1870s

Oswego Canal a1
The 1872 Oswego Canal created a link between the Tualatin River and Oswego Lake.

 

January 15, 1870, Oregonian

OREGON IRON.—Ten tons of pig iron were brought down on the boats, from the Oregon Iron Works at Oswego yesterday. This is the first shipment we have noticed from that direction for some months.

 

Feb. 5, 1870, Oregonian

OREGON IRON MINES—WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN AND WHAT MAY BE.

The Stockton Republican alluding to the inexhaustible iron resources of Oregon, mentions the Oswego mine in particular and says: “One half of one quarter per cent on the money California has paid in duty and freight on railroad iron imported from Europe and shipped from the east, would have erected works at this point which would have turned out a superior quality of T rail insufficient quantity to iron all the railroads on the Pacific coast.” We do not doubt but this might have been done, nor that if it had been done, the railroad companies would have procured a quality of rail whose endurance would have more than compensated for the extra cost, if any. The Oswego iron is distinguished for its toughness, a very essential quality in railroad iron; and it has been said that the quality is too good to make it profitable to work it into rails. This objection vanishes, however, before the fact that there is enough of it to make all the rails the Pacific coast could ever want, besides supplying all the extra quality iron which could be wanted for other purposes. It is not too late to put in practice what is suggested by the Stockton paper. Railroading on the Pacific coast is yet in its infancy. Scarcely a tithe of the iron has yet been used that is to be the grand aggregate laid down in this and the next decades. If San Francisco can make rails after transporting the raw material long sea voyages, what could hinder the success of works at this mine where the ore is just at hand, and where the rails could be passed from the rolling mills on the bank to the transporting vessels in the stream? This is a proposition worthy the attention of the railroad capitalists.

 

Jan. 20, 1871, The Weekly Enterprise

OSWEGO.—The proprietors of this now (to all intents and purposes) dead town seem to be in excellent spirits respecting their prosperity. It would indeed be strange if the resources abounding about Oswego did not give them this hope. One of the best water privileges, inexhaustible mines of iron, and a good region of country must put new life into the place some day. The Oregon Iron Company have expended a large sum of money to test the fact that Oregon Iron cannot be excelled in Europe, and they will resume operations when, the proper time comes. Next week the Oswego Milling Company will commence the manufacture of lumber. The town site has lately been platted, and there is room enough there, and mines of wealth sufficient about the place, to make it the Pittsburg of the Pacific Coast.—Bulletin.

 

Borthwick Batty canal detail
Detail of 1881 Borthwick, Batty & Co. map showing the Oswego Canal.  Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Public Library.

July 19, 1871, Oregonian p3

[This article is included in the Chronicles because the Oswego Canal and all the assets of the Tualatin River Navigation & Mfg. Company were acquired by the Oregon Iron Company in a foreclosure action on May 1, 1877.]

THE TUALATIN-OSWEGO CANAL–THE EXTENT OF THE ENTERPRISE—BREAKING OF GROUND–AN IMMENSE WATER-POWER TO BE OBTAINED.

Yesterday morning, by invitation of the president of the Tualatin River Navigation and Manufacturing Co., ex-Governor George L. Curry, we accompanied him and several gentlemen connected with the company to Oswego, thence by way of Oswego Lake and the old wooden track railway to the Colfax landing on the bank of the Tualatin. The object of the trip was to break ground for the canal which the company is about to dig, and by which the Tualatin river is to be drained of a portion of its water to supply motive power at Oswego. The lake has its outlet at Oswego, the foot of the lake being a little more than an eighth of a mile from the west bank of the Wallamet, by way of the outlet stream. The latter falls near the foot of the lake and within a distance of three or four hundred feet, about ninety feet over basaltic rocks, to the level of the Wallamet. This fall, when the supply of water discharging from the lake shall be increased as contemplated, will afford a series of magnificent water-powers, in many essential respects of unequalled conveniences and advantages. The lake extends from this fall westward toward the Tualatin river about two and three quarter miles. The rest of the intervening distance—between the head of the lake and Colfax on the Tualatin—is a low swale, through which runs a small stream, having its source within 780 feet of the bank of the Tualatin, and which falls into Oswego Lake at its head. The enterprise inaugurated yesterday contemplates the uniting of the waters of the river and lake by a canal—a mere means of water supply at first, but eventually to be cut wide and deep enough to admit the passage of the small steamers which the company now have in the river and the lake.

THE CANAL.

The surveys of the Co’s civil engineer show that the Tualatin river at Colfax is 22 feet higher than the water in the lake. The highest ground—measured from the level of the river—between the river and the lake, is only thirteen feet. It is proposed to cut the canal about four feet wide on the bottom and two feet deeper than the present surface of the water in the river. Immediately on the bank, this cut will be fourteen feet deep. At the distance of about 300 feet from the river occurs the deepest cut, 13 feet. Three or four hundred feet further on toward the lake, the cut will be only eight or nine feet and then it grows rapidly less. The extreme length of the cut necessary to be made to run four feet of water through the canal to the lake, is only one mile and one-third. A much shorter distance will suffice to run water of one or two feet in depth; but the company proposes to go, at first, to the depth necessary to make the canal navigable for boats when the whole scheme shall have been accomplished. At the head of the canal, say within two or three hundred feet of the river, a breakwater or head gate will be put in, to be used as a regulator of the supply of water. Somewhere between this and the lake a single lock will be constructed, to aid in the passage of boats. It is believed by the engineer and others who have examined the ground, that when water shall be once turned freely through the canal with the fall of 22 feet, the current will very soon complete all the excavations necessary to allow the passage of boats.

DAM AT THE FOOT OF THE LAKE.

It might be supposed that such a current as will be given by a fall of nearly 16 feet to the mile would destroy the possibilities of navigation and endanger the entire diversion of the river from its own channel to the Oswego Lake. But it is part of the whole scheme to raise a dam across the outlet stream at the foot of the lake at least 15 or 20 feet high. This can be done at comparatively small cost, as the outlet is narrow, with solid rock bottom and sides. The dam when closed will back the water of the lake nearly to the level of the Tualatin river; and by opening or closing its waste gates, the current of the canal can be regulated at pleasure. The headgate and lock can also be used for the same purpose. It will thus be seen that the immense water power will be at all time under perfect easy control.

BREAKING GROUND

The company having rested themselves on board the steamer Onward after a smart walk from the lake along the proposed line to the river, proceeded to “break ground.” The President stated that the company was organized March 23d, 1869, and then gave some details of its subsequent history—what it had done, and what it was now able and about to do; touched upon the importance of the enterprise not only to the Company, but as it might possibly affect many public interests in the future, by opening a new channel of transportation; and concluded by stating the principal physical facts connected with the enterprise, and then threw the traditional few spade fulls of dirt from the middle of the proposed line of canal. He was followed in this exercise by Captain Joseph Kellogg, the OREGONIAN Reporter, Mr. T. Patterson of the Herald, Mr. Lewis Love, Mr. Jonathan Jackson, and Mr. W. S. Failing, the latter the Secretary of the Company. The excursionists having seen the work begun, started for home, by way of Oswego, and by steamer Senator, for Portland.

The work will be prosecuted as rapidly as possible to completion, it being the intention of the company to have the dam built, the canal dug, and all other necessary work performed during the season of low water in the river and lake.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WORK

The canal when completed, will open a line of water communication with the interior westward for a distance of some sixty miles, affording excellent facilities to the people of Yamhill and Washington counties, adjacent thereto, for the transportation of their surplus products to the Portland Markets. The company has a steamboat on the Lake, and also one on the Tualatin, and will be ready to supply the wants of the community in that locality in the matter of transportation. Apart from the business of navigation, the improvement now undertaken will furnish an abundant and unfailing water power for the manufacturing operations of the Company at Oswego, where they own a tract of two hundred acres of land including the town of Oswego. The Company’s saw mill at that point will commence running next week in the manufacture of lumber, for which the timber lands of the Tualatin will afford an almost endless supply for all the most desirable varieties. The subjoined extracts from the report of the Engineer on the work will give a fair idea of the importance and value of the enterprise:

“Although not especially instructed to do so, I presume that it will not be inappropriate or unacceptable if I offer some estimates and suggestions relative to the available value of the proposed improvements when fully completed. At this time there cannot be any particular computation of their cash value as a means of transportation. But when it is considered that they will render accessible to the market afforded by the city of Portland, very large bodies of timber, consisting of all the varieties common to the country, hitherto unavailable, and as yet scarcely touched by the woodman’ axe; that they will extend water carriage of such facility as to preclude all competition by rail in moving heavy products, directly to the center of one of the largest and most productive sections of the Wallamet valley; that the first cost of the works will be a comparatively insignificant sum, and that when once completed they can be maintained indefinitely by a very small outlay for attendance or repairs, the profits for this source along must eventually become large. With regard to the motive power which they will develop, we may reach some more definite conclusions. * * * There may be drawn from the Tualatin river, at the lowest stage, a volume of water equal to the full capacity of the canal, at a rate of half a mile an hour. This would yield at Oswego a discharge of seventy-three cubic feet of water every second, with an average of one hundred feet through the entire year. * * * This will produce nominally eight hundred and thirty-three horse powers. * * *   This, when compared with the equivalent of power which might be maintained through the agency of steam with which it would come directly in competition under circumstances equally advantageous for the purposes of manufacture, at a low estimate would be worth two hundred dollars each day. Allowing three hundred working days in each year, it would produce an annual income of sixty thousand dollars at ten per cent. per annum. * * * For several years it would hold superior advantages in the manufacture of lumber for the Portland market. For all time to come it would hold unrivaled advantages in the manufacture of flour from the wheat grown in the extensive region of country which must unavoidably become tributary to the Oswego canal, while it would remain fully equal in point of location with any other place in the general manufacture of that staple article grown in other parts of the Wallamet valley. What I have stated concerning wheat, will apply with nearly the same appropriateness to the wool product. Then it will be in the immediate vicinity of immense beds of the best quality of iron ore, with an extensive establishment already prepared for their reduction. In consideration of this fact, it become entirely the best point on the Pacific coast for the establishment of rolling mills. Moreover, as a water power, it would possess the rare advantages of being regular, unfailing, and unobstructed from any cause at any season, while the mills and factories driven by it would remain always entirely safe from destruction or injury by floods; being at the same time directly accessible to every market by unobstructed water communication. Favored with such advantages as these, there cannot arise a reasonable doubt but that all the water afforded by the canal will be quickly utilized.”

