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Joliet Iron Works Historic Site

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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.

Historic Site
United States, Joliet
Review and Tips 

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:



Oct 05, 2015

Thanks for the detailed 'WHEN' description Melissa. Great place! How long does the hike/walk usually take?

Oct 05, 2015

Hi Travelguy, I would allow about forty-five minutes if you are just browsing the site. However, if you are interested in reading every sign and exploring, possibly taking photographs, maybe closer to an hour-and-a-half. Since it is self-guided, it's very easy to go at your own pace.

Oct 05, 2015

Melissa very nice place. I had been in Chicago once a few years ago. Thanks for sharing.

Oct 05, 2015

My pleasure to share this information. My family and I went to visit the site this past Labor Day, which was an ideal day to consider the grueling work those men did at the Iron factories as we walked around. Micha, hope you get to return to Chicago sometime!