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      Party in the works for former Iron Works employees

      There's a call out for the hundreds of former Traverse City Iron Works employees, for a special reunion party next Sunday.

      What is now known as the Hagerty Insurance Center in Traverse City, was known as the site for Traverse City Iron Works 30 years ago. A place that is described by some as a second home where hundreds of workers spent their days.

      "For 113 years, they were in business, and I don't know, once you worked there you just became friends with everybody," said former employee Rich Hounsell. "It's a tight knit group of people."

      In 1983 Traverse City Iron Works shut it's doors after producing fire hydrants used all over the country, for over a century. Some of those hydrants can still be seen in Traverse City today.

      "They shipped them out all over," said another former employee, Everett Lautner. "I mean, a lot of places you go you will see Traverse City Iron Works fire hydrant. And that's where they came from, they were made right here."

      Hounsell and Lautner are working together to plan a 30 year reunion party. It's a get together that they say is a long time coming.

      "Well for a lot of them it's probably going to be our last time together," said Hounsell.

      Hounsell and Lautner say that the long, hot, and dirty hours didn't only pay the bills, it created friends and great memories that have lasted a life time.

      "It was hard, dirty work, but it was a good place to work in Traverse City," said Lautner.

      Hounsell and Lautner say that the Royce family owned Traverse City Iron Works until 1978 before another fire hydrant maker from Minnesota, Waterous Company, purchased it.

      The reunion party is schedule for Sunday, May 19th from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m at St. Rita's Parish Hall in Maple City. For more information, or to RSVP, you can contact Rich Hounsell at 231-645-5435.