 

Jan. 5, 1872, Oregonian, p4

FINANCE AND COMMERCE: Annual Review

“We regret not to be able to report operations renewed by the Oswego Iron Mine Company. All speak of it as a paying investment, and no reasonable excuse can be assigned, as we can learn, for the ore not being smelted. The trade of Portland shows a remarkable increase over 1870, being not less than forty percent. The trade has been healthy, for no reported failures have we been able to hear of. The foundries in the city, as indeed all branches of industry, report large increase over 1870.”

 

April 6, 1872, Sacramento Daily Union

The market for Pig Iron is steadily advancing, owing to a growing scarcity of stock and out of sympathy to the rise in New York and England. In fact, prices of Iron and Metals generally appears to be advancing the world over. The world’s consumption exceeds the supply Query: Why does not the Oswego Iron Works in Oregon fire up and furnish us supplies of Pig Iron? When they stopped years ago the reason given was that it could not be produced for less than $50 per ton; now it is worth $60 or $70.

 

 June 15, 1872, Oregonian p3

OSWEGO CANAL.—We are informed by Captain Kellogg that there are now employed on the canal leading from the Tualatin river to the head of Oswego lake about sixty men. The canal will be about one mile and a half long. It will be of a sufficient width and depth to allow the passage of steamers up and down. The present intention is to have the canal completed and effect a junction with the lake and river by the first of next September.

 

June 28, 1872, Oregon City Enterprise p3

Iron Ore.__ A correspondent writing to the Herald from Oswego furnishes the following relative to the immense beds of iron in that vicinity: “The average yield of the ores is upward of sixty per cent of metallic iron. This fact, in connection with the quality of the iron which can be manufactured from these ores, and the abundance of their distribution, indicates that we have within the limits of Clackamas county all the elements of an immense iron industry, which should find expansion in the direction of both the manufacture and shipment of pig iron.”

Property Sold. We learn that Mrs. Prosser has sold her place at Oswego to a company of Eastern capitalists for the sum of $10,000. The same company has also purchased a water front on the Willamette from the Tualatin Canal Company, on which they propose to erect immediately extensive iron works. It is the intention of the company to have their new smelting apparatus in operation within the next six months. This will cause the development of an endless mine of wealth which has heretofore been neglected.

 

June 29, 1872, Willamette Farmer (Salem)

NEW SMELTING WORKS.—The Oregonian of June 25th has the following: The negotiations that have been pending for the last few weeks for the purchase of the Oswego Iron mine, by some Eastern and San Francisco parties, have, we understand, been closed by their agents, Hawley, Dodd & Co., who have bought of Mr. Prosser the mine and farm for $10,000, the final papers being signed yesterday. The new company have also purchased from the Tualatin River Navigation Company the water front at Oswego for the construction of their new wharves, ore and coal house, and their new smelting apparatus. On inquiry we hear it is the intention of the company to erect works of double the capacity of the old Oswego Iron Company, the plans and specification for which are now in the contractors’ hands at the East. Work will be commenced at the mine forthwith, and already the ring of the axe is heard clearing away the space for the new furnace, which is expected to be in full working order in six months.

IRON ORE.—A correspondent of the Herald, writing from Oswego furnished the following, relative to the immense beds of iron in that vicinity: “The average yield of ores is upward of sixty per cent of metallic iron. This fact, in connection with the quality of the iron which can be manufactured from these ores, and the abundance of their distribution, indicates that we have within the limits of Clackamas county all the elements of an immense iron industry, which should find expansion in the direction of both the manufacture and shipment of pig iron.

 

June 30, 1872, Daily Alta California (San Francisco)

The “Oregonian” of the 26th says: The negotiations that have been pending for the last few weeks, for the purchase of the Oswego iron mine by some Eastern and San Francisco parties, have, we understand, been closed by their agents. The new Company have also purchased from the Tualatin River Navigation Company the water-front at Oswego, for the construction of their new wharves, ore and coal house, and their new smelting apparatus. On inquiry, we learn that it is the intention of the Company to erect works of double the capacity of the old Oswego Iron Company, the plans and specifications for which are now in the contractors’ hands at the East. Work will be commenced at the mine forthwith, and already the ring of the axe is heard, clearing away the space for the new furnace, which is expected to be in full working order in six months.

 

July 3, 1872, Oregonian

Oswego Iron Works

Mr. Hawley, of the firm of Messrs. Hawley, Dodd & Co., agent for the Eastern capitalists who have recently purchased the Oswego iron mine, took his departure for New York on last Saturday. He goes East to purchase iron for the new smelting stack, and to secure the services of several competent and experienced men to superintend the work. It is confidently expected to have everything in full running order in six months. We learn the intention is to run a large rolling mill in connection with the works. A force of men are now engaged in clearing away a space for the new furnace.

 

Aug. 10, 1872, Sacramento Daily Union

LETTER FROM OREGON–[CORRESPONDENCE OF THE UNION.]–Oregon Iron Mines

Some years ago extensive deposits of iron ore were discovered near Oswego, above the city of Portland eight or nine miles, and near the navigable waters of the Willamette. The ore proved to be very rich in a superior quality of iron, and a company was incorporated for its manufacture. They did not purchase the ore beds, I am informed, but used what they wished to and paid the trifle of 25 cents per ton for what ore they smelted. They made an offer for the mine of only about half what the owner asked. The manufacture of iron was carried on at a disadvantage with only one small-sized stack, and perhaps resulted in a loss. At least it was discontinued, and now for some years it has entirely ceased. The “iron famine” and consequent rise in price has revived the idea of again commencing this manufacture, and I am informed that a new company, composed in great part of Eastern iron men, has taken hold of the work, is making arrangements to put up several furnaces and do enough of the business to give it a satisfactory trial. They have purchased the ore beds, obtained a good frontage on the river right under a ninety-foot fall of water from Oswego Lake, and have an unlimited forest at hand for the manufacture of charcoal for smelting purposes. The Tualatin river puts in above Oswego and above the Willamette Falls, but there is a company at work bringing the Tualatin—by easy labor comparatively—into Oswego Lake, and which proposes to enlarge the outlet of the lake so that steamboats can go from Oswego through the lake and up the Tualatin, and tap a rich agricultural country that is drained by that stream. These boats will go from a basin at Oswego, which will be ninety feet above the Willamette, and will connect with boats below by means of elevators. This enterprise will create an immense and easily controlled water power, and all along the Tualatin there are deposits of iron ore that can be drawn on to supply any future amount or extent of smelting furnace that may be in operation at Oswego. As soon as possible after the furnaces are up it is the intention to erect a rolling mill by the same company for the manufacture of bar iron.

 

Aug. 23, 1872, Oregon City Enterprise

Town and County. – THE OSWEGO CANAL.—We learn that the canal connecting the Tualatin river with Oswego lake is progressing quite rapidly under the supervision of Capt. Kellogg and that water will probably be let in by the first of October next. Although the Canal Company have been working quietly, they have been working effectively. About a dozen white men and sixty Chinamen are constantly engaged on the work. Work was not thoroughly commenced until the latter part of May: and yet the canal from the river to the locks at the head of the lake, has been dug the entire width of sixty feet at an average depth of about six feet. The depth of the canal at the river will be sixteen feet. Workmen are already engaged upon the locks which are progressing quite rapidly. Perhaps there is no better man in Oregon to superintend such a work than Capt. Kellogg. With the funds of the Company members only, and without any subsidy whatever, we find this works, one of the most important in Oregon, progressing without any trouble or ostentation. If the Company had succeeded in extorting a large subsidy from some quarter, it is probable it might have thought it necessary to make more ado as a sort of recompense, but as it is, this canal, sixty feet in width and a mile and a half long, is being excavated with a rapidity and in a style that is remarkable.—When completed, it will furnish one of the finest water powers in the world at Oswego. Besides, it will make that point of entrepot of the whole basin of the Tualatin river. The enterprise is one of the most praise-worthy in Oregon, and Capt. Kellogg, one of the largest stockholders of the Company deserves great credit for his energy and perseverance. We learn that in digging the canal, iron ore of full richer quality than any heretofore discovered in Oregon has been developed.

 

Oct. 5, 1872, Oregonian p3

COMPLETED.—The Oswego canal, by which the waters of Tualatin river and those of Oswego Lake are united, has at last been completed, and boats will soon be able to pass through without difficulty. The work was commenced some time during May of the present year.

 

Dec. 11, 1872, Oregonian p. 4

WAITING FOR WATER.—The steamer Onward is now tied up at Hillsboro, waiting for the winter rains to swell the stream. An insufficiency of water is all that prevents that steamer from passing from the Tualatin river down through the canal to Oswego Lake. Some months ago this canal was finished and water communication between the two bodies effected. Several feet of water is in the cut, but of insufficient depth to float a steamer. A few feet rise is all that is required; and for the arrival of that time, the Company are impatiently waiting. The intervening time as been beneficially improved by the Company in having the channel of the Tualatin, from the opening of the Canal to the head of navigable waters, cleared of the numerous obstructions. For the last month or more, the Onward has been employed in clearing out old logs and snags which have so long beset the stream, and rendered navigation a matter of constant danger and difficulty. Now the river is free of these obstacles, and the steamer only waits aqueous accommodations from the clerk of the weather.

 

January 23, 1873, Oregonian

City section

FIRST BOAT THROUGH. — The first boat passed down through the Oswego canal from Tualatin river to the lake on last Tuesday. That boat was the steamer Onward, owned by Captain Joseph Kellogg. Five feet of water is in the canal at the present stage of the river. The descent was made without any delay or difficulty; the distance of a mile and a half being made in about fifteen minutes. Two thousand bushels of oats and wheat, besides other produce, were brought down on the steamer. Quite a number of invited guests came through on the trial trip. Captains Orrin and Charles Kellogg had the whole management of the Onward, which behaved handsomely and made the riffle without the least trouble or accident. The canal, which was first commenced less than one year ago, was completed a month since, and is now formally thrown open to traffic. Everything is ready for framers to ship their produce by this new line of transit.

 

Aug. 15, 1873, The State Rights Democrat (Albany) p2

There is no longer room to doubt the fact that work is soon to commence at Oswego. The company have advertised for contracts to remove buildings, and also they desire to employ several experienced miners to work.

