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Chatham County Historical Association

Preserving and sharing the history of Chatham County North Carolina

Endor Iron Furnace

31 May 2024 8:26 PM | Anonymous

The Endor Iron Furnace is legendary in Chatham County--even though it "moved" to Lee County when that county was formed in 1907.

The Endor Iron Company was chartered in April, 1862. Two months later investors purchased the Deep River plantation of Alexander McIver and constructed a smelting furnace on it. The furnace is constructed of soft local reddish-gray stones and measures approximately 32 feet square at the base and rises to a height of about 35 feet.

It is likely that the furnace supplied the Confederate arsenal at Fayetteville in addition to small nearby arms factories. The ironworks changed hands twice before a Maryland manufacturer purchased Endor and, with a local partner, invested heavily in the operation. By 1872, their Cape Fear Iron and Steel Company was one of the South’s largest and best equipped iron furnaces.

Only two years later, it was determined that local mineral deposits were smaller than had first been thought and by 1876, the company had ceased operation. Though most of the machinery was dismantled and removed, the furnace continued operating until 1896 on a smaller scale, serving only local manufacturers.

Back in 1990, Robert Weisner wrote a detailed article about the furnace for CCHA's journal. He tracked down records and tried to sort out the furnace's story. He entitled his article "Wading through Error and Confusion: An Update of a Study of the Endor Iron Furnace." If you care to know more about the site, you can read it on our website (along with other, shorter articles in that issue):

#ChathamNCHistory #ChathamHistory #ChathamNC #EndorIronFurnace #DeepRiver #mining

Chatham County Historical Association  ~   ~  PO Box 93  ~  Pittsboro NC 27312  ~  919-542-6222  ~  

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