Although a small village today, Zaleski was once was [sic] a booming town of 1,500 people. With 15 saloons, seven general stores, three churches, two doctors, two newspapers, a schol, a Masonic lodge, two brickyards and a flour mill, it was the largest and most prosperous community in Vinton County during the height of the Hope Furnace. But life for most workers of the Hope Furnace was anything but prosperous. Most furnace employees lived in Hope, a company town of about 500 residents that sprung up around the furnace. Like many company towns of the era, the furnace provided housing and paid workers with script from the company store. Company store merchandise was overpriced and the script was worthless in other stores. While the ironmaster, storekeeper and company secretary lived well, most iron workers lived in small, dirt-floored log houses. The town of Hope was abandoned when Hope Furnace closed in 1874.