 

Aug. 22, 1873, Oregon City Enterprise

LARGE FORCE.—We learn that the Oregon Iron Company, at Oswego, have a large number of hands at work getting out ore and cutting wood. The Place presents quite a business appearance.

 

Aug. 28, 1873, Daily Alta California (San Francisco)

OREGON NEWS

We learn that the Oregon Iron Company at Oswego have a large number of hands at work getting out ore and cutting wood. The place presents quite a business-like appearance.

 

Sept. 11, 1873, Oregonian, p3

City.  AT OSWEGO.—The Oregon Iron Company have decided to start up their works at Oswego after a rest of two years. This, with the near completion of the Tualatin Navigation Company’s improvements, has inspired new life into the place, and activity is now the order in all directions. The Iron Company, including some of our most enterprising citizens—among them Ladd, Failing, Burrell, Kellogg and other residents and some non-residents—having lately purchased ground for new rolling mills for the manufacture of the leading varieties of wrought iron, including railroad iron, propose to operate this in addition to running the large furnace already in working order. The Superintendent [Charles E. Botsford of New Haven, CT], being on his way, is expected here soon to start up in full blast. The hills in the vicinity lately prospected contain many rich deposits of iron ore, till lately undiscovered, promising assurance of abundant supply, and hence a sure basis on which to rest the hopes of the capitalist. At present a large number of workmen are employed cutting wood, making coal, digging ore, etc. Soon the fine lumber mill of Kellogg & Co. will be in operation, and the Navigation Company’s canal in use, furnishing additional labor and activity. There is scarcely room for the present population. Not a house or room to let, and nor lumber enough to supply the demand. Many, during the warm days, camped out. If we are surprised at the thrift and activity there now, while these different industries are just beginning, what may we not expect when they are all in full blast?

In addition to the above, Dr. Atkinson has let the contract to erect a Congregational church there, with library or reading room attachment. But space forbids to enumerate other items of interest connected with the present activity at Oswego. But suffice it to say, this is called the Pittsburg of Oregon.

 

Sept. 23, 1873, Oregonian, p3

OSWEGO IRON WORKS

The remark has been made that iron is worth more than gold. Estimated by its numberless uses, the comparison is true and an iron mine will enrich a people more surely and more largely than a gold mine. The iron mines of Great Britain have drawn to that kingdom the riches of other countries for centuries past, and the fear of their exhaustion alarms iron mongers and statesmen alike. The fact that one of the largest iron manufacturing establishments of that realm—worth millions—is reported as about to be transferred to the banks of the Delaware river, contiguous to the vast iron and coal beds of Pennsylvania, is an omen that the United States are to be among the greatest, if not the foremost producers of iron manufactures in the world, as England and Scotland have been. It is a pleasing fact that this metal is so widely and profusely distributed as to prevent any great monopoly in its production. Pennsylvania gains immense wealth annually because their enterprise has been foremost to develop their iron mines. The Iron Mountain of Missouri only waits the hand of labor and capital to enrich that State.

We are not obliged to send to the East or the West, to England or to Sweden for our iron, as we have done for twenty-five years past. The hills about Oswego, seven miles up the river, and near its banks, abound with iron ore of the richest and most highly carbonized kind. The products of the furnace, two years ago, in “pigs” and in the castings, especially the stoves, equaled any brought to this market. It was a calamity to this city and to the State when the fires were allowed to die out in the stack. It is a corresponding gratification that the company now resume the business of making pig iron, with the prospect of permanence. It will be a greater gain if they erect rolling mills and a nail factory, for which it is understood Captain Kellogg, the chief proprietor of the town, has given them land and water power enough. Their employment of Mr. Botsford, a skilled iron manufacturer, who arrived on the last steamer from Massachusetts, as their foreman and manager, indicates a purpose to do all that the demands of business will require and justify. Their location is admirable; steamboats pass their works several times a day, so that shipments can be made at smallest cost in all directions into the interior towns and settlements, or outward upon the ocean. A water power of 100 feet fall, with a lake reserve three miles long by half a mile broad, fed by the Tualatin river, gives an ample supply for all their purposes, and for a great variety of other manufactures. It is equal to a river ten times as large with a ten foot fall—such as any great corporation in Boston, like that which built up Lowell and Lawrence, Mass., Manchester, N. H., and Lewiston, Maine, would eagerly purchase and use to the utmost for all kinds of manufactures.

The Tualatin valley, for fifty miles, has the largest amount and the finest kinds and varieties of timber, such as oak, alder, maple, ash, pine, cedar and fir for wagons and carriages and agricultural machinery, and for furniture and building, of any region of equal size in Oregon or Washington. It is the most accessible and the most easily transported on the Tualatin river and its branches, which winds about through this whole region, and of which the pass at Oswego is the best outlet for commercial purposes.

All this lake and river of water is held and controlled by a dam extending from the rock banks across the stream hardly more than 200 feet long and 20 feet high.

The opportunities for other manufacturing enterprises or for milling—as the abundant wheat of the Tualatin Plains can easily and cheaply float by this route to market—are very obvious to the most casual observer.

A leading manufacturer from San Francisco last fall examined these ore beds and iron works, and took a map of the whole region, drained by the Tualatin, and expressed his great surprise that this water power, and the greater one at Oregon City, were not used by our capitalists to develop our great resources, which lie so near and so abundant. He remarked: “You can make money when we cannot run a spindle. It costs our woolen mills $40 per day of 12 hours, for power along; $30 for fuel and $10 for engineer and fireman. It costs you hardly $10 for the same power. It costs us the interest on $80,000 worth of real estate for our Works. It costs you for the same amount of real estate the interest of hardly $20,000. Your workmen can live as cheap as ours. The raw material costs you but little, if any, more than it does us. You gain $30, at least, per day in power, and where a mill is run 24 hours, you gain $60 per day and the interest of $60,000 constantly. So you see that you have the advantage of us in manufacturing, and you can ship almost as easily to any part of the world. If your merchants and rich men will spend a part of the money which they are putting into fine houses and stores, in establishing manufactures so near their houses, and so under their control, as Boston merchants do, they will have a constant and growing business prosperity; your city will increase, and your people will all find work enough, and you will have home and foreign markets for your productions. Your State needs this kind of enterprise. It takes but little capital to start any manufactory. Begin small, but with the latest and best machinery, and a good foreman. The labor question will adjust itself. All who are willing to work will find enough to do. We, of this coast, have the advantage of England in this respect, and before 20 years, perhaps in 15, we will lay down our woolens in Liverpool, cheaper and better than they can make and sell them at home. We produce the raw material and we can make the goods.”

Upon further inquiry we find that the water power, which this gentleman estimated to cost $10 per mill, per day of twelve hours, actually costs the manufactory at Oregon City not more than $3 or $4 per twenty-four hours. The Oswego power can be procured equally cheap we presume.

Capt. J. Kellogg informs us that the Tualatin River Navigation Company will soon sell lots in Oswego.

As an earnest of their intentions, the new Iron Company have now employed 150 Chinamen who are engaged in cutting wood, which is being rapidly converted into coal. About 50 men are employed in hauling wood, burning coal and getting out the ore. A considerable quantity of the ore has already been dug out and delivered. The new company propose commencing active operation about the first of November. The services of two experienced colliers have been secured by the new company. In addition a third collier arrived on the last steamer in company with Mr. Botsford. The next steamer will bring still another. The new company evidently mean business, if appearances are to be taken as evidence of that fact.

The following gentlemen constitute the Board of Directors of the new Company: Henry Failing, W. W. Ladd, C. H. Lewis, T. A. Davis, and M. S. Burrell. The following are the officers: President, M. S. Burrell; Vice President, T. A. Davis; Secretary P. C. Schuyler; Superintendent, Chas. E. Botsford.

 

Nov. 15, 1873, Oregonian p1

From Oswego we learn that the iron company are getting out a large amount of ore, and making other extensive preparations to commence work soon. The ore is said to be of the finest quality, and it is hoped that when work is once fairly commenced the furnace will not soon stop again. A large number of hands are at work, and the place presents a lively and business-like appearance.

 

Feb. 25, 1874, Oregonian

Real Estate Transactions.

A. and Sally I. Cleaveland and S. H. and Frances Tryon to the Oregon Iron Company, south half of the donation land claim of S. H. and Frances Tryon, in township 2 south, range 2 east; also north half of said donation in township 2 south, range 1 east; also the west half of the north half of said donation claim in township 1 south, range 1 east; consideration, $7,000.

 

March 10, 1874, Oregonian p3

FIRED UP.—The smelting tower of the Oswego Iron Works was fired up last Friday for the first time since operations were suspended several years ago. A hot coal fire will be kept burning about ten days in the tower before the ore will be thrown in. In order to compel the ore to yield up the metal it has to be subjected to an intense fire for about twelve hours. After the required degree of heat is obtained in the tower, the smelting process will progress in full blast without interruption. As rapidly as the metal is disengaged and collected in a molten state at the foot of the tower, new ore will be thrown in. By the last of the present week the works will be in full blast.

 

March 11, 1874, Oregonian

Finance and Commerce–Miscellaneous

The active preparations going on at the Oswego Iron Works are a source of encouragement to those who desire to see the resources of our State more fully developed and we trust the company will meet the success their labors and expenditures merit. In a few days the first blast will be made, and the work of smelting will be carried ahead. The facilities have been largely increased, and with the inexhaustible supplies of ore, and chances of obtaining coal, the turn-out can be made very large.

 

April 18, 1874, Willamette Farmer (Salem)

The Oswego Iron company are turning out ten tons pig iron daily.

 

May 4, 1874, Oregonian p3

City.  LOVET PEACOCK.—The schooner, Lovet Peacock, [illegible] Decker, of the Star line, arrived at the Central wharf Sunday morning, making the voyage from San Francisco to Portland in [illegible] days, and beating the bark Rival to Astoria [illegible] days. The Lovet Peacock was built in [illegible] Passaic river, New Jersey, in 1856, of New Jersey oak, and is as solid as when first built, and is rated A 1 ½. She will take hence an assorted cargo, including one hundred tons of [illegible] pig iron from the Oswego mills.

Shipping Intelligence.  “The schooner Lovet Peacock, of the Star Line Pacific packets, is at Central wharf, having made the run from San Francisco in nine days. She will take an assorted cargo of Oregon products for return trip, including 100 tons of pig iron from the works at Oswego.”

