Alpha Portland Cement Company is a former cement manufacturing plant in Ironton, Ohio and was demolished circa 2010.
The Ironton Portland Cement Company was founded in the late 1800s and later acquired by the Ironton Cement Company. 8 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. 8
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Owing to a lack of profitability and an outdated facility that could not meet environmental regulations, Alpha Portland closed the Ironton facility on August 20, 1970, leaving 175 out of work.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.
The map of the Alpha Portland Cement Company is bordered by Hog Run Road (CR 181) to the east and Lorain Street to the south. The map is oriented with the top being north. An abandoned railroad served the property but was taken out of service in the early-1980’s.
- Structure #1 is immediately above the packhouse and is a group of three interconnecting silos. Structure #2 is another group of three interconnecting silos. Strucure #3 is the last of the three interconnecting silos.
- Structure #4 is the Packhouse, and the adjacent Structure #5 is the railcar loader. Structure #8 is immediately jadacent to the railcar loader and acts as a railcar shed.
- Structure #9 is the safety memorial that is similar to the Mesquite Cement Company in Superior, Ohio. Structure #10 are ruins of buildings that once existed, and the grayed boxes indicate destroyed buildings.
- Structure #6 is a circular building that may have been a pump house. It is located on the banks of Hog Run. Area #7 is a deserted property that once housed several buildings; today it houses a small green shed that scraps metal for a small business located on the east side of Hog Run Road.
- Lindquist, A. J. “Alpha Portland Cement Co. Completes Two Stockhouses.” Concrete May 1924.
- Bauer, David C. L. “Abandoned site draws increased wrath of county.” Ironton Tribune.
- “It was the year of 1985.” N.p.: Alpha Portland Cement Company, 1970.
- “Alpha Portland Cement is Closing.” Ironton Tribune 20 Aug. 1970.
- “Alpha’s Closing County’s Loss.” Ironton Tribune 25 Aug. 1970.
- Ferguson, Leigh. “Alpha Closing Threat to Economy.” Ironton Tribune 24 Aug. 1969.
- Caldwell, Michael. “Old cement factory spooky link to Ironton’s past.” Ironton Tribune 5 Jan. 2004.
- “Limestone Mine in 1910.” Story of the Glorious Past, One Hundred Years. N.p.: n.p., 1949. 27.