June 1, 2007 — Local news reports indicate that Vermilion Iron Works is operating again in Hoopeston, IL. The malleable iron foundry, which for many years operated as a division of Deere & Co., closed in February but was purchased by Chicago-area investors in April.
The facility was outfitted with a new cooling tower by the new owners, and other physical improvements are still underway. About 20 employees are at work at the site, and the first heat was run May 26.
"The plant will be in regular production on Saturdays and Sundays for a couple of months," according to plant manager Wendell Hawley. "It should be all uphill from here."
According to earlier reports, the new owners intend to pursue the railroad castings market.