 

May 26, 1874, Oregonian p3

FURNACE GAVE OUT.—The iron furnace at Oswego closed down about two weeks ago, on account of the furnace giving out. A new one is on the way from the east. When laid the furnace will be fired up. During the short run they made it is estimated 300 tons were turned out.

 

May 30, 1874, Willamette Farmer (Salem)

The iron smelting at Oswego is closed down because the furnace has given out, a new furnace is now on the way from the East.

 

June 5, 1874, Oregon City Enterprise

THE OREGON IRON WORKS.—Not withstanding the fact that the Oregon Iron Company was compelled to blow out their furnace some time since, work still progresses, and the place presents as busy a scene as ever. Over 100 coal-pits are being burned at this time, and a large number of wood-choppers are busily engaged in getting out cordwood for coal-burners. The Company seems determined to make this one of the leading interests in the country, and from present appearances we have no doubt but they will ultimately succeed.

 

June 9, 1874, Oregonian p3

OSWEGO IRON WORKS.—The evening contemporary says: Some time since we mentioned the fact that the hearth of the Oswego Iron Furnace had been burnt out, and that the company was consequently compelled to blow out their furnace and suspend operations until such time as a new hearth could be received from New York. A telegram from New York informs the officers of the Company that they can look for their materials to arrive within the next two weeks, and by the 1st proximo the furnace will be again in full blast.

 

June 12, 1874, Oregon City Enterprise

SHIPMENT OF IRON – The Oswego Iron Company will ship one hundred tons of pig iron by the steamer John L. Stephens which leaves Portland tomorrow.

 

July 3, 1874, Oregonian

Finance and Commerce–Oregon Iron in San Francisco

A few shipments of Oregon Iron in pigs from the Works at Oswego, to the San Francisco market have been noticed by us before. From the Journal of Commerce of that city we learn the result as follows.

The Journal says:  It is with sincere pleasure that we note the appearance in our markets again of Pig iron manufactured on the Pacific Coast. While we had to bring the raw materials seventeen thousand miles over the ocean, we could have little hope of doing anything beyond satisfying our own wants in the way of Machinery, etc. Now, however, Oregon steps in with Iron of a superior quality and that sells for a higher price in the market than any English or American that we know of. The last importation of one hundred tons sold for $15, $4 higher than the average quality of Eastern or English, and $9 higher than some qualities of the latter. This is not the first time that Oregon has entered the market as a producer of Pig Iron, but owing to adverse circumstances the industry had for a while to be abandoned. It is now resumed again, and there is a company represented in this city by General Allen, and will be able to produce about one-third of the quantity that is needed to supply the San Francisco market yearly. No doubt, in due course of time, other companies, both in Oregon and California, will enter the market, the cost of production will be decreased, and our iron founders will be able to beat all other competitors in the machinery and agricultural implement trade on the shores of the Pacific. An opportunity will also be afforded for the manufacture of hardware, and, in fact, the impetus given by it to the manufacturing industries of the coast can at this moment be hardly realized. When we can command iron and coal of good quality, and in abundance, we shall start in the race of progress as highly favored by nature as Pennsylvania or Great Britain, and much more so than New York or New England.

 

July 17, 1874, Oregon City Enterprise

OSWEGO PIG IRON IN THE MARKET.  The San Francisco Mining and Scientific Press makes mention of the Oswego pig iron.  It says:

It is with sincere pleasure that we note the appearance in our markets again of Pig Iron manufactured on the Pacific Coast. While we had to bring the raw materials seventeen thousand miles over the ocean, we could have little hope of doing anything beyond satisfying our own wants in the way of machinery, etc. Now however Oregon steps in with iron of a superior quality and that sells for a higher price than any English or American that we know of. The last importation of a hundred tons sold for $45, $4 higher than the average qualities of the latter. This is not the first time that Oregon has entered the market as a producer of Pig Iron. But owing to adverse circumstances the industry had for a while to be abandoned.—It is now resumed again, and there is a company represented in this city by General Allen, and will be able to produce about one third of the quantity that is needed to supply the San Francisco market yearly.—No doubt in due course of time, other companies both in Oregon and California, will enter the market, the cost of production will be decreased, and our iron founders will be able to beat all their competitors in the machinery and agricultural implement trade on the shores of the Pacific. An opportunity will also be afforded for the manufacture of hardware and in fact the impetus given by it to the manufacturing industries of the coast can at this moment be hardly realized. When we can command iron and coal of good quality, and in abundance, we shall start in the race of progress as highly favored by nature as Pennsylvania or Great Britain, and much more so than New York or New England.

 

August 8, 1874, Oregonian p1

LETTER FROM “NORTHWEST” — Oswego, August 5, 1874–THE OREGON IRON COMPANY

At the village of Oswego, is an interesting place to visitors at present. The manufacture of iron at the Company’s furnace is in full operation, and the process of smelting is in successful working order. The buildings are extensive and complete; erected in a most substantial and durable manner, and admirably located for procuring the ore, timber for making charcoal and convenient shipping. The stack that encloses the furnace is a piece of as fine stone and brick work as ever was erected for a similar purpose. The furnace is brought to an intense heat by means of charcoal and a powerful blast of air forced through a pipe into the furnace from the condenser in the wind house by means of a high pressure, that acts on the principle of a pair of bellows. The furnace is charged twice an hour, each time with 26 bushels of charcoal, from 700 to 900 pounds of ore, and from 100 to 120 pounds of limestone. This is kept up day and night and all the days of the week. Every eight hours the melted ore is drawn off in moulds made in sand in the form of bars three feet long, making three castings in the twenty-four hours. Each casting yields two and a half tons of iron bars, equal to about eight tons each day. In this department there are ten men employed, in two divisions of five each, that work twelve hours. It is warm work and requires unceasing attention, constant care and good judgment.

There are six kinds of bar iron made at these works: Nos. 1 and 2 are soft grades of iron adapted from foundries; Nos. 3 and 4 are highly tempered for railroad car wheels; Nos. 5 and 6 are made very hard and highly tempered for various purposes. The iron is considered by competent judges to be the best on this coast, and equal to any made in the United States.

The ore is got a mile from the furnace near the surface of the ground, and yields forty per cent of iron. It is hauled in wagons; the fine ore is screened to remove the dirt, the large, hard lumps are roasted so as to make them easily broken before being put into the furnace, as well as to facilitate the smelting. The roasting process is similar to the mode of burning lime. Men are kept prospecting for ore all the time. The indications are that the district is intersected with numerous beds of ore. Charcoal is used in preference to coal, being free from sulphur, and limestone is used to remove any sulphur that might be in the ore. The limestone is shipped from San Juan Island in the Sound, because it can be brought from there cheaper than it can be by railroad from Roseburg in our own State. A large number of men are employed in burning, hauling and storing the charcoal. The works are under the efficient superintendence of Mr. C. E. Botsford. The Company have a good general store for supplying their men and the public, and a neat, comfortable office in the same building, under the charge of Mr. Brown and Mr. Sealey [sic]. We found all these gentlemen most obliging and willing to give any information required. In the various departments of the work—wood-chopping, charcoal-burning, mining, hauling, smelting and superintending—there are upwards of a hundred men employed. The whole establishment does credit to the Company who originally constructed the works at a cost of $125,000, to the enterprise of the present Company who are likely to make it successful, and to the gentlemen in charge of the different departments.

There is little doubt but this company’s works will, in a reasonable time, grow to large proportions and prove one of the valuable institutions of the State. They are already supplying the Oregon Stove Manufacturing Company in East Portland with their iron, which company are making arrangements to supply the wants of the State with stoves of a superior quality, that will save $300,000 from leaving Oregon for this article alone. If the Oregon and California Railroad Company would reduce the freight on limestone from Roseburg, there need not be a pound of lime or limestone imported from San Juan. As it is the best of limestone is locked up in the mountains of Douglas county, except to a very limited extent, waiting the energy, enterprise and business capacity of some company that will give the proper encouragement to develop this and similar industries.

THE VILLAGE OF OSWEGO

has assumed something of its former bustle and business appearance; all the houses are occupied and the steady growth of the place is guaranteed by the increasing success of the Company’s iron works. The site of the town is elevated and commands a good view of the Willamette river and a good front view of the country for many miles. The timbered land for many miles in the neighborhood of Oswego is admirably adapted for raising fruit to perfection. The trees are well protected from storms; the ground is high, rolling, and lies well to the sun; the soil is sandy clay, rich, productive and requires no irrigation.

 

Sept. 4, 1874, Oregonian p2

Teamsters. Attention! — WE DESIRE TO CONTRACT FOR HAULING 1500 Tons Ore (more or less) from “Prosser” Farm to Oswego. — Apply immediately to–J. Williams, Sup’t Oregon Iron Co., Oswego, Sept. 3, 1874.

 

Sept. 5, 1874, Oregonian

The Oswego Iron Works are occasionally making shipments of pig-iron to San Francisco, where it finds ready sale at the highest rates paid for English brands. We regard these works as one of the most important enterprises in our state.

 

Oct. 2, 1874, Oregon City Enterprise p3

Referee Sale–In the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon, For the county of Clackamas Vs. William H. Prosser, Esther A. Cook, John F. Cook, Defendants.  Arthur Warner, Administrator of the Estate of Mary Prosser. Deceased.

By virtue of a certain decree and order of sale made in the above entitled suit, in said court, on the 28th day of September 1874, the subscriber a referee for that purpose duly appointed by said court, will sell at public auction to the highest bidder, on Tuesday the third (3d) day of November, 1874, at two (2) o’clock P. M. of said day, at the Court House door in Oregon City, Clackamas country, State of Oregon, certain real estate directed by said decree to be sold, and described therein as follows: Parts of Sections eight (8) and nine (9), in Township two (2) South, Range one (1) East, being a portion of the donation land claim of Henry Prosser and Mary Prosser deceased, situated in Clackamas county, State of Oregon, containing about 160 acres. Terms of sale: one half of the purchase money to be paid on day of sale, in U. S. gold coin. Remaining half in one year from date of sale in gold coin, the unpaid portion to draw interest and payment of same to be secured by approved security.   ARTHUR WARNER, Referee.  S. HUELAT, Atty. For Plaintiff

Note__ The above land is situated a short distance from the town of Oswego, and contains valuable deposits of iron ore, which can be seen by persons visiting the premises.

