Irondale is a community on Port Townsend Bay that was platted in May of 1909 and at one time had a population of fifteen hundred people.
Points of Interest
Hattie Williams House
When the open hearth furnaces and rolling mills were added to the pig iron manufacture, a prosperous business community was established along Moore Street. The Hattie Williams house is one of the last buildings remaining from this prosperous period in Irondale’s history. All of the brick and wood frame structures built along Main Street that once exuded an air of prosperity were destroyed in a 1914 fire.
The Irondale Jail is significant because it is the only local government structure to have been built outside of the county seat–Port Townsend. Port Townsend had always commanded the majority of the population, but the growth of the iron and steel works at Irondale attributed to the community’s rapid growth. Serious consideration was given to incorporating Irondale as Jefferson County’s second city. At the time, the county courthouse and jail were at Port Townsend and the road to that city was only partially completed. Primary transportation between the two places was by water. The Irondale Jail is the physical manifestation of an attempt to bring law and order to a growing and boisterous community.
Irondale Historic District
The Irondale Historic District is significant because of the association and importance the iron and steel works at Irondale had in the development of the Pacific Coast iron and steel industry. Throughout the years of operation under various ownerships, the Irondale plant was a pivotal company in the industry. The second furnace on the Pacific Coast to produce pig iron was constructed at Irondale; the first being at Oswego, Oregon, in the late 1860s. When steel production was added in 1910, the company was the first complete plant west of Denver to produce both iron and steel. The works employed between 100 and 300 people and was responsible for the significant growth of the Irondale community. There is virtually no evidence left of the once prosperous community. A fire in 1914 claimed most of Irondale’s commercial section. Although there is nothing left of the iron and steel works except ruins and foundations, they are complete enough to be able to interpret the construction and operating methods in the early stage of development of this significant industry.