The Port Hadlock, Irondale area is steeped in a strong industrial, maritime heritage. Samuel Hadlock, the founder of Port Hadlock, moved west in the 1850s, landing in the area that would become Port Hadlock in1870. He built a large lumber mill on a spit of and off the Bay, with deep enough waters for tall ships to moor and load nearby. The lumber from the thriving mill was shipped mainly to San Francisco.
The next industry to the area was what would became the first iron producing blast furnace in what is now Washington State. When this iron mill was completed the new boom town near Port Hadlock, Irondale, was born in 1881. The initial hope was for Irondale to become a major iron and steel producer for the western United States. About 1200 tons of pig iron was produced during its first year of operation, with ore obtained from the nearby Chimacum valley, This dream was not to be, the iron mill was closed during the depression and bank panic of 1889, and, with the lumber mill fire the Hadlock, and, Irondale residents were looking for new hope. Continue reading