend, Jefferson County, WA



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Data Pages


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Photo Caption Pages


Item Title


Location
Port Townsend vicinity, WA

Find maps of Port Townsend, WA


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1968.

Notes
Survey number HAER WA-7
Building/structure dates: 1881 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1884 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1901 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1910 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1919 demolished
Significance: First established in 1881, Irondale is significant as the site of one of the first attempts to introduce heavy industry into western Washington, and was notable as an efficient and modern manufacturing facility. / The Irondale Iron and Steel Plant is an historical/archaeological site located in Jefferson County, Washington. Crumbling brick and concrete foundations now hidden by blackberry bushes, maple and alder trees, are all that remain of the plant. The central business district no longer exists. Irondale, a bustling industrial town in its heyday, boasted an active commercial center and daily traffic of ocean steamers arriving and departing from its dock. The Puget Sound Iron Company opened the first blast furnace in 1881 and produced high quality pig iron through 1889. Its location in Jefferson County resulted from an agreement with the owners of a nearby iron ore deposit. Only two other iron plants existed on the west coast at that time, in Oregon and California. Pacific Steel Company restored the blast furnace in 1901 and ran it for a short time. In 1906 the Irondale Furnace Company purchased the property and later, as Western Steel Corporation, added a full-scale steel plant. Irondale, unique during this era, was the only plant west of Pueblo, Colo. to produce steel from its own raw materials. After Western Steel's failure in 1911 the new owners, Pacific Coast Steel Company, dismantled and removed the steel plant. The blast furnace remained idle until it reopened between 1917-19 as an emergency war measure. Investors recognized the high profit potential of founding an iron and steel industry in the Puget Sound area. However, the increasing cost of fuel and necessity of importing iron ore kept expenses high. In addition, owners raised an insufficient amount of capital to maintain operations within the confines of modern improvements. Despite its failure, the Irondale Plant is significant as one of the first attempts to introduce heavy industry into western Washington. It drew eastern attention and population, but in true boom town tradition, Irondale and its industry prospered and declined together.

Subjects
Iron Industry
Mills
Foundries


Related Names
Puget Sound Iron & Steel Company
Pacific Steel Company
Seattle Iron & Steel Company
Jones, James
Canby, E. L.
Blanchard, H. L.
Britton, Diane, Historian
Britton, J. D., Historian
Kukas, Roger, Photographer


