Sunday, July 12, 2020

Lost/LTV/Republic/Interstate/Grand Crossing Tack Co. in Chicago

(see below for satellite)

Rod Sellers posted
Where am I?

Rod commented on his post
Answer: Republic Steel predecessor. In 1883 E. W. and O. N. Hutchinson founded the Grand Crossing Tack Company to make carpet tacks. As the business prospered and expanded the Hutchinson's decided to produce their own steel and built a mill on east bank of the Calumet River in 1902. In 1916, Interstate Iron and Steel of East Chicago bought the Grand Crossing Tack Company. In 1930 Interstate played a role in the merger that created Republic Steel. This 1920 view looks north toward the mills of South Chicago. The Calumet River is seen on the left and Avenue O and the East Side neighborhood is on the right. Attached photo shows article from plant magazine Republic Reporter June 6, 1980

Rod commented on his post
Republic Steel Aerial view 1954.
Rod Sellers posted
Grand Crossing Tack c1910 The Republic Steel Corporation was an outgrowth of the Chicago Tack Co., and was built in 1876 in the area known as Grand Crossing. It was called that because some railroads intersected at that point. The original plant was at 77th St. and Woodlawn Ave. In 1883 the Grand Crossing Tack company was organized and built at 79th and South Chicago Ave. During the year of 1901 they decided to make their own steel, so they acquired a site (seen above) at 118th street east of the Calumet River. In 1916 Interstate Iron and Steel Company of East Chicago, Indiana, purchased the prosperous tack company. It was not until WWII that Republic became a major steel producing facility. 37 days after Pearl Harbor ground was broken for a completely integrated steel plant, then WWII brought a big demand for steel. The plant was built and operated by Republic for the governments Defense Plant Corporation. Following the war, Republic purchased the new facilities.

Tony Margis posted
Wisconsin Steel, Acme/Interlake Steel, and Republic bordered with the South Deering and East Side neighborhoods. (photo pre-1950)
 Top right, Republic Steel and to the left of it Acme/Interlake also to the right of Wisconsin Steel across the river to the south and bottom left Wisconsin Steel.

Michael Siola shared a different post
Tony Margis posted

Tony Margis posted
Cover of 1951 Republic Steel Annual Report shows coke plant and blast furnace at South Chicago Plant along the Calumet River.
Sharing my vintage daily photo finds collection, enjoy!
Dennis DeBruler: I think that is the C&NW grain elevator in the left background.

Digitally Zoomed
[Evidently the grain elevator was torn down between this 1951 illustration and the above 1954 aerial photo.]

Tony Margis posted
Larry Grzywinski The photo must have been taken some time during the winter. During the warm shipping season there would never be ore boats tire up in that location. They look like Cleveland Cliff boats.
Dennis DeBruler That grain elevator teaches me where this plant was along the Calumet River.,-87.../data=!3m1!1e3
Larry Grzywinski Dennis DeBruler it went from 109th on the north to almost 130th on

[I'm not sure exactly how far south their property went..]

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP

Mark Larson commented on Tony's post
Great picture, here’s what I remember. I worked most of these places as a Motor Inspector.
Larry Grzywinski Mark Larson Mark you have them exactly correct!

Tony Margis posted
(I'm publishing Chicagoland steel mills in a raw format to capture the photos that I have come across and to define a link.)

Mark Simunic commented on Rod's post
Here's Republic's unloaders. Got a pic of them the last time I kayaked the Little Cal. I think there gone now.

Rod Sellers posted
East Side / South Chicago #5 trolley at approximately 116th and Ewing view WNW. Republic Steel blast furnace and coke plant in background.
Harold Hanley During the winter, we played hockey on the frozen ice out there in the swamps. And then walked home. Temperature? The colder, the better.
Chuck Craven And when the weather started to warm up, the ice would melt around the edges but still be a couple of feet thick in the middle. We would put boards down to walk onto the ice, and play hockey until we lost all the pucks, which happened every time.
[The gasometer on the left side of the photo would be for Wisconsin Steel. The "dimmer" one that is left of center would be for Interlake/Acme/By Products Coke Corp.]

Rod Sellers posted
Where am I?