 

FOR SALE.  THE UNDERSIGNED OFFERS HIS premises in Oswego for sale at a bargain, for cash. There is a fine dwelling and out buildings, orchard and about three acres of land. Finely situated for a boarding house for the hands employed in the Iron Works.  J. W. CAINE, Oswego, Sept. 10, 1874

 

Nov. 11, 1874, Oregonian

The John L. Stephens will carry away to San Francisco a large quantity of pig iron from Oswego.

 

Jan. 15, 1875, Oregon City Enterprise

Iron Smelting in Oregon.

The S. F. Daily Calls says: Oregon takes precedence over California in the matter of Iron smelting. The Oswego Iron works, located on the Willamette River, are in operation, and have a capacity for turning out ten tons of iron per day. The ore worked is said to be of the best quality, and as Oregon has an exhaustless supply of timber, found in nearly every part of the State, the smelting at these works is done with charcoal, which costs nine cents per bushel. The ore is found about a mile from the furnace, while the lime is brought from San Juan Island and Puget Sound. The editor of the Stockton Independent, in conversation with a gentleman from the scene of the works, ascertained that two and a half tons of the ore will make one ton or more of pig iron. The Central Pacific Railroad has tested it for car wheels, and purchased 150 tons for that purpose. The charges are put into the furnace every half hour in about the following proportions: Thirty bushels of charcoal, 400 pounds of ore, 100 pounds of limestone. The cost per ton of manufacturing the iron is about as follows:

  • Iron ore at furnace. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10 75
  • Charcoal, 150 bushels, at 9 cts. . . . . . . . . . . . 13 50
  • Limestone, 500 pounds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 00
  • Superintendence and labor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 00
  • Total cost per ton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $33 25
  • The iron is now selling in San Francisco at $49 per ton.

 

Jan. 19, 1875, Oregonian p3

City:  SYPHON PIPES.—During the past week the Willamet Iron Works has been turning out a number of Syphon pipes, which are to be used in connection with the Oswego Iron Works. There are eight of these pipes, which will be employed in conveying hot air to the furnace. Had it not been that these pipes were very necessary, the works would have been temporarily closed.

 

Feb. 12, 1875, Oregon City Enterprise p3

Referee’s Sale

George W. Prosser, Respondent, vs. W. H. Prosser et als, Appellant.  By virtue of a certain decree of the supreme court of the State of Oregon , made the 25th day of January 1875, and in pursuance of a mandate of said Court duly issued and entered, the subscriber, a referee duly appointed by said decree, will sell at public auction, to the highest bidder, on Saturday, the thirteenth (13) day of March, 1875, at 2 o’clock P. M. of said day, at the Court House door, in Oregon City, Clackamas county, State of Oregon, certain real estate directed by said decree to be sold, and described therein as follows: Situated in Clackamas county, State of Oregon, being part of sections eight (8) and nine (9) in Township two South, Range one East, and being a part of the donation land claim of Henry Prosser and Mary Prosser deceased, to-wit, being the east half of said donation land claim set apart to said Henry Prosser in the Land Office at Oregon City, Oregon, containing one hundred and sixty acres, more or less, and being the tract of land conveyed to the heirs of Mary Prosser , deceased, in accordance with a decree of the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon, for the county of Clackamas, made at the April term 1874, and deeded to said heirs in pursuance of said decree by J. A. Fisher and wife, and bearing date 22d day of May, 1874. Terms of sale, one-half of the purchase money to be paid on the day of sale in U.S. gold coin, remaining half in one year from date of sale in like gold coin, the unpaid purchase money to draw interest, and payment of same to be secured by approved security. ARTHUR WARNER, Referee, Huelat, Attorney for Plainfiff

NOTE.—The above land is situated a short distance from the town of Oswego, and contains valuable deposits of iron ore. Announcements will be made at sale that will no doubt satisfy persons desiring to purchase that they will obtain a good title to the above premises.

 

April 16, 1875, Willamette Farmer (Salem), Supplement p10

OREGON IRON

The other evening when the good steamer Ohio was laid up here over night we enjoyed a pleasant interview with the purser, Mr. Hatch and Mr. Seelye [sic], one of the owners, who also happens to be Superintendent of the Oswego Smelting Works. Though quite a young man Mr. Seelye has had great experience in iron manufacture, having been brought up in the iron region of Southern Ohio, and always connected with the iron business. At the present the furnaces at Oswego are awaiting the arrival of a new hearth, to recommence operations. The iron ore found there is of such excellent quality that it cannot be easily injured by careless manufacture, and the iron made is decidedly the best, and most saleable where best quality is required, of any that finds its way to San Francisco. Consequently it brings the highest price going though not always what its excellence in comparison with other iron would warrant, but owing to the limited demand that cannot b remedied at present. When the shops of California turn out work for which the toughest and best metal is required they generally have to contract to use Oswego iron, which shows the value of our ore beds.

The present low price of iron does not admit of much profit in manufacture, but it allows a moderate margin over cost. The deposits in the vicinity of Oswego are what is known as “bog ore,” found in swampy localities, the philosophy being that the iron was once held in solution by water and precipitated in the form of these deposits. Such ore is always of superior quality, but the extent of the deposit is not so reliable as when found in mountain regions, to be followed in veins. We look upon the development of our immense iron deposits and the manufacture of iron as one of the most important resources of our State. The superior quality of this ore insures that sometime our State will possess great establishments for the manufacture of iron and steel into finer fabrics as well as for the mere smelting of our ores for the better sort of castings.

 

April 29, 1875, Oregonian p2

The Per Cent. of Gain from Home Manufactures to Real Estate. Fifth Article.

In adducing their value to our home markets, special reference was made to the greater demand for food, clothing and household comforts and conveniences. But the home demand for the raw material to manufacture, viz., our cereals, wool, flax, lumber, iron, stone and brick, add a large per cent. to these articles. The reflex effect is to add value to the farms and woodlands, and mineral beds. Before the iron was found in the Prosser claim, near Oswego, the land had only the common value of woody and hilly farms. Since the discovery a portion of the mine has been sold for $10,000. Stop the iron furnace there, and the mine will be as worthless as ever before….

 

June 25, 1875, Oregon City Enterprise p1

Clackamas County–Its Extent—Taxation—Railroad—and School lands—Etc., Etc.–Iron Ore and Other Minerals

Iron ore is found on both banks of the Willamette river between Oregon city and Portland, also in various other parts of the county in practically unlimited quantity. The Oswego Iron Company has a furnace eight miles above Portland on the river bank and directly, and indirectly, gives employment to two hundred and fifty men, as miners, coal-burners, wood choppers, teamsters and operatives about the stack. The iron is all made with charcoal and is of a quality that commands five dollars per ton more than any other American iron and ranks above “Scotch Pig” in the San Francisco market. This is the only smelting furnace on the Pacific coast and was begun as an experiment; but it has already demonstrated the fact that our county will soon develop an industry that will give remunerative employment to a large population. The product of the furnace is about eight tons per day, and is run continuously throughout the year except when necessarily laid up for repairs. Limestone and coal are also found along the foothills of the Cascade mountains. The limestone is of a fair quality, but not equal to that found in other parts of our State; while the coal is believed to be equal to the best, but has not, as yet, been sufficiently tested to warrant an opinion as to its actual quality.

 

July 9, 1875, Oregon City Enterprise

FIRED UP.—Fire was started in the iron furnace at Oswego last Friday, and it was expected to commence smelting last Tuesday. The works have been placed in good order and it is expected that there will be a long uninterrupted run this time.

OSWEGO.—The steamer E. N. Cooke towed up the Gussie Telfair to Oswego last Monday, the latter having 180 tons of lime on board for the Iron works. This is the largest vessel that has ever been up the river so far, and Capt. Miller informs us that she came up without the least trouble.

 

Oregonian July 14, 1875 p2

 

July 15, 1875, Oregonian p3

THE MOONLIGHT EXCURSION.—At 7 P. M. today the large and commodious steamer Willamette Chief will leave the wharf, foot of Washington street, on an excursion under the auspices of the Taylor street M. E. Sunday School. It is proposed to go to Oregon City, stopping a half hour at Oswego to view the process of smelting iron at the works there and then after a short visit to Oregon City, viewing the falls, etc., to return to this city by moonlight at a seasonable hour, say 10 o’clock. A band of music has been engaged, and everything done necessary to insure a pleasant evening. The picnics and excursions given by this school on many other occasions have always been successful and well managed. The pupils of the school are taken free, adults paying 50 cents.

 

WillametteChief(sternwheeler)
The sternwheeler Willamette Chief

July 16, 1875, Oregonian p3

THE EXCURSION.—The trip to Oregon city and back by the Taylor street M. E. Sunday School, last night, was a very enjoyable affair. About four hundred persons embarked on the steamer Willamette chief at 7 o’clock, with a band of music, and steamed up the river in fine [illegible]. The boat stopped at Oswego for half an hour, and the crowd gratified their curiosity by a visit to the iron works at that place, which were in full blast. The party arrived at Oregon City at 9 o’clock and remained until 10, and returned home at half-past 11, all feeling first rate. The trip was enlivened with abundance of vocal and instrumental music, and a few speeches were made. Abundance of ice-cream, coffee, etc., were furnished to all who desired it, and no one seemed to be tired or hungry, not even the youngest. As a Sunday school excursion it was very successful.

 

July 16, 1875, Willamette Farmer (Salem)

The Oregonian informs us that the furnace at Oswego, for smelting iron ore, was fired up last Friday, and that steady work was to commence on Tuesday last.

 

Aug. 30, 1875, Oregonian p3

OSWEGO SMELTING WORKS.—We learn that the smelting furnace at Oswego will be shut down soon, to lay a new hearth, which is now on the way. The present hearth, of St. Louis fire brick, has not done the service expected of it and is already burned out, although only laid some two months since. The new hearth is to be of stone, and is expected to last eighteen months. The new road to the Prosser beds is finished, and the facilities for taking ore to the furnace greatly improved and cheapened thereby. At the ore beds the work of opening shafts is being pushed vigorously, and the crude metal is being taken from six openings in the face of the cliff. The vast sheds at the furnace are filled with coal, and the size of the ore dump is evidence of the intention of the company to carry on the production of pig iron in earnest.

 

Sept. 9, 1875, Oregonian p4

FINANCE AND COMMERCE.  The Oswego iron works have shipped 509 tons of pig iron to San Francisco this season.

