The Cranberry Furnace Company


The Cranberry Furnace Company stationery is understated with no embellishments.  The name of the business is prominently displayed in large letters across the top, with additional information in a much smaller font.  Terms of quotations are listed on the left-hand side stating "Quotations subject to change without notice.  All Agreements are Contingent Upon Strikes, Accidents, Delays of Carriers, and Other Delays Unavoidable or Beyond our Control."

The Cranberry Furnace Company made steel from "the finest needle grade ore found in the world," according to J. O. Lewis in Johnson City: The Way We Were.

A Johnson City Press article dated March 20,2019, entitled, "The Brief But Impactful History of Mining in Johnson City," stated: "John T. Wilder, a leading industrialist, hired contractor Harry Hargraves to build a blast furnace in 1890.  The Carnegie Furnace would be completed by Virginia, Iron and Coke Company in 1898.  The furnace was eventually sold and renamed the Cranberry Furnace in 1902, taking in ore from the Cranberry Mines in North Carolina.  The foundry had a 75-foot high blast furnace, three stoves, a 160-foot-high chimney, 12 boilers, 500 steam engines, a stock house and and a cast house. The steam engines ran on water from a man-made pond fed by Brush Creek. The furnace was built to produce 125 tons of iron per day." 

According to L. Thomas Roberts in the book, Johnson City, "The furnace was constructed just east of the Carnegie Addition, two miles from downtown Johnson City.  Hundreds of Italian immigrants and black workers were hired to build the furnace."

Records of Cranberry Furnace Company may be found in the Archives of Appalachia's Carolina, Clinchfield, and Ohio Railway Records and the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Transportation Company Records.  Photographs may be found in the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad Historical Society Collection.

The postcards below are from the Mildred S. Kozsuch Papers and the Ridley Wills East Tennessee Postcard Collection.

The Cranberry Furnace Company