On April 25, 1862, the Endor Iron Company was chartered. Two months later the investors purchased the Deep River plantation of Alexander McIver and constructed a smelting furnace on it.
It is likely that the furnace supplied the Confederate arsenal at Fayetteville in addition to small nearby arms factories. The iron works changed hands twice before a Maryland manufacturer purchased Endor and, with a local partner, invested heavily in the operation. By 1872 their Cape Fear Iron and Steel Company was one of the South’s largest and best equipped iron furnaces.
Two years later it was determined that local mineral deposits were smaller than had been estimated. By 1876 the company had ceased operation. Though most of the machinery was dismantled and removed, the furnace continued operating until 1896 on a smaller scale, serving only local manufacturers.
With cooperation from the Triangle Land Conservancy and the financial support of the nonprofit Railroad House Historical Association, the original structure is now being prepared for stabilization and ultimately restoration, with plans for greater public access and appreciation of this important chapter of North Carolina industrial history.
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