October 3, 2007


For more information contact
Mark Bouman, President CHP, 708 870 6241
Mike Wagenbach, PSHS, 773 660 2341


The Calumet Heritage Partnership (CHP) is pleased to announce that it has facilitated the movement of two key artifacts that illustrate the Calumet area’s steelmaking might to a new home at the Pullman State Historic Site at 111th and Cottage Grove in Chicago, Illinois. The two pieces are the small bell from the former Acme Blast Furnace in Chicago and an ingot mould pattern from the Arcelor Mittal Steel Indiana Harbor West Plant in East Chicago.

Shaped like a fifteen-ton chorister’s bell, the small blast furnace bell closed off the top of a blast furnace. In concert with the large blast furnace bell that was seated below it on the blast furnace, the bell allowed materials to be evenly distributed into the furnace without losing heat. The bell was donated to CHP by Salrecon, the contractor demolishing the Acme Furnace, and was loaded for transport by Beemsterboer, owners of the Furnace site. The move took place in April, 2007.

The ingot mould held molten steel while it formed and cooled into an ingot. Since it needed to be able to withstand extreme temperatures and rough handling, the rugged mould was made of cast iron and weighed at least as much as the steel poured into it. The ingot would then be removed from a mould, sent to a soaking pit for temperature equalization, and then sent to a mill to be rolled into blooms, billets, or slabs. The base of this mould pattern is 80 x 104 inches and tapers to an opening of 30 x 52 inches. It is 104 inches tall.

A collaborative volunteer effort helped the mould to make its way from East Chicago to Pullman on July 19. A number of people were involved in finding, donating, arranging, transporting, and storing the mould, including Dr. Ray Boothe, Calumet Industrial Heritage Project volunteer, Robin Malone of Arcelor Mittal Steel, Kevin Heggi of the Northwest Indiana Railroad Preservation Society, Robert Meyer of Arcelor Mittal Steel, Dr, Joe’s towing of Chesterton, Indiana, and Mike Wagenbach, Site Superintendent of the Pullman State Historic Site.
Saving the artifacts is part of the Calumet Heritage Partnership’s effort to identify, preserve and reclaim the natural, historical and recreational heritage of the Calumet region of Illinois and Indiana. CHP has entered into a joint Calumet Industrial Heritage Project whereby the Pullman State Historic Site (PSHS) will store the items for future display and interpretation, along with thousands of documents, photographs, and artifacts rescued from the abandoned Acme Coke Plant.

The artifacts may be seen at Pullman as part of a tour conducted during CHP’s annual Calumet Heritage conference on October 13. For more information on the conference, see www.calumetheritage.org. For tour information at other times, contact PSHS at [email protected] or 773-660-2341.