At one time, the Joliet Iron and Steel Works was the second-largest steel mill in the country, producing 2,000 tons of iron each day and employing 2,000 workers. It was operational from 1869-1932 and then lay dormant and forgotten for many decades until the property was acquired by the Forest Preserve District of Will County in 1991. In 1998, the Joliet Iron Works Historic Site was opened to the public as a place to explore and learn an important aspect of Joliet’s past.

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The preserve also provides access to the I&M Canal Trail where you can go hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Have you ever visited the ruins at the Joliet Iron Works Historic Site? If so, please let us know about your experience in the comments! For more information and to plan your visit, go to the webpage on the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s site or the Joliet Iron Works Historic Site Facebook page.

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