Drawing of Union Furnace by
Henry Howe in 1846.
The following was a first hand
conversation with a man who worked at Union Furnace as
well as others. This was taken in part from the Ironton
Register. Mr. Louderback gave this in 1892 while
he was 81.
While I was living with Josh Homer
at Kelley's Mills on Pine Creek, they began building
Union Furnace. It was the first furnace in Lawrence
County and it was of the old style. They began to
build when I was 14. It was a short distance from my
home and so I went to work for them hauling charcoal,
Charcoal was then hauled in 150 bushel bed wagons.
The wagons were pulled by oxen as there were no mules
in the area at that time. James Rodgers, who ran the
furnace, was the first man I ever saw who would count
five pecks to the bushel. The furnace made about two
tons a day. The output on Sunday was run into pigs,
but during the week it was made into hollow- ware,
stoves and other cast items. I used to skim the
molten metal from the hearth and pour it into the
molds. I have done that many a time.