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People & Places

Best Forgotten Relic 

The Hulett Ore Unloaders

Whiskey Island is one of Cleveland's most historic and strange places. It was once home to Lorenzo Carter's farm, a distillery, Irish immigrants (who occupied 22 streets!), the "pest house" hospital (which catered to victims of the unpleasant cholera epidemic of 1832), and no less than 13 saloons. Today it houses the mysterious Cargill salt mine, a marina, a quiet park, mountains of ore pellets and stone, a bevy of railroads, and what's left of the Hulett ore unloaders. The once mighty Huletts were massive steel monsters that dipped into the bellies of ships such as the Edward B. Greene and the Joe S. Morrow or the E.M. Ford. They scooped out the ore and deposited it into waiting railcars that would fuel our ravenous steel mills. The Huletts fell obsolete when self-unloading freighters became the norm, but a solid fight ensued over saving and preserving the industrial giants. Alas, they offered a reverent nod to our region's glorious past, but the Huletts were also the best piece of public art we've seen before or since. The effort to save them fizzled over the years, leaving two disassembled Huletts to rust unceremoniously amid a tangle of weeds and vines. Who says there are no dinosaur graveyards in Cleveland?

Behind a fence adjacent to Ed Hauser Way, Whiskey Island, Cleveland

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