 

Oct. 4, 1875, Oregonian p3

BRIEF NOTES–Honeyman & Co. have shipped a quantity of materials for the Oswego Iron Works.

 

Dec. 10, 1875, Willamette Farmer (Salem)

STONE FOR OSWEGO—On the steamship Ajax there arrived the last installment of some fifty three pieces—about thirty tons—of stone, some of which weigh as much as 3,500 pounds. It is from a quarry in Scioto county, Ohio, and is of peculiar quality. It was sent for by the Oregon Iron Company, and is intended for the hearth and walls in the smelting furnace at Oswego. This quality of stone is said to be about the only kind that will stand the extreme heat of the smelting furnace and is generally used in the iron regions of the East. The works at Oswego have lately been thoroughly over-hauled and repaired, and are expected to be in running order in about three weeks.—Evening Journal.

 

Dec. 21, 1875, Oregonian p3

BRIEF NOTES–The Oswego iron works are now in full blast again, we learn.

 

Jan. 25, 1876, Oregonian p3

FOR SALE.–HOTEL FOR SALE, IN OSWEGO, SEVEN MILES ABOVE PORTLAND.

The iron works employ a large number of men and this Hotel is doing a good business. If you are on the work economical, industrious, honest, accommodating and “know how to keep a hotel,” this is a good opening. For particulars see DeLASHMUTT & OATMAN.

 

Jan. 28, 1876, The New Northwest (Portland)

The iron works at Oswego turn out about 1,000 tons of pig iron a year, nearly all of which is exported to San Francisco.

 

Jan. 28, 1876, Oregon City Enterprise

Correspondence From Oswego Iron Works.

Oswego holds a position, in this your county, and as a town, is of some importance. It contains about 100 inhabitants, most of whom are employed in and about the Iron Works. It has a fine view overlooking the Willamette and is connected both with Portland and Oregon City by steamers plying backwards and forwards.

Near it are situated the iron ore beds, both of which are of value. One is owned by Mr. Patton, the other by the Company.

The town is composed of dwelling houses, the M. E. Church, a couple of stores, a blacksmith shop, the usual saloon, and the buildings belonging to the Iron Works.

These consist of immense sheds containing coal and iron ore, the blast room and the “furnace.”

The “furnace” is a two story building built on the side of a hill. The iron ore is brought into a long low building connected with the furnace. Here it is pulverized by means of a rock crusher run by steam. It is then placed in a cart arranged on an iron railway and transported to the furnace. This furnace is of a hollow cylinder shape about a hundred feet in length and three feet in diameter at the top but gradually widening toward the bottom, where there is an opening through which the iron ore can run out. Into this the ore is poured. Upon it is thrown a layer of coal, then one of limestone and so on until the furnace is nearly full. These layers are renewed at stated periods. The limestone is used to keep the iron and coal separated. The heat is kept at about 10000.

Every twelve hours the mouth of the furnace which is stopped up with clay is opened, the slag removed, and the melted ore allowed to run into the moulds prepared for it in the sand with which the bottom of the lower floor is covered.

These moulds are formed by having wooden frames of the size required pressed on the moist sand and then removed. Their shape is then left in the sand. The ore then runs into them and fills them out. It is a beautiful sight to see the molten iron rush from the mouth of the furnace in red hot streams—here taking the form of a glowing lake, there a fiery river so dazzling that one can scarcely gaze upon it. The bronzed faces of the workmen are lit up by its light and glittering sparks and tiny particles of iron fly through the air.

The hotter the fire the more refined the iron. About four different grades are made, these depending both on the heat and the kind of ore used. From ten to twelve tons are made per day.

During the fall a new furnace was made of fire-proof brick. Its power is much greater than that of the old one. New air pipes have also been added. A short distance from the furnace is a building called the blast house, which contains the machinery used in pressing the air into these pipes. It is very powerful. The air ascends into the furnace, is there heated and descends down below where it is used for the purpose of increasing the heat.

Messrs. Seely [sic] and Crichton are the principal employees—the one being the overseer, the other the book keeper of the Iron Works, both of whom are said to be in every way competent.

The Iron Works give employment to from twenty to twenty-five men in its various departments. It is now in good working operation. There is no doubt but that this place will become at some near future one of the great sources of wealth to Clackamas county.                            “Hodie.”

 

Feb. 9, 1876, Sacramento Daily Union

OREGON ITEMS–The Oswego Iron Works employ about twenty-five men, which is about one-fourth the total number of people in the town.

 

Feb. 10, 1876, Oregonian p2

THE OSWEGO IRON FURNACE

The iron furnace at Oswego is now in full blast and turning out about ten tons per day of excellent iron. A visit to the works gives one such an idea of their importance as can not be acquired from reading or hearing of them. The ore used is mostly of the species known as bog ore, and produces about ten per cent of metal. The iron made at this furnace is superior to most brands of imported pig, and is adapted to use in the manufacture of machinery, where strength is a principal object. It is fine grained, soft and tough, some of it appearing almost like wrought iron.

The expense of producing this iron is nearly twice as great as in producing pig iron at the East, notwithstanding the fact that the ore is abundant and tolerably convenient. The fuel is charcoal, which costs much more than the stone coal used at the East. There charcoal is used only in making the finest qualities of pig. The use of charcoal is an advantage to the iron, but a considerable item of expense. Limestone, which costs at the East about one dollar per ton, and of which a large amount is necessary, is bought at Oswego from San Juan Island, costing at the works six dollars. Labor costs almost twice as much here as there. Thus the expense is increased in every item. Then, to get the pig metal to market, freights here are much higher than there. So it will be seen the enterprise here is carried on under difficulties of a very serious nature. The only security the producers have against being driven out of the business by cheaper products from the East is the expense of transportation to this coast. The great distance the Eastern article has to be carried just about compensates for the difference in cost of production, so the Oregon Manufacturer competes upon about an equal footing with those abroad.

A large order is now filling at Oswego for the Central Pacific Railway Company, who will use it for car wheels. For this purpose the best chilled iron in necessary. The iron from this furnace is also used extensively by foundry men in San Francisco, as well as in Portland, there being no iron manufactured in California.

The importance of this manufacture will not be fully developed till the demand for iron in railway construction becomes urgent and constant. Then rolling mills will be added to the works, and its value to the community will be more than doubled.

 

March 31, 1876, Oregon City Enterprise

CLOSED DOWN.—The Iron works at Oswego closed down on Monday for repairs. Some of the pipes had burned out and needed replacing with new ones. It will require a few days to make the necessary repairs when the furnace will start again.

 

April 6, 1876, Oregonian p3

BRIEF NOTES.  The E. N. Cooke brought down yesterday a full cargo—about 150 tons. Forty tons of pig iron from Oswego came down, which will be shipped to San Francisco on the Portland.

 

May 19, 1876, Oregon City Enterprise

The Oswego Iron Works, which have been shut down for some time, undergoing repairs, started up again last Monday.

 

June 1876, The West Shore   [Excerpt]

RESOURCES OF CLACKAMAS COUNTY, OREGON

Iron ore is found on both banks of the Willamette river between Oregon City and Portland, also in various other parts of the country in practically unlimited quantity. The Oswego Iron Company [Correction: the Oregon Iron Co.] has a furnace eight miles above Portland on the river bank, and directly, and indirectly, gives employment to two hundred and fifty men, as miners, coal-burners, wood-choppers, teamsters, and operatives about the stack. The iron is all made with charcoal and is of a quality that commands five dollars per ton more than any other American iron, and ranks above “Scotch Pig” in the San Francisco market. This is the only smelting furnace on the Pacific coast, and was begun as an experiment; but it has already demonstrated the fact that this county will soon develop an industry that will give remunerative employment to a large population. The product of the furnace is about eight tons per day, and is run continuously throughout the year, except when necessarily laid up for repairs. Limestone and coal are also found along the foothills of the Cascade mountains. The limestone is of a fair quality, but not equal to that found in other parts of our State: while the coal is believed to be equal to the best, but has not, as yet, been sufficiently tested to warrant an opinion as to its actual quality.

 

August 11, 1876, Oregon City Enterprise

The Iron Works at Oswego will close down in about six weeks, and it is rumored that a company from Ohio are negotiating for their purchase.

 

August 19, 1876, Eugene City Guard

Mr. L. B. Seeley, superintendent of the iron works at Oswego, has gone East.

 

Nov. 14, 1876, Oregonian p2

MARRIED:  In West Andover, Ashtabula county, Ohio, at the residence of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. D. R. Carpenter by the Rev. H. W. Palmer, Mr. L. B. Seeley, formerly superintendent of the Oswego Iron Works, and Miss Mille C. Carpenter.  There was present a large circle of relatives and friends, and the presents of Silverware were both numerous and costly. Long may they live to enjoy life, happiness and prosperity.

 

Nov. 22, 1876, Daily Alta California (San Francisco)

Manufacture of Iron–From the Portland Bulletin

A company having been formed for the purpose of manufacturing iron from the ore found at Oswego, work has commenced already, and soon the old furnace will be in full blast. Five teams are engaged in hauling ore from the old Prosser mine to the furnace, and about one hundred men are employed in chopping wood for charcoal, and others are burning it, so that everything in the vicinity has an air of bustling activity to which it has long since been a stranger. The experiments made with this furnace when it was first erected in 1867 proved that iron of the best quality, equal in fact to any produced in either quarter of the world, could be produced at much less cost than the same material could be imported from Europe or the Atlantic Sates. Steel made here also had an excellent reputation in all parts of the coast, and was eagerly sought. If judgment is employed, the immense beds of ore in the vicinity of Oswego should be worked to advantage, as the metal yields about 56 per cent, of pure iron equal to the beat Russian or Swedish product. This enterprise, if once successfully inaugurated, would do much to attract attention to the great mineral resources of Oregon, and so bring capital here to be invested.

