In 1940 it was announced that the world's largest smokeless powerplant would be built near Charlestown, Indiana, as land was close to the Ohio River, giving it the water it needed for making smokeless powder, and the fact that the land was cheap because parts of it were unsuitable (at the time) for farming. The fact that few indivduals lived near by was also a plus. The plant was built and operated as a Government Owner, Contrator-Operated facility, otherwise known as a GOCO.
Three plants were built; the first starting in 1940. By May of 1941, there were three fully operating plants employing over 27,500 people. This helped the Charlestown, Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky areas recover from the Great Depression that had just come to a close.
The plants had many points of entry, but one main entrance still stands today, and stands strong! With steel rivits holding it together as if it were a cargo ship on the high seas, this aged bridge could still hold heavy semis today if needed.
In 1959, maintainence duties were signed over to Goodyear, who maintained the three buildings until 1972. In 1962, Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation took over complete operation of the plants. The plants were turned off in 1972, and never turned back on again.
The plant(s) were placed under modified caretaker status in 1992, and all three were leveled to the ground during the year 2014. Parts of the land were sold to different companies and organizations. All that remains are small concrete structures that appear to be old storage and holding areas. You can see where the train tracks use to be, how the buildings are lined up, but even the tracks are long gone.
So much history in one area of Indiana, yet todays generation will never know what truely was on these grounds near Charlestown, Indiana.
These were on the property by the hundreds! Yes, hundreds! An ant oasis for sure!
The plant in its full glory:
Two Photographers attempting to get better angles: