Chronicles of Boone County

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rabbit_hash_ironworks_building

Rabbit Hash Iron Works Building (BE-1197)

bcplfusion.bcpl.org_repository_e_18_mar_1982018.jpg

Excerpted from the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for the Rabbit Hash Historic District

Located across from the Rabbit Hash General Store is the former Rabbit Hash Ironworks Building: one of the town's three historic commercial buildings. It is a long, rectangular frame structure of simple design. A raised falsefront conceals the front-gabled roof, which is covered in raised-seam metal. The narrow, symmetrical facade contains a door and two 2/2 wood display windows. The walls are sheathed in clapboards that are painted gray. Part of the original limestone foundation was replaced c. 1918 with a concrete foundation, which was dug by hand. When the building was used as an automobile dealership, bays were inserted to house cars.

This Rabbit Hash landmark has a remarkably diverse history. At various times it housed a general store, a plow factory, a creamery, a Model A Ford dealer, and the Ryle Brothers feed and seed store. It was also used as a pool hall and dance hall, which was closed abruptly during Prohibition. During its tenure as a store, hogs were slaughtered in the basement; iron rails and meat hooks still remain in place, bolted to the ceiling. The building is perhaps best known, however, as the home of a small manufacturing operation that produced affordable woodburning stoves during the 1980s; pieces of scrap iron can still be found in the walls. It presently houses an antique store and a residence.

Just west of the ironworks building is a former blacksmith shop. During the 1937 flood part of this shop floated up the hill to the back of the ironworks building. The owners then attached it in place and it remains there to this day. A second addition, of post-and-beam construction with a metal shed roof, was added at the rear of the building in 1980 to house the stove manufacturing operation. This addition is unobtrusive in design and is not readily visible from the road.

Archival photographs attest that the appearance of the ironworks building has not changed since the addition of the floating outbuilding. Paint chips reveal a history of gray color for the horizontal poplar siding.

rabbit_hash_ironworks_building.txt · Last modified: 2013/05/22 15:32 by kmullikin