 

May 17, 1877, Oregon City Enterprise

Sheriff’s Sale

By virtue of a Decree of Foreclosure and writ of execution issued out of the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for the County of Clackamas, made and entered of record on the 30th day of September A.D. 1875, and to me directed as Sheriff, under the seal of said Court, on this the 1st day of May A. D. 1877, in favor of the Oregon Iron Company, plaintiff, and against The Tualatin River Navigation and Manufacturing Company, R. B. Curry, Henry Gans, E. A. Hawley and C. H. Dodd, defendants, for the sum of Twenty two Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty-nine 62 100 Dollars, in United States gold coin, with interest at the rate of one per cent per month from the 30th day of September A. D. 1875, and costs of suit and the further sum of Five Hundred Dollars in gold coin; then the judgment of E. A. Hawley and C. H. Dodd and against said Tualatin River Navigation and Manufacturing Company for Three Hundred and Thirty-five 39-100 Dollars, with interest from the 4th day of March A. D. 1874, and the further sum of Seventeen 20-100 dollars costs, the judgment of R. B. Curry and against The Tualatin River Navigation and Manufacturing Company for the sum of Seventy-six 37-100 dollars in gold coin, with interest at twelve per cent. A year from the 15th day of October A. D. 1851; the judgment of Henry Gans and against the Tualatin River Navigation and Manufacturing Company for the sum of Forty-seven 69-100 dollars in gold coin, with interest thereon from the 30th day of October A. D. 1874

Now therefore I have on this the 11th day of May A. D. 1877, levied upon the following described real estate to-wit: First, the corporate franchise of said Tualatin River Navigation and Manufacturing Company to be a corporation; Second, the canal of said corporation, The Tualatin River Navigation and Manufacturing Company, between the Tualatin River and Sucker Lake, in said county of Clackamas, with its appurtenances; Third, all and singular the following described lots, tracts or parcels of land, tenements, and hereditaments with their appurtenances, all situated in the county of Clackamas, in the State of Oregon, more particularly known and described as follows, namely: First, commencing at the south-east corner of the original land claim of A. A. Durham and adjoining the original land claim of F. A. Collard, and running thence northerly parallel with the Willamette River sixty rods intersecting the public road between the land then or formerly of J. C. Trullinger and the land formerly belonging to the Episcopal Church and subsequently to J. C. Trullinger; thence west eighty rods to a point intersecting the county road; thence north sixty feet to a point intersecting land formerly belonging to Thomas F. Scott and land formerly belonging to the Episcopal Church; thence west two hundred and twenty rods; then south sixty rods to the south-west corner of the said original land claim of A. A. Durham; thence east three hundred and twenty rods to the place of beginning, including one hundred and twenty acres of land more or less, excepting therefrom four acres of land more or less and the water rights and other privileges and easements granted to Henry D. Green by Albert A. Durham and wife by deed dated the 26th day of January, 1864, which deed is recorded on pages 563 and 564 of book “D” of the records of deeds for the county of Clackamas; excepting therefrom also that other certain lot, tract or parcel of land and easements, rights and privileges which on or about the 6th day of July, 1866, were conveyed to the plaintiff under the manner and style of the Oregon Iron Company by J. C. Trullinger and wife, Thomas G. Todd, Daniel Reiman and Daniel Trullinger, which deed is duly recorded in the records of deeds for the county of Clackamas in book “E” on page 498; excepting also therefrom a lot of ground which on the 9th day of March, 1869, John C. Trullinger and wife conveyed to Joseph Neckert, which deed is recorded in the records of deeds for the county of Clackamas in book “G” page 14; excepting also therefrom lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 in block “B” as laid out and designated upon the maps and plats of the town of Oswego: second, ad the easements, rights and privileges reserved to the grantors or excepted out of the said conveyance to the said Henry D. Green in the deed to him made by A. A. Durham and wife of the 26th day of January, 1861, hereinbefore described, and also the easements, rights and privileges reserved to the grantors in the deed 6th day of July, 1866, to the Oregon Iron Company, under the name and style of the Oregon Iron Company, which deed is recorded in book, “E” of said records on page 408, and also a written deed by the said John C. Trullinger and wife of lots 8 and 9 in block “B” in the town of Oswego to L. H. Calkins; third, commencing at a meander post on the left bank of the Willamette river in line between sections 2 and 11, township 2 south, range 1 east; thence west 24.59 chains along section line to a stake thence s 10º w 31 chains to stake in fence line; thence s 80º e 18.75 chains to a stake at low water mark of the Willamette River; thence meandering the said river a 11º e 8.15 chains; n 20º 30 e 12.90 chains; n 2?º w ?.99 chains and n 29º e 12.20 chains to the place of beginning, containing sixty-seven acres more or less, being the same land conveyed to Thomas F. Scott by A. A. Durham and wife October 25th, 1855: Fourth, beginning at a stake at the south-west corner of the tract of land just above described and running thence s 10º w 2.50 chains; thence easterly so as to run one rod south of the school house to the Willamette River at low water mark; thence north with the meanders of the river ?.75 chains to the south-east corner of the said last above described tract; thence with the south line of said tract west to the place of beginning; containing four acres more or less, reserving and excepting out of said tract and parcels of land hereinbefore described lots or parcels namely: Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 13, and 14 in block one: lots 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15 and 16 in block three; lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, 13 and 14 in block four; all of block five; lots A and B in block twenty-nine, and lots 3 and 4 in block eight; all in the town plat of Oswego and so numbered and designated on the maps thereof; also reserving and excepting all of the above described lands which on or prior to the 29th day of July, 1873 became or were the lands of the Oregon Iron Company: also excepting and reserving all of the block one: lots 1, 2, 3 and 4 in block two; lots 5, 6, 7 and 8 in block three, and lots 6 and 7 in block four; all in said town of Oswego, and on Monday, the 18th day of June A. D. 1877 at 11 o’clock A. M. of said day at the Court House door in Oregon City, Clackamas county, Oregon, I will sell all the above described real property of the Tualatin River Navigation and Manufacturing Company at public auction to the highest bidder for cash to me in hand paid in U. S. gold coin, first to satisfy the costs, accruing cost and second the judgments in the order in which they are named in the above notice, to-wit; First the judgment in favor of the Oregon Iron Company, and interest; second, the judgment in favor of Hawley, Dodd & Co., costs and interest, third, the judgment of R. B. Curry, costs and interest; fourth, the judgment in favor of Henry Gans, interest and costs; fifth, attorneys fees as per the decree appears.  T. APPERSON, Sheriff of Clackamas county, Oregon.  Oregon City, May 9th, 1877.

 

May 17, 1877, Oregon City Enterprise

Sheriff’s Sale.

BY VIRTUE OF A DECREE OF FORE-closure and writ of execution issued out of the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for the county of Clackamas, made and entered of record on the 23d day of April, A. D. 1877, and to me directed as Sheriff under the seal of said Court on the 30th day of April, 1877, in favor of the Oregon Iron Company, plaintiff, and against Joseph Kellogg, Esther Kellogg, W. F Highfield and John Catlin, assignees of Joseph Kellogg, bankrupt, defendants, for the sum of Fifteen Hundred and Fifty Dollars U. S. gold coin, with lawful interest thereon from the 23d day of April, 1877, also costs and disbursements in this suit.

Now therefore I have on this the 4th day of May, A. D. 1877, levied upon the following described real estate, to-wit: “Described as follows, namely, situate in the county of Clackamas and State of Oregon, more particularly known and described as follows, namely, the south half of the south-west quarter of section 17, and the north half of the north-west quarter of section 20, in township 2 south of range 1 east of the Willamette Meridian;” and on Monday, June 18th, 1877, At 1 o’clock P. M. of said day, at the Court House door in Oregon City, Clackamas county, Oregon, I will sell all the right, title and interest of the above named defendants to the above described lands to satisfy the above named judgments, interest, costs and accruing costs, at public auction to the highest bidder for United States gold coin to me in hand paid.   T. APPERSON, Sheriff of Clackamas County, Oregon.  Oregon City, May 5, 1877

 

August 21, 1877, Oregonian

LETTER FROM SAN FRANCISCO

At the 12th Industrial Fair iron pigs, and castings from the Oswego Iron Company [i.e., the Oregon Iron Co.] were displayed. Oregonian reports on Oct. 25 and 26, 1878 say the Oswego Iron Company displayed samples of ore and different grades of pig iron at the Mechanics’ Fair.

 

Sept. 6, 1877, Oregon City Enterprise

The personal effects of the Oregon Iron Company will be sold at Oswego on Saturday by the Sheriff.

 

Sept. 20, 1877, Oregon City Enterprise p3

Circuit Court Docket–EQUITY

The Oregon Iron Co. vs Jos Kellogg, et al; confirmation of sale.

The Oregon Iron Co. vs Tualatin River Navigation and M’f’g. Co.; confirmation of sale.

 

Sept. 20, 1877, Oregon City Enterprise

IRON WORKS SOLD.—The sale of the Oregon Iron works at Oswego took place on the 10th inst., and was bid in by Messrs Seeley, Brown & Creighton, for $39,000. It seems a little queer that such a valuable piece of property, with rich stockholders to back it up, should be sold at such a low figure; but we suppose it is all right. The outlay of the old company was more than four times the amount paid for it at the sheriff’s sale. The new proprietors are all well acquainted with iron manufacture, and we understand that they will commence work again next spring.

 

Brown, Scott, Seeley, Hatch, Crichton
The Ohio iron and steamboat men: Samuel H. Brown, Jr., Captain Uriah B. Scott, Lamar B. Seeley, H. A. Hatch, and Ernest W. Crichton.  Photo courtesy of Whitcomb Crichton.

Sept. 25, 1877, The Daily Astorian  [Also printed in the Willamette Farmer on Sept. 21, 1877.]

IRON WORKS SOLD.—A sale has taken place of the iron works at Oswego including the smelting furnace and all the lands and mines of the company in Clackamas county. The extreme low prices for iron have made it impossible to manufacture upon the basis of operations pursued by the old company. The purchasers are Messrs. Seeley, Brown & Creighton, three young men who are intimately acquainted with iron manufacture, having been brought up in the business. Mr. Seeley was formerly superintendent of the works. Mr. Creighton has been used to iron manufacture all his life and Mr. Brown is one of the firm of U. B. Scott & Co., owners of the City of Salem and Ohio, as is also Mr. Seeley. These gentlemen will probably recommence manufacture of iron next spring, and from personal acquaintance with the trade we may expect economy, good management and reduction of expenses that will surely enable them to succeed. The purchase price of the property was less than fifty thousand dollars, while the cost and outlay of the old company was probably four times that. The excellent quality of Oregon iron will insure ready sale, and in the hands of men of practical experience and thorough energy we may look to the development of an extensive and profitable manufacture of this most important staple.

