History of Dora furnace, soon to be turned into scrap by a
Roanoke concern, is closely connected with the growth of Pulaski.
John S. DRAPER, local attorney, today recalled the following incidents
connected with old Dora-
Dora furnace was built by the Reed Island Iron Co., about the
year 1890. It had a capacity of approximately 150 tons per day.
It was named for the plant construction supervisor's daughter,
Miss Dora MILLS.
In the late 1880s, Pulaski's ironworkers were paid $1.00 and $2.00
a day, depending on their skill.
Major D. P. GRAHAM and John W. ROBINSON, of Wythe county, were
also largely interested in this furnace. Shortly after its erection,
George I. CARTER obtained control of the furnace and ran it for
many years. He lived in Pulaski for several years while connected
with the enterprise.
The late Horace H. HARDAWAY was also connected with the management
of the furnace. The property was acquired after being run a few
years under the ownership of Reed Island Company by the Virginia
Iron, Coal and Coke Company.
This furnace drew its ore supplies from the limonite ores of New
river, and Cripple Creek, and mixed these ores with brown hematite
mountain ore obtained from Clark's Summit, Peak knob and other
The furnace continued in operation from the time it was built
to about 10 years ago, when the price of pig iron, and the large
production of cheap iron in Georgia and the vicinity of Cleveland,
O., from lake ore rendered the further manufacture of Virginia
The Virginia Iron, Coal and Coke Co., in connection with the furnace,
owned considerable land around Dora furnace, and large farms at
Barren Springs, Foster Falls and Cripple Creek and Speedwell,
in Wythe county. For a long time Dora furnace was one of the principal
industries of Pulaski, and a large commissary was run in connection
with it, and a great many houses in East Pulaski were built to
house its employees. It was the second large blast furnace built
in Southwest Virginia, the first one being the Pulaski Iron Co.,
which was built at Pulaski in 1887.
Virginia Iron, Coal and Coke Co., built and ran in connection
with Dora furnace a furnace at Radford, one at Max Meadows, one
at Bristol and one at Big Stone Gap, and the Crozier furnaces
Mr. CARTER sold out his holdings in the company and the principal
stock in Virginia Iron, Coal and Coke Co., was held for many years
by Henry G. McHARG and the late John B. NEWTON, of Roanoke, acted
as president of the company.
The present president is D. D. HULL, Jr., of Roanoke.
M. A. SHUFF, of Pulaski, has been connected with the company ever
since its inception as purchasing agent and farm manager.
Source:1939 Centennial Edition of the SW Times