About Us >  History

ESSROC: Cement Industry - History Written by ESSROC

Much of the history of the cement industry in North America was written by ESSROC and its ancestor companies. The following timeline of ESSROC's evolution showcases historic highlights of a company that will always have a future...because we remember our past.

Cement pioneer David O. Saylor founds the fledgling Coplay Cement Company near Allentown, PA.

Also in 1866, a group of six investors purchases Shippingport Mill, formerly a flour mill, and incorporate in Kentucky as the Louisville Hydraulic Cement, Water and Power Company. In 1869, J.B. Speed becomes superintendent and changes the name to the Louisville Cement Company.

Saylor begins producing the first portland cement in North America

The first portland cement in North America was produced by Coplay Cement, a predecessor company of today's ESSROC. These historic Coplay kilns are preserved in tribute to their vital role in our industrial heritage.

Popular European cement competitors trumped as newcomer Coplay Cement wins "Superior Quality" award at the International Exhibition of the United States Centennial Commission in Philadelphia.

The Diamond Portland Cement Company was incorporated in Northeastern Ohio. The original plant in Middlebranch, OH, consisted of a single vertical kiln. Production averaged less than 100 barrels a day and shipment was made in wooden barrels produced in a cooper shop operated by the Company.

First shipment of Speed Portland Cement from company's new plant built next to Speed, IN.

Louisville Cement patents the first masonry cement in North America, Brixment, manufactured at former natural cement plant. Early sales exceed historic annual levels of natural cement sales.

Riverton Lime & Stone Company of Riverton Virginia begins producing colored Flamingo Brand Hydro-Hydraulic Lime.

Coplay Cement designs and builds cement industry's first preheater kiln at Plant C in Coplay, PA.

Lake Ontario Cement Company starts-up 1000 ton per day plant at Picton, Ontario including new deep water terminals at Rochester, NY and Toronto, ON.

Also in 1958, Alpha Portland Cement company begins production of portland and masonry cement at new plant in Frederick, MD

Louisville Cement begins production of Brixment-in-Color line of colored cements for masonry.

Coplay Cement Co. is purchased by Paris-based Ciments Francais for entry into the U.S. cement market.

Ciments Francais rebuilds the company's Nazareth, PA production center into the most energy-efficient cement plant in North America.

Through Coplay Cement, Ciments Francais purchases a second plant in Nazareth from Penn Dixie Cement Co.

Alpha Portland's plant in Frederick, MD purchased by Ciments Francais.

The Lake Ontario Cement Co. acquired the freighter 'Fort William' from the Canada Steamship Lines. The package vessel was converted to a self-unloading cement ship. The new cement carrier departed Collingwood, Ontario, on June 30, 1983 as the 'Stephen B. Roman.' The vessel was named for Mr. Stephen Boleslav Roman who was born in Slovakia in 1921 and was the chairman and chief executive officer of Lake Ontario Cement Co. The Roman is capable of carrying 7,600 tons (7,722 mt) of cement products in three holds at a mid-summer draft of 22' 06" (6.86m). The Stephen B. Roman primarily sails in Lake Ontario between the ports of Picton and Toronto, ON and Oswego and Rochester, NY.

Louisville Cement Co. acquired, bringing Indiana plants at Speed and Logansport plus a vast network of distribution facilities from Chicago to the Carolinas.

Lake Ontario Cement Co., owner of Aetna Cement in Michigan and Rochester Portland Cement Co. in New York, joins the growing network.

ESSROC purchases the assets of Diamond Cement and continued to operate the cement plant in Middlebranch until 1996. The cement plant operations were terminated due to lack of availability for new raw materials in the region. The Middlebranch facility continued its operation as a slag cement grinding facility and regional cement terminal.

Ciments Francais purchases U.S. admixture specialist Solvay Construction Materials and it becomes part of AXIM Concrete Technologies.

Ciments Francais' North American holdings grouped under one name: ESSROC Corp.

U.S. operating company is ESSROC Materials, Inc.; Canadian holdings operated as ESSROC Canada, Inc.

San Juan Cement and selected assets of United States Cement Co. acquired.

Italcementi Group in Bergamo, Italy purchases controlling interest in Ciments Francais.

ESSROC launches "back to cement" restructuring program to focus on core competency.

ESSROC Quebec and Ciment Quebec form 50/50 joint venture.

Miron Cement in Quebec is acquired as part of a joint venture with Ciments Quebec.

ESSROC purchases Lone Star Industries' Nazareth plant.

ESSROC and Lafarge form Innocon, a 50/50 joint venture in Toronto, ON.

Bulk distribution terminal in Leetsdale, PA and import terminal in Wilder, KY further enhance our network distribution capabilities.

ESSROC Materials, Inc. becomes ESSROC Cement Corp.

Gormley Aggregates and United Aggregates in Ontario are sold.

New ESSROC package plant in Frederick, MD opens and locally produced masonry cement launched in regional market.

Slag cement production starts at ESSROC facility in Middlebranch, OH.

Cleveland, OH is site of new ESSROC import terminal.

Brixment-in-Color masonry cement line introduced to ESSROC East Coast customers.

ESSROC San Juan, PR Raw Material Storage facility modernized for greater efficiency.

Capitol Cement and Riverton Corp. join ESSROC with cement plant in Martinsburg, WV; aggregate quarry in Blair WV; color facility in Front Royal, VA.

ESSROC's first interactive customer service site is launched with www.MyESSROC.com

Flamingo-Brixment hybrid line of color masonry cements introduced.

ESSROC purchases the ready mix concrete operations of Cambridge Concrete and Brantford Ready Mix in Ontario; Arrow Concrete in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania; and Crider & Shockey Concrete in Virginia.

All of the ready-mixed concrete operations are re-branded under the ESSROC Ready Mix.

ESSROC sells Axim to Sika Corporation.