Side A: Believed to have been constructed in 1866, this facility is one of the largest of its kind in the nation. The complex of 200 ovens was erected by the Leetonia Iron and Coal Company, later known as the Cherry Valley Iron Works, to supply fuel for pig-iron producing blast furnaces that stood south of this site. The man-made “beehive” ovens were used to transform hard coal into coke. The “coking” process burnt impurities out of the coal. The end product — coke — was the best fuel source for the furnaces that were used to manufacture iron and steel. The facility discontinued operations in the early 1930s at the height of the Great Depression.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Village of Leetonia, and The Ohio Historical Society