Completed in 1959 and closed in 2009, it was sold by the Ironton City Schools Board of Education to the owner of Southern Ohio Salvage and Contracting, Jack Hager, for $125,000. On top of the $125k the school board received for the property they saved an additional $30,000 they would have had to contribute in demolition costs. Over the summer of ‘09 Whitwell was selected as one of seven schools in Ohio by the EPA as a testing site for potential health concerns from toxic air pollutants. The EPA tests mainly focused on two harmful chemicals, benzene and benzo(a)pyrene. The preliminary figures showed the level of key hazardous pollutants “well below levels of short term concern” the EPA stated. An estimated $50,000 of damage occurred in the spring of 2011 when persons unknown broke into the building and stole copper piping and metal. Most of the destruction was from water damage, “They cut into a main line into the bathroom and water ran into the bathroom for who knows how long, maybe three weeks,” Hager said. In 2012 The Ironton Zoning Appeals Board refused to approve developer Jack Hager’s plan to turn the former school into a 20-unit apartment complex for seniors and veterans. They cited that it was made perfectly clear what the building could be used for when it was put up for bid – no apartments. The above photos were taken toward the end of last summer and it seemed like very little had been done to the building in terms of renovation.
Skyshale033 Subject: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Does anyone remember this kid’s show? It was called Candle Cove and I must have been 6 or 7. I never found reference to it anywhere so I think it was on a local station around 1971 or 1972. I lived in Ironton at the time. I don’t remember which station, but I do remember it was on at a weird time, like 4:00 PM. mike_painter65 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
it seems really familiar to me…..i grew up outside of ashland and was 9 yrs old in 72. candle cove…was it about pirates? i remember a pirate marionete at the mouth of a cave talking to a little girl Skyshale033 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
YES! Okay I’m not crazy! I remember Pirate Percy. I was always kind of scared of him. He looked like he was built from parts of other dolls, real low-budget. His head was an old porcelain baby doll, looked like an antique that didn’t belong on the body. I don’t remember what station this was! I don’t think it was WTSF though. Jaren_2005 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Sorry to ressurect this old thread but I know exactly what show you mean, Skyshale. I think Candle Cove ran for only a couple months in ‘71, not '72. I was 12 and I watched it a few times with my brother. It was channel 58, whatever station that was. My mom would let me switch to it after the news. Let me see what I remember. It took place in Candle cove, and it was about a little girl who imagined herself to be friends with pirates. The pirate ship was called the Laughingstock, and Pirate Percy wasn’t a very good pirate because he got scared too easily. And there was calliope music constantly playing. Don’t remember the girl’s name. Janice or Jade or something. Think it was Janice. Skyshale033 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Thank you Jaren!!! Memories flooded back when you mentioned the Laughingstock and channel 58. I remember the bow of the ship was a wooden smiling face, with the lower jaw submerged. It looked like it was swallowing the sea and it had that awful Ed Wynn voice and laugh. I especially remember how jarring it was when they switched from the wooden/plastic model, to the foam puppet version of the head that talked. mike_painter65 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
ha ha i remember now too. ;) do you remember this part skyshale: “you have…to go…INSIDE.” Skyshale033 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Ugh mike, I got a chill reading that. Yes I remember. That’s what the ship always told Percy when there was a spooky place he had to go in, like a cave or a dark room where the treasure was. And the camera would push in on Laughingstock’s face with each pause. YOU HAVE… TO GO… INSIDE. With his two eyes askew and that flopping foam jaw and the fishing line that opened and closed it. Ugh. It just looked so cheap and awful. You guys remember the villain? He had a face that was just a handlebar mustache above really tall, narrow teeth. kevin_hart Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
i honestly, honestly thought the villain was pirate percy. i was about 5 when this show was on. nightmare fuel. Jaren_2005 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
That wasn’t the villain, the puppet with the mustache. That was the villain’s sidekick, Horace Horrible. He had a monocle too, but it was on top of the mustache. I used to think that meant he had only one eye. But yeah, the villain was another marionette. The Skin-Taker. I can’t believe what they let us watch back then. kevin_hart Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
jesus h. christ, the skin taker. what kind of a kids show were we watching? i seriously could not look at the screen when the skin taker showed up. he just descended out of nowhere on his strings, just a dirty skeleton wearing that brown top hat and cape. and his glass eyes that were too big for his skull. christ almighty. Skyshale033 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Wasn’t his top hat and cloak all sewn up crazily? Was that supposed to be children’s skin?? mike_painter65 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
yeah i think so. rememer his mouth didn’t open and close, his jaw just slid back and foth. i remember the little girl said “why does your mouth move like that” and the skin-taker didn’t look at the girl but at the camera and said “TO GRIND YOUR SKIN” Skyshale033 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
I’m so relieved that other people remember this terrible show! I used to have this awful memory, a bad dream I had where the opening jingle ended, the show faded in from black, and all the characters were there, but the camera was just cutting to each of their faces, and they were just screaming, and the puppets and marionettes were flailing spastically, and just all screaming, screaming. The girl was just moaning and crying like she had been through hours of this. I woke up many times from that nightmare. I used to wet the bed when I had it. kevin_hart Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
i don’t think that was a dream. i remember that. i remember that was an episode. Skyshale033 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
No no no, not possible. There was no plot or anything, I mean literally just standing in place crying and screaming for the whole show. kevin_hart Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
maybe i’m manufacturing the memory because you said that, but i swear to god i remember seeing what you described. they just screamed. Jaren_2005 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Oh God. Yes. The little girl, Janice, I remember seeing her shake. And the Skin-Taker screaming through his gnashing teeth, his jaw careening so wildly I thought it would come off its wire hinges. I turned it off and it was the last time I watched. I ran to tell my brother and we didn’t have the courage to turn it back on.
mike_painter65 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
i visited my mom today at the nursing home. i asked her about when i was littel in the early 70s, when i was 8 or 9 and if she remebered a kid’s show, candle cove. she said she was suprised i could remember that and i asked why, and she said “because i used to think it was so strange that you said 'i’m gona go watch candle cove now mom’ and then you would tune the tv to static and juts watch dead air for 30 minutes. you had a big imagination with your little pirate show.”