Collection
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
1. IRON PLANT SITE, NORTHEAST SIDE
2. IRON PLANT SITE, SOUTH SIDE
3. IRON PLANT SITE, BLOWING ENGINE FOUNDATION
4. WATER TANK FOUNDATION
5. FUEL TANK FOUNDATION
6. STEEL PLANT SITE, LOOKING NORTH
7. STEEL PLANT SITE, OPEN HEARTH FURNACE FOUNDATION, LOOKING SOUTH (CRANE FOUNDATION IN FOREGROUND)
8. STEEL PLANT SITE, LOOKING WEST, INSIDE OPEN HEARTH FURNACE FOUNDATION
9. STEEL PLANT SITE, UNIDENTIFIED FOUNDATION IN FOREGROUND (REHEAT FURNACE FOUNDATION BEHIND)
10. STEEL PLANT SITE, 22-INCH ROLLING MILL FOUNDATION, LOOKING WEST
11. STEEL PLANT SITE, FLY WHEEL PIT FOUNDATION FOR 22-INCH ROLLING MILL
12. STEEL PLANT SITE, CONVEYOR FOUNDATION FOR 22-INCH ROLLING MILL, LOOKING NORTH
13. STEEL PLANT SITE, CONVEYOR FOUNDATION FROM 22-INCH TO 14-INCH ROLLING MILL
14. STEEL PLANT SITE, 14-INCH ROLLING MILL FOUNDATION, LOOKING EAST
15. STEEL PLANT SITE, FLY WHEEL PIT FOUNDATION FOR 14-INCH ROLLING MILL
16. STEEL PLANT SITE, FOUNDATIONS, EAST OF 14-INCH ROLLING MILL FLYWHEEL PIT
17. STEEL PLANT SITE, 9-INCH ROLLING MILL FOUNDATION, LOOKING WEST
18. STEEL PLANT SITE, UNIDENTIFIED FOUNDATIONS ON WEST SIDE OF PLANT
19. OFFICERS' HOUSES (EXTANT) OVERLOOKNG STEEL PLANT
20. Photocopy of photograph. VIEW OF IRON PLANT AND COMPANY HOUSES FROM THE BAY, 1901. (From the Asahel curtis collection, Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma, WA)
21. Photocopy of photograph. EAST SIDE OF IRON PLANT, VIEW FROM WHARF, 1901. (From the Asahel Curtis collection, Washington state Historical society, Tacoma, WA)
22. Photocopy of photograph. CLOSE-UP VIEW OF EAST SIDE OF PLANT, WITH LOCOMOTIVE AND ORE CARS, 1910, (From the university of Washington Collection, Seattle, WA)
23. Photocopy of photograph. WEST SIDE OF IRON PLANT, 1901. (From the Asahel curtis collection, Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma, WA)
24. Photocopy of photograph. VIEW OF CHARCOAL KILNS AND IRON PLANT FROM SOUTH END OF BEACH, probably 1901. (From the Robert Teagle Private Collection, Port Townsend, WA)
25. Photocopy of photograph. IRON PLANT, BLAST FURNACE UNDER RENOVATION, 1901. (From the Asahel Curtis collection, Washington State Historical Societty, Tacoma, WA)
26. Photocopy of photograph. IRON PLANT, BLAST FURNACE BEING TAPPED, 1901. (From the university of Washington Northwest collection, Seattle, WA)
27. Photocopy of photograph. ELECTRIC POWER HOUSE LOCATED NEAR IRON PLANT, 1910. (From the University of Washington Northwest collection, Seattle, WA)
28. Photocopy of photograph. STEEL PLANT, OPEN HEARTH FURNACES UNDER CONSTRUCTION, 1909. (From the Robert Teagle Private collecton, Port Townsend, WA)
29. Photocopy of photograph. STEEL PLANT, OPEN HEARTH FURNACES NEAR COMPLETION, 1910. (From the Jefferson County Historical society collection, Seattle, WA)
30. Photocopy of photograph. STEEL PLANT, OPEN HEARTH FURNACE CHARGING CREW, 1910. (From the Bethlehem Steel Corporation Colletion, Seattle, WA)
31. Photocopy of photograph. STEEL PLANT, 22-INCH ROLLING MILL, 1910. (From the Bethlehem Steel Corporation collection, Seattle, WA)
32. Photocopy of photograph. STEEL PLANT, 22-INCH ROLLING MILL, 1910. (From the Bethlehem Steel Corporation collection, Seattle, WA)
33. Photocopy of photograph. STEEL PLANT, 1800-HORSEPOWER CORLISS STEAM ENGINE AND FLYWEEL FOR 22-INCH MILL, 1910. (From the Bethlehem Steel Corporation collection, Seattle, WA)
34. Photocopy of photograph. STEEL PLANT, 14-INCH ROLLING MILL, 1910. (From the Bethlehem Steel corporation collection, Seattle, WA)
35. Photocopy of photograph. STEEL PLANT, 14-INCH ROLLING MILL IN USE, 1910. (From the University of Washington Northwest Collection, Seattle, WA)
36. Photocopy of photograph. STEEL PLANT, 1000-HORSEPOWER CORLISS STEAM ENGINE AND FLYWHEEL FOR 14-INCH MILL, 1910. (From the Jefferson County Historical society Collection, Townsend, WA)
37. Photocopy of photograph. STEEL PLANT, OPEN HOUSE INSIDE PLANT AT TIME OF ITS OPENING, 1910. (From the Bethlehem Steel Corporation Collection, Seattle, WA)
38. Photocopy of photograph. STEEL PLANT, BOILERS UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN BOILER PLANT LOCATED EAST OF MAIN STEEL PLANT, 1909. (From the Bethlehem Steel Corporation collection, Seattle, WA)
39. Photocopy of photograph. NARROW GAUGE LOCOMOTIVE AND ORE CARS, 1910. (From the Bethlehem Steel Corporation collection, Seattle, WA)
40. Photocopy of photograph. STEAMER FROM CHINA UNLOADING ORE, 1910. (From the Robert Teagle Private collection, Port Townsend, WA)
41. Photocopy of photograph. TOWN OF IRONDALE, LOOKING SOUTH, BEFORE STEEL PLANT, probably 1909. (From the Robert Teagle Private Collection, Port Townsend, WA)
42. Photocopy of photograph. TOWN OF IRONDALE, FOURTH OF JULY, 1909. (From the Robert Teagle Private Collection, Port Townsend, WA)


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