 

Sept. 26, 1877, The Daily Astorian

Oregon and its Resources

The following we clip from the San Francisco Journal of Commerce as a part of Oregon’s products as displayed at the Mechanics’ Fair:

OREGON MINERALS — Pigs, dressed iron and casting, from stock from Prosser mine, Oswego, Clackamas county, Oregon, (Oswego Iron Co.), contributed by General Allen and Mr. Bluxome. Ore from vein two feet thick, all pronounced by iron experts of excellent quality.

 

Jan. 17, 1878, Oregon City Enterprise

We are informed that the Oswego Iron Works will commence operations again about the 1st of May. A force of men are now engaged in cutting wood and burning coal.

 

Dekum&Reed Block
The Dekum & Reed Block.  From the West Shore.

Feb. 1878, The West Shore p96

A SUBSTANTIAL BLOCK

On the first page of this paper will be found a correct engraving of one of the most substantial blocks of buildings in the city of Portland. It is located on North Front street, between A and B, and part of it runs through to North First street. The entire structure is built in the most substantial manner, of brick and iron, and exclusive of the grounds, is valued at $110,000. It is the joint property of Messrs. Frank Dekum and S. G. Reed, and to both these gentlemen the city is indebted for many of its handsome buildings. Anyone not acquainted with the firms doing business in this block, would be somewhat astonished to find what an immense stock they carry.

 

Feb. 13, 1878, Oregonian p3

CAPITAL NOTES.

The Pacific Threshing Machine Co. have got to work in earnest. The company have also a stove and hollow ware foundry in connection using Oregon iron as far as possible.

 

Feb. 21, 1878, Oregon City Enterprise

The Oswego Iron Works will start up about the first of May. The company has contracted for 8,000 cords of wood.

 

Feb. 23, 1878, Washington Standard (Olympia) p4

The Iron Works at Oswego, Oregon, after a prolonged suspension, will soon resume operations. The superior quality of the iron produced by this company commands the best prices, and it is hoped that the enterprise will afford sufficiently remunerative to relieve it from the embarrassments which have hitherto obstructed its prosperity.

 

March 7, 1878, The Vancouver Independent p1

OREGON — The Oswego Iron Works will start up about the first of May. The company has contracted for 8,000 cords of wood.

 

March 21, 1878, Oregon City Enterprise

There is not a vacant house at Oswego. The Iron works have a large number of men engaged in burning charcoal, and good times are reported.

 

March 28, 1878, Oregon City Enterprise

CORALLINE BEDS.—One of the proprietors of the Oswego Iron Works, on the Willamette went up the valley, says the Tacoma Herald, the other day to examine the beds of coralline we have frequently mentioned, to investigate the advisability of taking lime from there for the use of the iron works. Chemists of Portland have examined the coralline, and pronounce it the purest form of lime known. It would seem to be particularly adapted to the use form which this firm would want it—much better than the stone lime, for limestone is a carbonate of lime, whereas the coralline, being entirely free from carbon (which is entirely useless, if not an encumbrance in the use of lime as a flux), must be more valuable, and a given amount must be more effective than the stone lime. Mr. Brown, of the Oswego Iron Works, who went up the valley with Judge Lewis last Saturday to visit the beds near Alderton, was well satisfied as to the extent of the deposit, and if the lime is suitable for the use of the Iron Works, the supply needed by the Oswego Company will be taken from these coralline beds. Ten tons will be sent to the Iron Works for trial sometime next month.

 

April 4, 1878, Oregon City Enterprise

Transfers of Real Estate. — H. Brown and E. W. Crichton to the Oswego Iron Co., all real estate formerly belonging to the Oregon Iron works; consideration $35,938.47.

 

April 11, 1878, Oregon City Enterprise

Brevities — The Iron company at Oswego have had about 3,000 cords of wood cut, and expect to run it up to about 7,000 cords this season.

ACCIDENT.—Trueman Ackerson, an employe of the Oswego Iron Co., met with a serious accident last Friday. He was cutting wood, and by some mishap he planted the ax in his left ankle joint instead of the wood, cutting about half way through his leg. Surgical aid was called, and the wound fixed up, but it will be some time before the injured limb can be used again.

 

June 13, 1878, Oregon City Enterprise

Brevities — The Oswego iron works commence operations this week.

 

Iron Co. letterhead
Oswego Iron Company letterhead

 

July 4, 1878, Oregon City Enterprise

The iron works at Oswego have been resuscitated under the ownership of Messrs. Seely, Brown, Crichton & Co., who have gone to work without a flourish of trumpets, and are now engaged in turning out an average of eight tons of hot blast iron per day. The new proprietors are men who are familiar with the requirements in iron production, and will undoubtedly make money in the calling. We understand it is their intention soon to turn their furnace to the manufacture of cold blast iron—a quality which commands over twice the figures of the hot blast production. The cold blast iron, from its greater tenacity and fibrous strength, is used for car-wheel castings, of which the Central Pacific Railroad company use three hundred tons per month at their works at Sacramento. Clackamas county has reasons to feel pride in this the only work of its kind, so far as we are advised, on the coast. We pioneer the road for an industry that has made Pennsylvania a power in the land, and in time the same investments will give Oregon an impetus that will make her quite as celebrated.

 

August 12, 1878, Oregonian p3

BRIEF NOTES.  Oswego iron is being used at Seattle for car wheels.

 

August 14, 1878, Oregonian p2

TEAMS WANTED BY THE OSWEGO IRON CO.  TEAMS WANTED TO HAUL IRON ORE FROM Mines to the Furnace.  Apply at their office Oswego, Oregon, E. W. Crichton, Superintendent

 

Sept. 25, 1878, The Daily Intelligencer (Seattle) p3

LARGE CASTINGS.—During the past few days White & Tenny have been moulding some large castings, at their foundry on Front street, for the railroad company. We mentioned the cylinders for the engine, A. A. Denny. We are informed they are the first castings of that nature ever made in the Territory. They have cast the chill in which the six large drive wheels will be moulded as soon as the iron arrives. They will be made of Oswego pig-iron, which is expected to arrive daily from the works in Oregon.

 

Oct. 26, 1878, Oregonian, p1

THE MECHANICS’ FAIR.  The Oswego Iron company show all the different grades of pig iron turned out at their furnaces.

 

Nov. 20, 1878, Oregon Sentinel (Jacksonville)

Oregon Iron

The Portland “Telegram” says: The samples of iron from the Oswego mines, on exhibition at the Mechanics’ Fair, have been inspected by several visitors, whose experience in handling iron and iron ores in the Eastern States has been quite extensive. They all agree that so far as they are able to judge of its merits, without actual tests, its quality is fully equal to the best iron found in the United States. When it is remembered that thousands of tons of iron and iron implements, tools and machinery are annually brought to this State from the East and from Europe, the large sums of money that might be saved to Oregon by the complete development of her resources in this direction, and the establishment of manufacturies to work up the wealth now hidden and useless in the hills around Oswego, can be perceived. The valuable population that would be drawn hither by the demand for skilled labor is also no small factor in summing up the benefits that would accrue from the full inauguration of the enterprise to develop the iron wealth of Oregon.

 

Dec. 6, 1878, Lewiston Teller (Lewiston, North Idaho) p2

HEAVY CONTRACT.—The Willamette Iron Works have entered into contract with Messrs Ball & Black who are building the canal and locks at the Cascades, to furnish an immense quantity of iron pipe to be used in the work. Over 100 tons of iron will be consumed in completing the contract, and what is better, it will be from Oswego Iron Works.—P. Standard.

 

Jan. 23, 1879, Oregonian p3

BRIEF NOTES.  The Oswego Iron Works is running full time and turning out great quantities of pig iron.

 

April 25, 1879, Corvallis Gazette p3

The Oswego iron works commenced operations again last week after a suspension of several months. The works have been thoroughly repaired.

 

July 3, 1879, Ironton Register (Ironton, Ohio)

Mr. Lewis Campbell has returned from Portland, Oregon, where he has been engaged in “blowing” the furnaces owned by Lamar Seeley, Erni Creighton [sic] and others. Mr. Campbell’s account of affairs out in the left-hand corner of our glorious republic is not calculated to make one dissatisfied with his surroundings.

 

August 21, 1879, Oregonian p4

THE OREGON EXHIBIT

The San Francisco Chronicle of the 13th inst. Gives the following flattering notice of the Oregon exhibit at the Mechanics’ Fair held in that city:  Some samples of pig iron from the Oswego iron works, in Clackamas county, have been declared by experts to be superior to the imported article.

 

Sept. 3, 1879, Oregonian

OSWEGO IRON WORKS.—The largest turnout of iron at the Oswego furnace was week before last, and was a fraction over 81 tons, for seven days. The largest yield in one day was [illegible] tons. The average is about 11 tons. A [illegible] is made [illegible] out every ten hours.

 

Nov. 7, 1879, Willamette Farmer (Salem) p3

Shipment of Iron.  The George W. Elder, which left this port this morning, took on board one hundred and fifty tons of Oswego pig iron for San Francisco manufacturers. We understand that the company at Oswego have more demand for their iron than they are able to supply. This is very gratifying, and it is to be hoped that this enterprise will flourish and extend in our midst.

 

Nov. 12, 1879, The Daily Intelligencer (Seattle) p3

CLOSED UP.—The Oswego (Oregon) iron works are at present closed on account of a lack of water. The lake, three miles long, which supplied the water ran dry. To obviate the trouble, 150 men are now at work on a ditch leading from the Tualatin to what was Oswego Lake. This ditch is seven feet wide at the top and six feet deep, and will furnish an abundant supply of water at all times. The works have recently been increased in capacity from ten to fourteen tons a day, and contracts have been let for $10,000 worth of additional machinery to Smith Bros & Watson.

 

Nov. 13, 1879, The New Northwest (Portland)

Local News.  The iron works at Oswego have been shut down on account of scarcity of water.

 

Dec. 12, 1879, Daily Los Angeles Herald

Oregon News.  PORTLAND, Dec. 11th.—The fires of the Oswego Iron Works, which have been banked for the past twenty-six days to enable needed improvements to be made, have been started up again, and the establishment is in full blast.

 

Dec. 25, 1879, Oregonian p3

INDUSTRIAL.—Mr. D. C. Cable, of Detroit, Mich. arrived recently, and now gives his attention as a founder of 28 years’ experience to the Oregon Iron Company at Oswego, which is now turning out a first class article in pig iron.