Friday, March 20, 2015

Lehigh Portland Cement Company in Oglesby, IL

Photo from Rays Lasalle County Online Museum
The Chicago Cement Company was started in 1898. It was bought by the Lehigh Portland Cement Company in 1916. This plant was one of the plants that Lehigh chose to shut down rather than modernize in the 1960s. It was closed in 1963 and Marquette Cement bought its quarries. (CityHistory, HistoricalProfile, LehighHistory)  Some pictures of the abandoned site include metal artifacts. One picture shows that the rotary kiln was evidently in a building.



The picture of the conveyor belt between the two buildings was taken after the abandonment but while the buildings were still in good shape.

Bing Map
When I looked at the Bing Map, I realized the significance of this conveyor. It was built by Buzzi Unicem after they bought the Lehigh quarry to supply their plant because their quarry was depleted. Again, I'm reminded that Bing maps are over seven years old because this conveyor has been removed by Buzzi Unicem to make their property more worthless so that they can get their property taxes reduced.If you zoom out, you can see the conveyor runs from the quarry north of the Vermillion River down to the Buzzi Unicem plant. If you look at the ruins with Google, you see that the conveyor is now gone.

The Buzzi Unicem plant had a sister plant in Greencastle, IN that is still operational. This plant also has a sister plant in Indiana that is still operational --- Mitchell, IN.

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