Maggie Furnace

Maggie (Iron & Steel)

38.539586, -82.691075


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 – 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 photo above is a 1900 picture of the Ironton wharf which shows Maggie Furnace in the background. The structure to the left of the furnace is the Ironton Rolling Mill.

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 The ovens out of date.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.

Iron and Steel Furnace and Ironton Rolling Mill site, 2013 – note old Ironton-Russell Bridge in the background
Remnants of incline tracks on the river bank

Excerpt of EPA report showing the history of the site
New York and Ohio Iron and Steel Works with the Ironton Furnace, next to Belfont Iron Works and below the Lawrence Iron Works (out of view).

It ended as Union Furnace and was dismantled in 1923.

Have questions? Contact Nicole Cox at (740) 646-4104. We hope to see you there!

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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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