Virtual Lawrence County
Alpha Portland Cement Co.
89 County Road 181, Ironton, OH
Alpha Portland Cement Company is a former cement manufacturing plant in Ironton, Ohio and was demolished in 2012.
The Ironton Cement Company was founded in 1901 by Samuel Brady Steece. It featured large open pits where limestone was quarried. In 1910, a 100-foot thick vein of limestone 575 feet under the plant was discovered while drilling for natural gas and an underground mine was begun.
Ironton Cement was purchased by the Alpha Portland Cement Company in 1920.
Two concrete stockhouses were constructed by the Macdonald Engineering Company in May 1924. Each stockhouse had eight bins 33-feet wide by 80-feet high with a storage capacity of 170,000 barrels of cement.
After being quarried and processed, the cement from the finishing mill was ferried by screw conveyors and bucket elevators to the stockhouse for storage. When it was ready to ship to customers, the cement was drawn from the bottom of the silos into conveyors, where it was elevated via buckets to varying screens above the packing bins. The filters contained perforated housings to catch spray material or heavy lumps of cement. Each packing bin held 350 barrels of fine cement. The material was then carried via belt conveyors to hand trucks for busing into railroad cars.
Owing to a lack of profitability and an outdated facility that could not meet environmental regulations, Alpha Portland closed the Ironton facility on August 20, 1970, leaving 175 out of work. The company maintained the facility until circa 1980 when the water pumps were disabled. In 2010, work began to demolish the long-abandoned cement plant.