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The city of Ironton was founded in 1849 and was built in the heart of Hanging Rock Region, once the largest center of pig iron in the world. As a terminal on the Iron Railroad and as a shipping port on the Ohio River, Ironton grew rapidly, becoming the county seat of Lawrence County, Ohio, in 1851.

The Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad could trace its history back to the southern point of the railroad at Ironton. The Iron Railway was incorporated in 1849 to haul mineral products from the fields of Lawrence County (Ohio) to the Ohio River city of Ironton. The line opened in late 1851 and is one of the earliest rail lines to operate in the state. It made a northern rail contact later with a predecessor of the Toledo, Cincinnati & St. Louis, a "super system" consisting of many smaller lines. Barge service to the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway yard across the river in Russell, Kentucky provided another outlet of interchange for the Iron Railway, as did its connection with the Norfolk & Western at Ironton.

The Detroit Southern Railway acquired the Iron Railway in 1902. The great success of the iron industry and its allied manufacturing created men of great wealth. The affluence of those early days is reflected in many of Irontonís homes and churches, attractive reminders of a gracious Victorian life-style.

Our city is famous for having the longest running (continuous) Memorial Day Parade in the country. 138 years in a row!

Click Here to view pictures of the 138th running of the Memorial Day Parade in Ironton.

For additional information try these links:

History of Lawrence County

Lawrence County Museum

Old Iron Furnaces of Lawrence County


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