Thursday, July 16, 2020

Lost/Wisconsin Steel

These notes are really raw, but I'm publishing them because I need to define a link. And some would probably argue that all of my notes are raw.

A history and four images    In the foreground of an idaillinois aerial view   an older illustration   search results

<Deering's vertical integration>

slag pile remnants    Irondale Elevator photo describes WC 1915 expansion  finally reusing some of the WC land   1974 photo (lots of good comments e.g. "WSW closed March 28, 1980.")

Larry Grzywinski commented on a post

Denise Spremo Ambry posted, cropped
Wonder when this was taken?
I remember sometime in the mid-50’s, the big noise about the new rolling mill that was constructed along 106th street. That mill is not in the picture.
I believe the photo was taken sometime between WWII and 1956. Setting those boundaries are the Great Lakes Carbon plant in the top left corner, which was built during WWII, and the Interlake Coke Plant, which was rebuilt in 1956. This photo was taken before that rebuild.
 
Rod Sellers commented on Denise's post
Wisconsin Steel aerial c1960 shows Wisconsin Steel Merchant Mill No 6 built 1959 and Acme / Interlake Coke Conveyor Bridge across Calumet River built 1958 so posted photo is earlier than those dates.
 
Rod Sellers posted
[Note the IH sign in the lower-right corner.]
Aerial view of Wisconsin Steel view south c1950. Intersection at lower right is 106th and Torrence. Attached photo with key was created by Clarence Wigsmoen longtime employee of Wisconsin Steel and dedicated volunteer of SECHM.

Tony Margis posted
Wisconsin Steel in 1948
 
"The attached reference"
 
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

Wisconsin Steel from PullmanMuseum
Wisconsin Steel - Aerial Protographs 1976 
Wisconsin Steel aerial views. Photo at left is a composite of three images showing Torrence Avenue across the top, Calumet River across the bottom, and Wisconsin Steel in between. From left to right, photo includes Acme conveyor, Wisconsin Steel south slip coal storage and coke ovens, north slip ore yards and blast furnaces, vaious mills, 106th Street, "Slag Valley" area. The right photo is a composite of two photos, and focuses on the Calumet River showing Wisconsin Steel at the top of the picture and the Acme Furnace Plant and Valley Mould at the bottom. 106th Street and 106th Street bridge are near the bottom of the picture and north of 106th Street are General Mills slips and plant. Photos were taken May 18, 1976
Craig Wilson posted 1982 BRC calf-cow-cab trio
BRC, Belt Railroad Company, at Wisconsin Steel, before it closed and Dad lost 26 years of service.
It is my understanding that this was a partnership between Pullman and IH. Don't know if that is correct or not.Larry Graham Omg I saw the ruins right after I hired out in '93. We had KCBX jobs that worked down there and South Chicago extras at times. Believe this was still standing in '94. The entire area is now part of a BP asphalt plant served by CRL.Larry Graham Craig Wilson
Got more info on this shot.
Location is 112th St. Afternoon shot, track in foreground is the connection to the CWI main. South Deering interlocking. Was on a job about four years ago and cruised down there lite engine to check things out. Our engineer was an original Belt guy that had worked down in there when started about 40 years prior. Just took an archeological tour for laughs one day.
Larry Graham Also didn't realize that Wisconsin Steel covered as much area as it did. From 106 to 112.
Craig commented on his post
Larry Graham Craig Wilson
I think I might see Irondale in the upper right corner. A little bit of it. The CNW elevator. The Belt used to deliver and pull there as well.


Rod Sellers posted
Where am I?
Larry Grzywinski Wisconsin Steel from the south, Interlake bridge cranes on the right. The stack on the far right is in Republic Steel..
Bob Lalich Looking north at Wisconsin Steel from the vicinity of 112th St. It appears the photo was taken before the Interlake conveyor suspension bridge was built.
Larry Grzywinski Republic Steel in not in the photo, Valley Mold and Interlake blast furnace plant were across the river from Wisconsin Steel.. Wisconsin Steel was in the area from 106th Street south to about 111th Street and Torrence Ave. on the west and the Calumet River on the east.

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.]


Asphalt Operating Services of Chicago using some of the Wisconsin Steel land

Slag Valley

Rene Rodriguez Hernandez posted
Wisconsin still works vanished in the 80's 106th and Torrance I lived on 108th there were like 4 to 5 bars on each block all the way to 102
All gone to. South Deering was live today it's like a ghost town.
Deb Denier Stanko Imported steel was brought in without import taxes and tariffs specifically from Japan, unions kept pushing higher wages and benefits, union bosses got richer, union workers lost everything when the mill closed and discovered their pensions had been stolen by union management.


Dwayne Stegner posted
Chicago, West Pullman & Southern RR.
February 12, 1978 finds Chicago, West Pullman & Southern Railroad's Unit Number 46, and EMD SW-8 Switcher, working a slag train at Chicago, Illinois
Adrian Alvarez posted
[There are a few more photos of both Lakers in the comments.]
Scot Perry posted a high resolution photo
Jimmie Moran The other was the S.S. Harvester. Both were the same design as the Edmund Fitzgerald!
Dennis DeBruler IH also owned Wisconsin Steel along the Calumet River in Chicago. These ships delivered iron ore to the blast furnaces there. Deering was a strong believer in vertical integration.
[2019 Update: it also carried grain and coal.]

Red Sellers commented on Adrian's posting
Weren't there 2 WSW boats? The "International and The Harvester? Here is the Harvester.

Red Sellers commented on Adrian's posting
The International

James Torgeson shared
The 600' Str. The International is upbound for another load of ore to feed the blast furnaces at the International Harvester Wisconsin Steel Works in South Chicago. Later in 1977, IH would sell Wisconsin Steel to Envirodyne, but the plant closed in 1980.
She was scrapped in Turkey in 1988, long after her service to International Harvester!

Rod Sellers posted
Where am I?
Larry Grzywinski Wisconsin Steel from the south, Interlake bridge cranes on the right. The stack on the far right is in Republic Steel..
Bob Lalich Looking north at Wisconsin Steel from the vicinity of 112th St. It appears the photo was taken before the Interlake conveyor suspension bridge was built.
Larry Grzywinski Republic Steel in not in the photo, Valley Mold and Interlake blast furnace plant were across the river from Wisconsin Steel.. Wisconsin Steel was in the area from 106th Street south to about 111th Street and Torrence Ave. on the west and the Calumet River on the east.

Rod Sellers commented on his post
View of Wisconsin Steel from south of mill, looking NNE, Republic Steel at right of photo. Probably c. 1950. Attached photo is aerial view of same location.
Attached photo does not show Republic or Acme / Interlake.
Kevin Piper posted
This view is looking northeast at 108th & Torrence in Chicago's South Deering area. That is part of the Wisconsin Steel Works in the background. The undated photo was probably taken in the late 1930's.
Today the mill and trolley cars are gone, but Torrence still exists.
Bob Lalich In 1977 Harvester sold WSW to Envirodyne, a company with no experience in steelmaking. Harvester remained the largest customer for WSW and a strike at Harvester in 1980 sealed the fate of the plant.
[Contemporary view]

Kevin Piper posted

Rod Sellers posted
Where am I?

Rod Sellers commented on his post
Answer: South Deering bus at about 108th and Torrence. Wisconsin Steel in view. Attached photo is a little further south on the South Deering route.



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