Little Etna

Little Etna Furnace

Workers were paid not with money, but with “scrip” (vouchers to be used at the company store).
Photo from 2012

Photo taken 3-18-18

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.


The lawsuit, in its entirety, can be read HERE.

The NEW Etna Furnace that never was….

Special Correspondence Ironton Ohio – Oct 23 Two new furnaces are in prospect in the Hanging Rock Iron district. Col E.J. Bird, Ironton general manager of the Iron Co in association with Sternberger of Jackson, Ohio, Zimmerman of Cincinnati, L.D. York of Portsmouth OH, and Ironton iron men have secured options on old Little Etna furnace site in the county near Ironton to erect a large blast furnace equal capacity to the Big Etna plant of Marting Iron & Steel Co at Ironton. The capital stock will be $300 and the papers of incorporation be prepared in a few days.”
Source: “Iron Trade Review, Volume 39, Issue 2, Page 14. October 25, 1906

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About Lawrence County, Ohio

Lawrence County, Ohio borders the Ohio River at the Southernmost part of the state. Six architecturally interesting bridges span the Ohio River, connecting Lawrence County with various locations in both Kentucky and West Virginia. Because of these bridges, metropolitan Ashland, KY and Huntington, WV are just minutes away from virtually anywhere in the county.

Lawrence County Ohio was organized December 20, 1816, the first Court of Common Pleas was organized March 4, 1817. In 2016, Lawrence County celebrated its Bicentennial… click here to view photos of the Grand Finale event.

The first election was held April 7, 1817, with Joseph Davidson, Joel Bowen, and David Spurlock elected county commissioners. Their first meeting was held Monday afternoon, April 21, 1817, at the home of Joseph Davidson in Burlington.

Lawrence County, Ohio was named after Capt. James Lawrence, a native of Burlington, NJ and a gallant naval officer of the War of 1812.

Lawrence County was home to 23 blast furnaces and was once the world leader in pig iron production.

The county seat is Ironton, where you will find our government offices, restaurants, museum, library, splash park, civic organizations, and is home of the famous Memorial Day Parade.

Check out what’s new in Lawrence County, with the Lawrence County Guide Book. 

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