LaGrange Furnace tribute to area#039;s industrial past

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 31, 2004

UPPER TOWNSHIP- In a clearing across the creek that runs along Porter Gap Road stands a silent giant. The giant sleeps now, but it once was a giant who roared.

LaGrange Furnace is one of 15 iron furnaces that once

helped turn Lawrence County into the pig iron capital of the United States a century- and- a- half ago.

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According to iron furnace historian and retired school teacher Amos Hawkins on his Web site Charcoal Iron Furnaces of Lawrence County, LaGrange Furnace was built in 1836 by Hurd, Gould and Co. At its peak, LaGrange turned out seven tons of pig iron a day.

Although he now lives in Florida, Hawkins has worked with local residents in the past on projects to save some of Lawrence County's other iron furnaces.