Chesterton Tribune

Fond memories of Gary Works

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Voice of the People

I grew rather fond of Gary Works when I worked there from 1955-1983. My dad worked there from 1921 to 1959.

When I started full-time there in 1955, my dad took me around the mill in his car, after I got off work one day. Dad drove his car in the mill for his job as Foundation Inspector for the Engineering Department. Then, they were just building the 46 inch Slab Mill and attached to it the 160 inch plate mill and also, I think, a 110 inch plate mill. On the high water tower were the words “World’s Largest Plate Mill.”

These mills were part of the “Central Mills” at Gary Works. Also a part of Central Mills were some Billet Mills and the Rail Mill, which they said was the World’s largest Rail Mill. To the west were the Bar Mills, the Axle Mill and the Wheel Mill. To the west of this was the Sheet and Tin mill. To the east of the Central Mills were the Open Hearths, where they made steel from iron and steel scrap. The iron came from the Blast Furnaces. East of here was the mile-long “slip”, where boats unload iron ore from Minnesota. Here is a plant where they change low-grade ore into high grade ore.

South of the “Slip” was the turning basin, where the ore boats turned around to go back into Lake Michigan. Here are the coke ovens, where they make coke from coal. The Blast Furnaces need coke to change iron ore into iron. To the south of the Coke Plant is the old Armor Plate Plant which made armor plate during World War II. Also, the Tube Works is here.

Ed Gustafson

 

Posed 6/5/2007