Ironton Iron Inc. was an iron casting company that manufactured iron ductile castings primarily for the transportation industry. Originally built in 1908 as the Ironton Malleable Iron Company. The plant covered an area of 25 acres and an annual production of 70,000 tons of castings were made. In 1916 it was acquired by the Dayton Malleable Iron Company and then by the Amcast Industrial Corporation after that. Over the years Amcast faced several EPA violations for the toxic waste disposal site that it shared in Ironton with Allied Chemical known as the Goldcamp Disposal Area. Amcast used the disposal site along with Allied from 1945 until Allied closed the site in 1977. In 1983 the EPA added Goldcamp to the National Priorities List for Superfund cleanups. Many years later Allied sued Amcast to recover half the cost of an estimated $20 million-plus cleanup of the former Goldcamp Disposal Area, which according to court documents, Amcast never paid it’s share. Lengthy court battles followed for years. The Goldcamp disposal site was not the only environmental litigation Amcast has faced.
In April of 1984 Amcast decided to close the Ironton plant putting over 600 employees out of work. Two months later the former employees met with a consultant about the possibility of reopening the plant with it being operated under an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). As part of that plan the former workers would have to buy at least $2,000 worth of stock in the new company, now to be known as Ironton Iron Inc. The plant operated for about four years after that but it simply could not turn a profit. In 1988 the shareholders agreed to let the company be acquired by another iron company, Intermet. Part of that agreement was that the employee-stockholders would get their initial investment of $2,000 back once the plant turned a profit, but it never did. In December of 1999 Intermet announced plans to close the Ironton plant the following year due to consistent financial losses. In addition, the Ironton plant was one of Intermet’s oldest facilities and the cost of modernization would have further impacted weak operating results. “The decision to close the Ironton Iron foundry was an extremely difficult one for us,” said James F. Mason, group vice president for Intermet. “Intermet has been working for years to make this plant efficient. We invested over $100 million in the plant and lost every penny of it, and more. We feel that all avenues were explored, but unfortunately, the loss of business dictated the eventual outcome of our efforts."
In the later part of 2000 Intermet leveled most of the Ironton site. As common with most old plant sites, issues with environmental contamination has prevented the site from being redeveloped. In 2007 the property was set for a year long $2.5 million cleanup project funded by the Ohio Department of Development that would make the property viable for the city of Ironton. Intermet was to turn over ownership of the property to the city once the property was cleaned up. A couple of companies expressed interest in the property once cleanup was to be completed but now eight years later the site still sits empty with only a few reminders of it’s previous occupants.
Constructed in early 1942, the Buckeye
Ordnance Works Plant was built to make hydrogen ammonia for military
explosives. As a result the city of South Point, Ohio and nearby
Ironton were placed in the Industrial Defense Zone. Operations began
in 1943 and after the end of World War II, Allied Chemical
Corporation bought the plant in 1946 converting it to producing
chemical fertilizer. The plant continued as a major employer for the
region until a drastic cutback in 1968 reduced the 1,300+ employee
complex to just a 200 person operation producing various chemicals
such as ammonia, nitrogen fertilizer, and formaldehyde until 1978.
In 1979 the abandoned plant was sold to
Ashland Oil Inc. who began demolition of the majority of the existing
structures. Through a partnership with other corporations, they
developed an ethanol processing plant that made alcohol from corn to
be used as a gasoline additive under the corporate name South Point
Ethanol and continued operations until 1995. In 2000, Biomass Energy
LLC acquired the South Point site with the plan for an operation of
burning wood waste to generate electricity. It all seemed promising
but was immediately shut down as soon as it opened due to numerous
EPA violations. In December 2002, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
agreed to pay Biomass $2.33 million to destroy 121,000 tons of
surplus tobacco. During the spring of 2003, more than 10,000 tons of
tobacco in cardboard boxes were shipped to the South Point location
before they were stopped. South Point Mayor Bill Gaskin at the time
commented that he didn’t think the plant even had a working furnace
and they were just storing the tobacco in a large building and even
had piles just out in a field. The Ohio EPA inspected the site in
March of 2003 and alongside the tobacco piles, discovered 35,000 tons
of coal and coke waste.
Over the years that followed several
citations and lawsuits have been filed concerning the improper on
site storage of tobacco, coal, and coke waste. Along with blatant
disregard for environmental laws, South Point Biomass has had a rocky
road with paying property taxes on the 80 acre plot. At one time the
company owed more than $100,000 in back taxes, which was only paid
when the county put public pressure on the company and it’s CEO Mark
During the past few years parts of the
plant have had the demolition process started and then halted
immediately due to yet even more EPA violations, this time concerning
the proper removal of asbestos. Citations were issued by the
Portsmouth Local Air Agency, which oversees air quality issues on
behalf of the Ohio EPA. The complaint alleges that in October 2013,
buildings at the now long abandoned ethanol plant had contained
asbestos, and the owners, without notifying the Ohio EPA as required
by law, improperly handled and disposed of it while demolishing some
of the equipment. As of September 2015, South Point Biomass has yet
to fulfill court ordered obligations regarding proper clean up of the
site and currently owes $16,000 in back taxes to Lawrence County.