OABONNY Logo
PAGE 34 All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2004-2011 OABONNY / Click thumbnails for full-size pics, BACK to return to this page.

Taken on 05/25/09
 Remains of the iron furnace in the Town of Diana, near old Lewisburg (on the military reservation of Fort Drum, the town was absorbed by the military's expansion many years ago) on the south side of the Indian River.
Submit a Comment
    
Also see "Flooded remains of old mine" on page 6.    For more info about the lost villages go to page five on these pages.

Comments from visitors:
From douglas.paul95 (via Flickr.com): "I was stationed at Ft. Drum for almost 3 years, and never knew this existed. Cool."
Jack S. writes "Several years ago the Lewis County Historical Society took a trip to Lewisburg. The slag from the furnace was like glass beautiful colors. Several of us picked up pieces of the slag and took them home. My wife has some in her flower garden."
On 4/4/13 Lake Effect writes "I grew up in Harrisville and I've never heard of this until now and I'm 47."

Taken on 05/25/09

A Webmaster Favorite
The front of the furnace.
Submit a Comment
  


Old photo that looks like it was taken not too long after it was last fired, but some stonework already gone, unknown date.  This photo was colorized, it seems.  The photo says "Pub by Mrs. F. Pierce".  Photo submitted by Jack S.

Taken on 05/25/09

Closer shot.
Submit a Comment
  


Old photo showing part of the sawmill and wooden dam at Lewisburg, unknown date.  The photo says "Pub by Mrs. F.J. Pierce".  Photo submitted by Jack S.

Taken on 05/25/09

Notice the trees and bushes growing on top of the structure.

Submit a Comment  

Taken on 05/25/09

Close-up of the bottom section.
Submit a Comment
  

Taken on 05/25/09

Close-up of the interior near the bottom.
Submit a Comment
  


Comments from visitors:
Scannerman writes "We're lucky up here; there was a similar furnace--supposedly used to make cannonballs during the Civil War--near Bucksnort, Tennessee, right by the road so easy to get to, but filled with rattlesnakes, so..."

Taken on 05/25/09
Close-up of the interior looking upward.
Submit a Comment
  

Taken on 05/25/09

The side, many stones have fallen and dislodged.
Submit a Comment
  

Click above for an illustration of how blast furnaces worked.
This structure was first built in 1831 and rebuilt later a few times.  It was originally built by four Frenchmen - Lewis Fennel and the brothers Nicholas, Constant, and Charles Jomaine.  Later James Sterling acquired it.  By 1850 Sterling operated a substantial ironworks business in the area and ran other iron furnaces and works in the area (for awhile Lewisburg was named Sterlingbush).  At one time this iron furnace produced 1,500 tons of iron per year.
But it soon became outdated when iron furnaces in other parts of the country began using more efficient coal, which wasn't as readily available here.  By 1881 a new owner, the Jefferson County Iron Company, had phased out the furnace in favor of mining operations.  And in 1941 Lewisburg was absorbed by the expansion of Fort Drum.
The Lewisburg iron furnace was a "cold blast" furnace, in which cartloads of charcoal, limestone, and iron ore are poured into the furnace at the top (using ramps), the carts pulled by draft animals.  A water wheel ran an air pump which in turn pumped air into a pipe.  The pipe led into the bottom of the furnace, and a nozzle on the end of the pipe forced cool air into the molten mass.  The limestone reacted as a chemical flux (like rosen does in modern solder) to carry away impurities.  The molten result was iron, which ran out vents in the bottom of the furnace into channels in the floor where it could be cooled and cut into bars or "pigs".  Originally these furnaces were made to process Limonite, Magnetite, and red ocher but local ores eventually ran out.
Much of the preceding was found in a PDF document called "In The North Country; The Archaeology and History of Twelve Thousand Years at Fort Drum" by Georgess McHargue.
Submit a Comment

Date taken unknown, photo taken by Earl M.
An older photo, Mason M. in the foreground.

Submit a Comment

Taken by Grant J. on 07/17/09

CR-3, Hammond
Added here with his permission from his Flickr album.
Submit a Comment

Taken by Grant J. on 07/17/09
Closer view
Added here with his permission from his Flickr album.
Submit a Comment

Taken on 07/08/09
The remains of the old Oswego Canal System, now located in Onondaga Lake Park, Syracuse. Oswego Canal Mud Lock.
For information on the Onondaga Lake Park Trail System click here.
Wikipedia entry on the Oswego Canal, a little more about it here.>

Submit a Comment
  

Comments from visitors:
Grant J. writes: "How strange that I check the OABONNY site to show my photos to my mother, to see these photos next to mine. I am actually writing my master's thesis on the agency that was responsible for the construction and restoration of this commemorative piece of infrastructure: the Onondaga County Emergency Work Bureau. EWBs were formed at the county level as part of then-Governor FDR's Temporary Emergency Relief Administration, his last major initiative as governor, and an important program in the history of work relief in New York State, and the country. In fact, virtually every feature of Onondaga Lake Park and Parkway was constructed by the men of the OCEWB. The Parkway was actually laid over the filled in Oswego Canal. The forgotten landscape features of the Gale Salt Well, Jesuit Well and Danforth Salt Lake, as well as the "wedding bridge", Salt Museum, Mud Lock, and original "Fort Ste. Marie de Gannetaha" (later torn down and rebuilt as the current Ste. Marie Among the Iroquois) were built using TERA funds and EWB labor. I could go on and on, but will spare readers the boredom. It's an interesting story that the interpretive signage on-site does not accurately tell, and that you cannot readily find out without some heavy-duty digging."

