YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Forty years ago Tuesday marks the beginning of the end of steel dominating the Youngstown area’s economy.
On September 19, 1977, it was announced that the first of the area’s large mills was closing.
“Black Monday” began in the Boardman offices of Youngstown Sheet and Tube with the announcement that the company’s Campbell Works — the Youngstown District’s largest steel mill — would be shut down by Friday.
Present at the announcement was then-Youngstown Mayor Jack Hunter. He called the news “the worst possible” that he could have received as a public official.
By that afternoon, the Vindicator’s banner headline told of Sheet and Tube’s plans to move its operations to Indiana and that closing the Campbell Works would mean the loss of 5,000 jobs.
What followed Black Monday were protests, petitions and committees — all trying to get something done.
Then, a group called the Ecumenical Coalition was formed to buy the Campbell Works.
But it never reopened. Two years later — in 1979 — U.S. Steel closed the Ohio Works. Then, Brier Hill went down.
In 1984, Republic was done, and Youngstown’s era of big steel was over.
Today, the view from Walton Street is much different. There are no longer smoke stacks, and much of it is covered by vegetation. The Bloom Butt Inn is long gone, but the building remains.
Some of the Campbell Works has been torn down, but some of it too is still around — part of what’s now called the Casey Industrial Park.
A view from the side still shows there is some type of manufacturing going on inside.