03 April 2011

Spotted: Vierling, McDowell & Co Iron Works

This foundry stamp is on a building in Kewanee, IL. Can you guess what the building is used for today?
Vierling, McDowell & Co Iron Works
If you guessed Mexican restaurant you guessed right. The currently red and green stamp reads "Vierling, McDowell & Co Iron Works, Chicago." According to The Book of Chicagoans published in 1905, Vierling, McDowell & Co was organized in 1882 and incorporated under Illinois law in 1884 by Robert Vierling with help from his brother Louis. Robert was president of Vierling, McDowell & Co and Louis was secretary and treasurer. Both of the Vierlings had experience with iron works from a very young age; they started working at N.S. Bouton & Co in Chicago as boys, until they started their own company.">1 The plant was two acres large and had a foundry, erecting shop, and pattern shop, which together employed 220 people and fabricated over 22,000 tons of iron annually.2
To see an original advertisement for Vierling, McDowell & Co click here.

In 1885, Robert helped organize Paxton & Vierling Iron Works in Omaha, Nebraska. He was vice-president and Louis was secretary and treasurer. That company is still around today, as Paxton and Vierling Steel 3, which is a division of Owen Industries. 4 As of 2010, the Vierling family was still very involved with the Paxton & Vierling company. 5

Going back to Vierling, McDowell & Co, when Robert died in 1906, 6 Louis became president of Vierling, McDowell & Co and their sister, Catherine Josephine, or C.J., was vice-president.7 The company changed its name to the Vierling Steel Works in either 1917 or 1918. 8   Eventually control of the company would be transfered over to Duane T. Molthop, who was probably the brother of Charlotte Bowen Molthop (Louis' wife).  According to the Chicago Blue Book, he lived at their address in 1913. 9  The company still existed in 1968, as seen in an ad from The Milwaukee Road Magazine (page 37). By then Vierling Steel Works had bought Burkhardt Steel of Denver, Co. In the next twenty years the two companies would both be closed. 10

04 March 2011

Spotted: Purington Pavers as pavement

purington pavers pavement
These Purington Pavers are actually being used as paving for a road in Rushville, IL. In fact, the brick streets are possibly my favorite thing about the Rushville downtown.

16 February 2011

The Snowpacalypse

I'll be the first person to admit that I hate winter.  I hate the cold, I hate the bleak skies, I hate how long it lasts, I hate the grey snow and I hate how it's hard for me to deal with. 
during the blizzard
Winter is just not my thing.  Unfortunately I've never been able to get away from it.  One of my big life goals is simply to spend winter once in a warm place where they don't have SAD.  Can you imagine?  I know I can't.  As it turns out, winter has also impeded my desire to take pictures and to get out of the car when I travel.  So it's put kind of a damper on AbandonedHG, but with a current warm spell (60s anyone?) that's almost erased this month's massive amounts of snow, I'm starting to feel a flicker of hope.
snow day!
For today, I'm going to leave you with some images of the snow in my area, a day when the weather made it necessary for everybody to abandon the outdoors and stay inside (except for those of us who can't get enough of the feeling of wonderment when people leave behind what they've made.)  Just know this, we'll be back very, very soon- before winter's even over!
the abandoned highway
big trucks moving snow
i like to move it, move it
good luck with that
the roads were only fit for skiers
the courthouse
snow dunes

21 December 2010

Nauvoo, IL- So much to see and do Preview

When people hear the name Nauvoo, the first thing that usually comes to mind is this:
Nauvoo Temple
and Nauvoo's Mormon history is the reason it's still famous, remembered, and visited by many today.  We'll get to that, but for today we're going to stray away from the actual Nauvoo Historic District and we're going to look at the other historic district of Nauvoo- the business district at the top of the hill (not so far away from the LDS Temple).
panorama of Nauvoo

12 December 2010

Spotted: Smith-Hill F&M Co, Quincy ILL

Smith-Hill F&M Co
This Smith-Hill makers mark is found on the plinth of a building in Colchester, IL. The Smith-Hill Factory and Manufacturing Co also made elevators in Quincy, IL, according to the Official Catalogue of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. It would later become the Smith-Hill Elevator Co, and then part of the Otis Elevator Company as part of "The Elevator Trust." (ref)

broken technology and the things dreams are made of

curtains in the wind
We finally finished the 20 days of ghost signs, albeit a little late. We were totally on track to keep a regular posting schedule and then my computer cord broke. It had been having problems for quite awhile, sometimes it would charge- sometimes not, and then it needed to be wiggled. Eventually it all just gave out and soon the battery was completely dead. Apparently my laptop is old because they don't sell a replacement cord at walmart anymore (walmart is the only real electronic store we have). Finally we found an old one that worked, and so here we are again, with a fully charged computer and many things to write about!

30 November 2010

Ghost Signs: J.F. Reynolds-Day 20

This last ghost sign (for now, of course) is hidden between tall buildings in Macomb, IL.
J.F. Reynolds Home Furnisher Ghost Signs