The Heinz Factory

This find was completely accidental, but what a find!!! We found this off of a road and drove up to see what would be an amazingly fun excursion. Sometimes the best finds aren't on purpose.

So what is this place? Well, it took us a while to find out. Well, currently is is nothing...obviously...but back in the day it was a saw and lumber mill when it was built around 1895. It was used as that purpose until 1920 when Heinz Ketchup bought it and used it to manufacture pickles and tomatoes....but apparently not ketchup..bummer. A huge tornado ransacked this place in 1925, you can see some pictures for comparison below. It was then sold in 1942 to a company that made paintbrushes. I was told that they made quite impressive paintbrushes that were actually pretty expensive. This facility was used for that until about 1974 when they presumably went out of business. Then it was under bank ownership until about 1982 when a candlestick company bought it. It was used for that purpose until about 1993 when a huge fire consumed all of the buildings with the exception of what's left.

What's left of the plant.

You can compare to the picture above taken at a similar angle. This place was damaged heavily. You can see some of the smokestack pictures where it was rebuilt.

There were only a few things left: the boiler room, some trashy side building obviously built much later, a train depot, and a water tower.

This obviously hasn't been used to heat buildings for many years, but it was reused for something. It is quite rare to see a boiler room with the boiler still in it, but this one did making it quite awesome. Here are some exterior shots. Interior will follow by building.


From a distance. Where the plant used to stand. A closer shot. You can see the train depot in the back left.
The front of the boiler room. A better view of the ceiling. The glorious water tower which must have fed the boiler at one point.
The backside of the boiler room.

The Boiler Room

The fist room inside. Same room facing towards the entrance. The main room.
The side of the boiler. The boiler had some spinning wheel thing in front of it. I know it had noting to do with the boiler, but I really didn't know more than that. The kiln which heated the boiler.
The boiler in its entirety. A beautiful sight! Probably 100+ years old. Looking up towards the ceiling. The back part of the room. The boiler is on the right.
Same part of the room facing the other direction. You can see relics of when this was a paint brush factory: paint cans all over the place. The other side of the boiler.


There was a room upstairs, which probably where the management to the boiler was, and a bused staircase leading to the smokestack.

The stairs leading up to the second floor. Windows. The upstairs room littered with graffiti.
Looking out 2nd floor window to see the boiler. The boiler room as seen from upstairs.

The Smokestack

The smokestack was obviously connected to the boiler room. Well, it was..the boiler it self is no longer connected leaving a gap. It was very cool but had all the traditional hazards that they always do......pigeons and their bombs they drop. It took a while to get inside and I held my breathe the whole time, but I managed. After that, I went back into the boiler room and crossed this very dangerous little wooden connector to get shots from up top of where it connected

The side. If you look closely, you can see discoloration about halfway up. My guess is that's where it was rebuilt from after the tornado. Up close.
The dangerous little wooden connector and gap to smokestack. Inside looking at where it used to connect to the boiler. Looking straight up.
Standing at the old connection point looking straight down to exposure the pigeon bombs. On the makeshift bridge looking into to tower.

The Train Depot

The side. A higher up view of the side and main entrance. The depot from afar.
Just inside the door. Towards the back. Towards the front where there is a garage type door.
Room in back. Facing out.

The Trashy Side Building

I thought about not even adding this because there really isn't anything impressive about it, but I took the time to photograph it so suffer.

Busted. Must have been used for storing junk. No comment.

Overall, a great and amazing find. So much history wrapped up in what's left. Too bad most of it is gone. I will have to go back soon.