Hern Iron Works – Cannons and Mortars
Work began with a small crew of three employees, and the first sale was of Six sets of manhole rings and covers to a general contractor in Spokane, Washington, in the amount of $176.13 in October of 1972. John’s son Jack A. Hern III grew up playing on the property while under construction and started work in the foundry by the time he was 12. At 18, Jack was serving as Foreman in the foundry. Today John has passed away, and Jack has successfully transitioned the family business to the second generation.
One of the first major turning points in the business came in 1974 when John bought out Washington Machinery and Supply, a foundry in Spokane that dated back to the late 1890’s. From this purchase came our major industrial product lines of Sprockets, Gears, Boiler grates, and anything iron in a sawmill . Over the years we have continued to buy up foundries that were in similar work. Succeeding Western Foundry Co. of Portland Oregon, and Soule Steam Feed Works of Meridian Mississippi, to name a few.
Stemming from John’s interest in guns, reloading, and shooting – combined with his new foundry came the idea of casting Civil War era Historical Reproduction Cannons. What started as a few similar sized barrels produced for himself an a few friends has grown to over two dozen different barrels from 10 pounds to 2200 pounds, and near 20% of our annual sales!