Diamond Match Company Building

Unable to include Departed Business

Former Location
16th St. & Chestnut Ave.
Former Owners
O.C. Barber
Business Lifespan
Date range, i.e. 1901-1984

The Diamond Match Factory is the land that surrounds the southern extremity of West 16th Street. The area is currently primed for development: the so-called "Barber Yard". The main building burnt to the ground in 2004.

In 1903, the Diamond Match Company bought the Sierra Lumber Company and established its western U.S. headquarters in Chico. The local branch of Diamond Match Company was started by O.C. Barber in what is now Stirling City, up above Magalia on what we now call the Skyway. Barber purchased his Stirling land in 1901 in order to farm lumber for the Diamond Match factories in the east and Midwest. Stirling City grew out of that land to help house, feed, and keep good general health of employees. Once a railroad had been built to transport the logs down the hill from the Stirling land, Diamond purchased 240 acres south of Chico and began construction on a second factory to further process the lumber. By the time it was done, a company town called Barber was born.

Diamond Match's Barber was considered something of a Utopian town, consisting of a social hall, swimming pool, stores, and nice bungalow houses for employee housing. The bungalows are very easy to spot, with a large porch and a basement, and an almost symmetrical floor plan consisting of a front door between two front windows, two windows on each side wall, and a window on either side of the back door. These houses are scattered throughout south Chico, and are still called Diamond Match houses today.

For more information on the history of the Diamond Match Company in general, please see this entry on Ohio History Central.

A piece of equipment labeled "Packaging Equipment Division, The Diamond Match Company Number: PSC-040-819" - What is it? Leave a comment below if you know! Click to enlarge photo.

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2008-05-21 14:03:01   Nice photograph. Interesting read about the factory. I had no idea. —RyanMikulovsky

2008-05-21 23:17:23   Sorry, that's my photo (what with all this browser-switching cookie nonsense I got logged out), but the article definitely shed some light on the history of the buildings. —DavidStillman

2010-05-10 02:52:22   that is great and all but i want to know HOW it burnt down... —

2010-05-10 09:46:25   arson —

2010-06-21 19:19:14   I have an interesting piece of equipment with a label which says: Packaging Equipment Division, The Diamond Match Company Number: PSC-040-819. It is about 18" wide,and has a crank handle. When you pull the handle down,flappers (some flat and some rounded tops) open and close, and a divider bar comes down between them. What in the world is it? CharlieC —

  • No idea what it could be, but it would be awesome if you could post a picture on here. That might help someone in the know better understand what you're talking about. I'd be curious to find out what it is, and hope someone can inform you. —StaceyEllis

2010-06-23 09:56:26   I tried to copy and past, but it didn't work. Charliec —

  • Hey Charlie, it's a little complicated to upload pics to the wiki the first time. To make it easier, I'll set it up for you. All you have to do is click on the following link: and then you can browse to wherever the file is saved on your computer and tell it to upload. Once it's attached to the page, it can get moved around, and a note can be attached to it asking if anyone knows what it is. I'm really intrigued to see it! —StaceyEllis

2010-06-23 10:59:43   Oh, that's really cool whatever it is! Thanks for uploading it, Charlie! Hopefully someone will see it and offer some insight into what this contraption is. —StaceyEllis

2010-08-19 17:00:22   So, folks might want to check out the history of the use of this land and the quality of work done by the DTSC and contracted engineers in terms of the toxics clean up. Residential housing is not a safe option for this land and the city and the owner are making a huge public health mistake by continuing down this path. Which is more important— health or money? —

2010-12-18 12:02:07   Does anyone know where I can find a book on the History of the Diamond Match Company and its Railroad? —

2010-12-27 20:54:43   Does anyone know where someone could obtain photos of a 1929 demo by Dow Engine Co.? They showed off a Low Stump saw???? —

2011-09-22 10:02:14   i had no idea it is that old —

2011-11-23 10:17:09   i would imagine this unit is for folding something. perhaps stick match boxes" —

2012-02-01 23:20:50   based on my background in bottling line and packaging equipment, I'd say that looks like a machine to fold paper material into match boxes. —

2012-02-23 09:38:14   Go here folks and see something cool, all done with stick matches and match boxes. Does Diamond Match Company ship to the UK? - Frank D Harrisson —

2012-07-23 09:38:14   Hi I have the same unit, they are cool. That is a press to make egg carton holders for the old type that looked like a box. here is a link to ebay that someone has. Not mine. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Egg-Carton-Maker-Press-Machine-Diamond-Match-Company-Packaging-Equipment-/261059803288 Hope this helps.