Charcoal made from the extensive forests of cedar (Juniperus osteosperma) at the ore site at Iron Springs, twenty miles southwest of Parowan, was planned to fuel the blast furnace that was to be erected there. The work force was to commute from Parowan in organized shifts. Upon the discovery of coal in the Little Muddy Creek (now Coal Creek) nineteen miles south of Parowan, the blast furnace location site was changed to the mouth of Coal Creek, present-day Cedar City. Coal was mined six miles up the canyon and transported by wagon to the furnace located on the banks of the stream at the canyon mouth where the water for power was accessible. It was to be coked at the mine site later. The iron ore was to be transported from Iron Springs to the blast furnace by ox-drawn wagons. Limestone for the process was also abundantly available.
A small work force, recruited from Parowan, occupied the site on 11 November 1851. It was called Fort Cedar, Cedar Fort, and finally Cedar City. Once again, farming and survival took precedence over iron manufacturing. Newly arrived European immigrants were carefully screened in Salt Lake City and those with iron-making skills were strongly encouraged to move on to Cedar City to strengthen the settlement.