“O” is for Old Iron Distric
“O” is for Old Iron District. In the vicinity of the Broad River near the northern border of South Carolina, there are significant deposits of magnetite and specular oxide iron ore, as well as some lesser belts of hematite. Early colonists took advantage of these resources and began to produce iron before the Revolutionary War. By 1860 there were eight furnaces in operation in the state. Production declined after the Civil War due to competition from anthracite furnaces operating in other parts of the nation produced iron at lower cost that the charcoal iron produced in South Carolina. By the end of the nineteenth century, the industry had disappeared from the state. Cherokee County—centered in the middle of the once-prosperous iron industry in South Carolina is sometimes referred to as the Old Iron District.