R. E. Lee Foundry
Aug 20, 2023
by Jim Wade | Aug 2, 2023
On July 1, 1890, R. E. Lee bought the foundry facility of the Henry Currier Agricultural Works from Mrs. H. P. Currier. Mrs. Currier, acting as the administrator of her husband’s estate, was liquidating assets.
Mr. Lee manufactured the “Peerless” plow, land rollers, and other agricultural implements. He also continued to produce many of the patented items made by the Currier Company, such as horse-drawn sleighs.
The photograph of the plow is not of a Lee’s Peerless #4 plow but is very similar. It shows the handles, beam, braces, moldboard, share, and hitch attachment. It also shows the “coulter” which held a tool that cut through the surface sod layer. The museum has a Peerless #4 on which the “coulter” is the cutting tool. Missing from our plow are the handles and braces.
Machine and foundry operations had operated on this site since 1840. Beach and Randall started a wagon shop in 1840. Muzzy and Barrows started a second foundry in 1844. In 1851, H. P. Muzzy and F. P. Currier formed Muzzy and Currier and combined these foundry operations. It was the successor of this company that R. E. Lee purchased.
Mr. Lee sold the business to Lee Cork and his brother about 1915. The Cork brothers operated the business until 1917 when it was sold. The business was purchased by a group of Almont businessmen (Charles Ferguson, James Wilder, R. K. Wescott, H. D. Bowman, Ralph Bishop, Robert Paton, and Capt. L. Sawyer.) They sold off the inventory of many of the items being manufactured and concentrated on automotive items. They still produced some plows and parts. The new company was the beginning of the Almont Manufacturing Company.
In 1927, because of increased demand for their products, a second foundry was constructed in Imlay City. All operations were moved to the new facility in 1931.
The Hurd Lock and Manufacturing Company purchased the building in 1931 and operated there until 1962 when they moved their operations to Greenville, Tennessee.
Hydraulic Tubes and Fittings Inc. used the building for a number of years before moving to their new facility located north of town.
For a period of time it was the location of the Almont Lumber Yard and ACE Hardware before they moved to their new facility located just north of town.
The building has been torn down and is now the location of Dollar General.
Copies of the Almont Historical Society’s various books can be purchased by contacting Jim Wade at 810-796-3355 or [email protected] or stopping by the museum on Saturdays from 1-4 p.m.