This photograph from the Margaret Key Collection at the Apalachicola Municipal Library was taken on Oct. 16, 1929, from the roof of the post office looking southeast. The road in the foreground is Commerce Street where it intersects with Panton Street. The building at the center of the picture housed the Apalachicola Iron Works. The two-story section housed the machine shop and the one-story wing was the foundry.
There was an iron works in Apalachicola that was burned in the 1890 fire. This building was built in 1906. J. F. C. Griggs, E. A. Jones, and R. G. Porter purchased four lots in Block C-1 from Joseph Daly for $1,500 on March 1, 1906. The building was quickly built and in operation. The main business of the iron works was to service the sawmills in Apalachicola and the steamboats that plied the river. The building was just across Water Street from a marine ways where boats were hauled out of the river for repair.
The iron works did not stay in business very long. By 1913 it was noted on the Sanborn Map of Apalachicola that the business was not in operation. The building was later used for lumber and shingle storage. It was last shown on the Sanborn Map in 1931. By 1940 it was gone, either torn down or burned. Today the Apalach Guest House sits on the site of the foundry, while a parking lot occupies the space where the machine shop stood.
All of the other buildings except one have also vanished over the years. The building in the background on the right side of the photograph is Paul Snellgrove’s woodworking shop. He was a cabinet maker, and many of the old families in Apalachicola have cedar chests made by him. Today this location is part of the parking area around the old jail behind the courthouse.
To the left of Snellgrove’s shop, above the one-story section of the Apalachicola Iron Works, is the seafood house of the Acme Packing Company. This building burned in 1939. Miller Marine sits on the site today.
The only building remaining today is the two-story metal building on the river-side of Water Street on the left hand side of the photograph. This was Elmer Smith’s machine shop. The north end of the building, with the large door under the awning, was used for automobile repair. Today the building is the office for the Apalachicola River Inn.