Taken on 07/08/09

Another view of the locks.
Submit a Comment
  

Taken by Grant J. on 07/17/09

Dodd's House, Hammond NY; built 1820, first stone house in Hammond (according to the sign along the road); currently empty, R-3, Hammond
Added here with his permission from his Flickr album.
Submit a Comment

Taken by Grant J. on 07/17/09

Old Farm, Hammond, NY
Added here with his permission from his Flickr album.
Submit a Comment

Taken on 09/09/09

One of the original Victorian-style buildings that were part of the 1890's "St. Lawrence State Hospital" mental hospital complex in Ogdensburg, built on the "cottage plan" - groups of two-story buildings.  Later some were linked together to create larger buildings.  After the facility was down-sized the entire complex has expanded with a mixture of regular industry with new commercial buildings nearby, a prison, and more new structures for substance abuse counseling, etc.  But many of these old buildings still sit, seemingly still partially-maintained but unused and with their lower windows boarded up, surrounded by well-mown and groomed lawns with the neighboring modern buildings in full use.
Submit a Comment

Some of the above information was found on this website, which has more of the history of the mental hospital.  Many old photos of the complex can be found at this site.

Comments from visitors:
Don A. writes: "The current (Volume 56, Number 14 September 24, 2009) issue of the New York Review of Books contains an essay by Oliver Sacks entitled "The Lost Virtues of the Asylum." which is illustrated with this photo by Ian Ference of a hallway in an abandoned building at the Ogdensburg State Hospital: http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/03/03/gal_lost_11.jpg"
From canaltowntraveler (via Flickr.com): "Great series of photos Marc, I checked out your whole photostram. I'm always interested in these little bits of NY history."  

Taken on 09/09/09

Some more of the buildings, unused, the entire complex is built on former farmland at a place right on the edge of the city of Ogdensburg called Point Airy.  The Ogdensburg Bridge (built many years after the facility opened of course) is right beside Point Airy.  In 1890 when this hospital opened it was originally going to be called the "Ogdensburg State Asylum for the Insane" but the name was changed to the "St. Lawrence State Hospital".  In the 1970's the name was changed to the "St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center".  A nursing school was also run here, as there were very few in the United States at the time.  This was a co-ed nursing school, the first state institution co-ed nursing school at the time.
Submit a Comment

Taken on 09/09/09
 Another of the similar buildings.  Nearby is a cemetery for the psychiatric patients who died here over the many years that it was open; the graves are marked with only numbers, family members could look up their deceased and find the corresponding number of the grave.  The hospital worked on the principle of protecting patients from the pressure and stress of the outside world (drug therapy hadn't been invented yet), as well as using recreation and employment on the grounds as therapy.  A large farm on the grounds, manned by patients, produced the food needed by the facility (as well as their tobacco), but it was forced to close in the 60's with changes in New York State patient labor laws, the farm land is now used by the Ogdensburg Port Authority.

Submit a Comment

Comments from visitors:
Susan P. writes: "I think having the mental patients work on the farm and raise their own food is a good idea. Seeing things grow is supposed to be therapeutic, isn't it? I know it is for me. Surely one gains a sense of satisfaction and worth from growing one's own food. Being outside in the fresh air is healthy. Exercise is healthy. I am assuming that it wasn't a chain gang and whip sort of situation, and also that the mental competence of the individual patient to do this was taken into account. Also, I think there are a number of patients for whom these long term mental institutions were really a good thing. The ones for whom the alternative winds up being living on the street, in and out of short term psych hospitalizations. I had my psych nursing rotation at Willard before it closed, a similar facility to this one. They gave us rooms in the old student dorms because it was so far from our college and even farther from where many of us lived, and we could go over to the ward and see our patients even outside of classroom hours. There were people there with chronic delusional systems not touched by psychiatric medications. They obviously had a relationship with the long term staff there, who understood them and even were fond of them. They had a place in the world there. They were safe, warm, clean, fed, and had friends there. Their liberty was restricted, but they did get to go outside and get taken on carefully selected outings. When they got old, there was a nursing home type facility among people they had long known. Sure, the first goal should be returning people to normality and reintegrating them into society. But for those for whom that just doesn't work, I think these places were a good thing and it is a shame they were all closed."
Angela C. writes "I work at this facility. I wish I had an opportunity to work in the original buildings. I was hired after they closed. There is a rich history here, with these building and the people who occupied them. I am fortunate to work here."

Taken on 09/09/09

Another of the buildings, note the massive ventilators on the top.  Before it was planned the state architect, Isaac Perry, consulted with well-known psychiatric experts to plan the complex, which was built with three different groups of buildings to correspond with three levels of psychiatric disorder.  When the hospital opened on December 9th, 1890 (date corrected by Renee Cicerchi - thank you!) one of the doctors who were consulted before it was built, Dr. Peter Wise, became the superintendant of the hospital.  He also had been on the state commission which had decided on a location for a new psychiatric hospital to cover he northern part of the state.
Submit a Comment
 
Go Back One PageGo Forward One Page

Are there any old abandoned structures that you'd like to see here, then send me directions!  Or take a couple shots and send them to me.  Is there any additional info you can provide on any of these buildings?  Also send me any questions, comments, or corrections by clicking here.

 

Site by:
HMI Enterprises


Site first online on July 28, 2004 Copyright 2004-2011 OABONNY. All rights reserved.
All photos, text, and other content on this site are protected by the copyright laws of the United States. No portion of this web site may be copied, transferred or otherwise used without expressed written permission.