Mark Simunic commented on Rod's post
Republic Steel?
It would be facing south, Cargill is on the right, I would guess 116th st. I took this pic Oct 25 2009 from a kayak,

Rod commented on his post
Answer: Hulett Iron Ore Unloader located at Republic Steel on the Calumet River. Huletts were invented by George Hulett in 1899 at a steel mill in Conneaut, Ohio. They were originally steam powered, 10 stories high and had a bucket capacity of 10 to 22 tons. They revolutionized unloading ore boats and barges. What had taken days previously took hours using the Huletts. Eventually there would be 75 of these monster machines throughout the Great Lakes. By the 1990s most had disappeared. A campaign to save 4 Hulett unloaders in Cleveland in the 1990s was unsuccessful. There were 2 Huletts at U. S. Steel in Gary but none in South Chicago at South Works. The last 2 Huletts in the United States, one of which is shown here, were at Republic Steel on the East Side of Chicago. They were built in 1943. They stood until February 2010 when they were torn down for scrap. A former operator of the Huletts said that operating them was like riding on the neck of a dinosaur. Attached photo shows Republic Steel Huletts in November 2010.
(This comment was deleted because James Torgeson indicated (comment in post) that these were scrapped and the two on Whiskey Island are from Whiskey Island.: Dennis DeBruler They are not scrapped, yet. They are rusting in the weeds on Whiskey Island in Cleveland.,-81.../data=!3m1!1e3

safe_image for a John McClusky album of 142 photos

Dennis DeBruler commented on the safe_image
The only two left in the US.
BBut the future doesn't look bright for them.

James Torgeson posted
The railroad tracks are long gone from the vicinity of the World's last standing Hulett unloaders at this former Republic Steel ore dock on the Calumet River. These 17-ton Huletts were built by the Defense Plant Corporation as part of the expansion of the plant during WW2. They spent their final years unloading coal from barges to supply the nearby former Republic Steel coke plant. The nearest Hulett has been converted to remote control operation from the blue enclosure. They were demolished in early 2010. May 31, 2008.
Clare Gilbert For anybody who never saw a Hulett in action the sound was amazing. These things had gears the size of a small house.
Les Buhite I remember them in Conneaut, Ohio. They were oddly creepy in action. I suspected they were the inspiration for the imperial walkers in Star Wars.
James Torgeson Yes, Conneaut had five, plus a Hulett "garage."
Les Buhite As I recall, one bucket broke loose and fell into a boat in the mid-70s. The operator was killed, sadly.
A neighbor, now also too-soon deceased, worked in the bowels of the boats during the final clean-up, pushing ore out of the corners with a bobcat to where the buckets could grab it. I can't say that I envied him.
I lived in Conneaut for a few years in the mid 80s. The Huletts were gone by then. (The Berkshire at the RR museum is worth a visit. But that's another story.)
James Torgeson Les Buhite The Huletts had their share of mishaps, usually minor compared to the incident you described. Another serious accident happened at the Rouge during the War, when one of their Huletts got knocked over by a laker!
Tony Caruso 2 dismantled remain in cleveland. One leg and shovel in Conneaut. One leg in ashtabula on display at maritime museum. Go to save the

Brad Butcher What replaced hueletts?
James Torgeson Self-unloading vessels which could handle ore pellets easily. Prior to pellets, the natural ore was often very difficult to self-unload.

Bryan Howell I remember seeing these off Ave. O heading south to Hegewisch. Wish I would have gotten to see them in action.
Michael Maitland Fascinating area to explore. Republic was on the east side of the Calumet river from about 109th to 122nd street. The famous strike was here, with the photos of the workers and policemen battling. Coke was across the river on the west side around 114th street and went over via conveyor. Further north, on the west side, around 110th street, Wisconsin steel also had a fully integrated mill. As the river empties into Lake Michigan, you had the massive US steel south works on the north and the YST 95th street complex, both bordering the river. - all gone now, including Acme, that tried to keep some stuff going.
James Torgeson The ArcelorMittal Riverdale facility is former Acme/Interlake. The coke suspension bridge was also former Acme. Republic had its own coke plant.
James Torgeson It’s very hard to keep things straight in that once densely packed area!

James Torgeson posted
Last Huletts Standing! This pair was built during WW2 when the Republic Steel plant in South Chicago was expanded by the US Government. They were last used to unload coal barges, and were demolished in early 2010. May 31, 2008.
James commented on his post
Jim Prrfan posted
Republic Steel (aka LTV) South Chiago Plant. Date?
Jim PRRFan photo
James Torgeson: Built by the Defense Plant Corporation during WW2. These were the last Huletts in use and extant. They were demolished in early 2010.
Marty Gatton shared to the LTV Steel Chicago group
Jim Prrfan posted
LTV coke plant 2008.
Jim PRRFan photo
Jim Prrfan posted
LTV coke plant (Republic Steel) South Chicago
Jim PRRFan photo.

safe_image for Developer cuts ribbon on start of industrial park that will bring 1,400 jobs to former Republic Steel mill
"Property developer NorthPoint cut the ribbon Monday on the first of five planned buildings at the $164 million Commerce Park Chicago industrial development at the site of the long-defunct Republic Steel mill on the city's Southeast Side....The property had sat idle since 2001 when the century-old steel mill was razed....It's building out 2.3 million square feet of space next to its 155-acre supplier park for Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant. The expanded industrial park will total nearly 4 million square feet, making it the largest in the city."
[An ABC Report]

Steven Bailey commented on Sherry's post

Rod Sellers posted
Where am I?

