Where We Got Our Name
"Vulcan Iron Works Farm" is, admittedly, a strange name for a business that deals in poultry, eggs, and gourmet foods. But John O'Connor so
admired the Vulcan Iron Works sign he saw in an old Civil War photo, that he re-created the sign and took the name for his farm.
Vulcan Iron Works was an iron foundry owned by Archibald McLeish. Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and smithery, was a popular namesake for
foundries during and after the Industrial Revolution, with businesses in England and the United States adopting the name as their own.
McLeish's foundry was located on Cumberland Street in Charleston, South Carolina. The photograph (actually a glass plate stereograph) at
right was taken in 1865, soon after the Union Army took Charleston. In this photo, you can see the elaborate sign for Vulcan Iron Works, featuring a very ornate "sculpture" that included a cannon, a locomotive
spring, an anchor, an ornamental sword, a palm tree, a plow, a lizard or similar creature, various wheels, and a stylized Masons' symbol. On the
street below, you can see the very large wheels of an artillery carriage, and on the balcony next to the foundry sign are several Union soldiers and civilians. There is apparently no evidence of cannon or ordnance
produced by Vulcan Iron Works, but the company produced "everything else but the proverbial kitchen sink" for the Confederacy.
So John O'Connor, inspired by this amazing piece of art, fashioned a replica of the wooden portion of the sign in his wood shop and hung it
on a small building on his property. When it came time to name the farm, the sign was already there, so...