Joliet Iron Works Historic Site

When Is the Best Time

August – November, mid-day to dusk, there will be fewer bugs and the colors of the Industrial Ruins, bricks and concrete are more saturated and easier to photograph and see details of their age.


If you enjoy both natural and historical locations, Joliet’s Iron Works blends a comfortable walk through the past on accessible pathways and abundant informational signs to learn about this location’s history and significance. This historical site is nestled in a larger preserve offering a fascinating glimpse into the height of the industrial age and the risks that were taken by people who ran and worked at these factories. This stop is free and appropriate for all ages.

The Iron Works website gives this summary of the historical location, “The 52-acre Joliet Iron Works Historic Site was acquired between 1991 and 1997. The preserve is part of the Des Plaines River preservation system, which conserves more than 2,400 acres of land.
Prior to the District’s acquisition of the land, it was the site of an iron manufacturing facility from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Cultural resources protected at the preserve include foundations of the blast furnaces and other structures from the dismantled factory.

For more information visit Iron Works website:


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