Rod commented on his post
Answer: Photo taken August 2008. Former location of Hyde Lake. Currently US EPA Superfund Site.
The Schroud property site – located southwest of the intersection of 126th Street and Avenue O in Chicago, IL – was formerly used to store and dump slag material from the former Republic/LTV Steel manufacturing operations located about a mile away on the southeast side of Chicago. Slag dumping is estimated to have occurred from 1951 to 1977 and may have continued after purchase of the Republic Steel site by LTV Steel in the early 1980s. The site consists of a large, unmaintained waste disposal area and is approximately 67 acres in size. Foundry sand and other types of foundry waste may also have been deposited on site. Elevated levels of inorganic compounds have been found in soil and waste samples collected from the site. The site is private property and public use is considered trespassing. Soil and waste at the property and in nearby Indian Creek are contaminated with lead, chromium and other inorganic compounds. Attached photo and above information from EPA web site.

Rod Sellers commented on his post
Attached photo shows transfer point outside gates of Republic Steel.
Scott Buckner: And what transfer point would be complete without a good tavern?
[I'm glad Scott pointed out the tavern because I looked again and saw that they sold Berghoff beer.]

Tony Margis posted
Good Morning, LTV/Republic Steel!
Pouring molten pig iron at Republic Steel, 1935.
Paul Flaherty: I assume into one of the open hearths

Tony Margis
Workers drain the slag from a blast furnace during steel mill operations July 14, 1937. For much of the 20th century, uncountable numbers of the girders that spanned America's rivers, the rails that linked its cities, and the I-beams of its skyscrapers were made by steelworkers. — Tribune, Republic Steel archive photo
[A comment indicates that PPE was still not worn in 1954. Also note how skinny people were back then. I presume this was a PR shot of some sort. I don't think it took that many men to watch the slag flow.]

Tony Margis posted, cropped
1972    View of the Republic Steel (later LTV Steel Plant) from near the entrance to the complex at East 116th Street and South Avenue O. A large gas storage tank with its red and white-checked painted top is on the left, and a smokestack is to its right. A transmission tower with multiple power lines is visible against the sky.
Tony Margis posted
The Republic Steel Coke Plant as viewed from the Calumet River...undated!

Tony Margis posted
1902 map. If you can find Hyde Lake on the map that is where LTV/Republic Steel was at after they filled it in along with G Washington HS.

Screenshot @ 1:16

Matt Nelson posted
Coke heading to the Quench tower at the Republic Steel Coke Plant in Chicago.
Charles Eaves: I operated the hot car or quench car on 2 coke battery before they changed over to the one spot quench car at US Steel Gary Works. On the old quench car, you had to move the car while catching the coke or heat so the coke would quench evenly. The new one, you just spotted up and caught the coke. 1978-81.
Matt Nelson: I was just there for a couple years 1986-1988. My department was the Primary Rolling mills which was shut down in 1986. I was Chairman of the union's Grievance Committee so because of the contract the company had to keep me somewhere in the mill. They sent me to what they called the "dirty end" of the mill because they thought I would quit. I didn't. The guys there were great and I stayed there until the end of my term.
Chris Swentko: Matt Nelson I was there from 99 to end of 02 the people on the battery were all crazy asses so I fit right in ...started out shoveling the belts as laborer then coke side eventually to pusher side and a few spells as a lidman (calling it the wrong name cuz I don't remember) ...when we got laid off I didn't care too much about the job but I cared about losing 200 or so friends I've met ...went to the streets for 3 years eventually getting back to old LTV in 05 and been in the bof since ...glad to hear your story Matt.
Dale Wendell: Chris Swentko worked there in the environmental dept. Was there when the old battery had the hood installed and electrostatic precitator installed. Also the when the new battery and by products was built. Always a dirty, smelly place to work!
Tony Margis shared
John Domansky Sr.: hot car is goin north. & the plume of steam was very high.. the smoke stack nearby was 100s of FT tall. & it had red lites on it. an electrician. had to put new lites in at Xs & it was an 8 hr job. to climb & shange lites & climb down

Dennis DeBruler posted several railroad related links to photos.

Several photos in this search result including a 1977 diagram about their 200-ton Q-BOP furnace. A Q-BOP blows the oxygen from the bottom rather than sticking a lance down into the top of the furnace. And a 1943 photo of Hulett construction

11 photos with the comment: "10 inch mill/Republic Steel Chicago Plant."

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