American Furnace, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania
American - was along a creek entering the Allegheny River in Madison Township, just above the town of Rimer. It was built in 1846 by Aaron Whittaker, John Jamison, and George Ledlie. Originally a hot blast charcoal furnace it was changed in 1858 to use coke. It went out of blast in 1860.(s&t),
Karl Mouck visited this site recently and found mo furnace stones remaining at it's probable location. He did identify a flat area
and hillside site suitable for a charging bench, and stacked stones in the creek which could have been remains of a mill race.(km)
Starting at Templeton, follow SR1003 north through Mahoning to Widnoon, a distance of 4.1 miles. Turn left on SR1004 and follow it for about 3.3 miles. Going downhill toward Rimer, the road crosses a concrete bridge over a creek that parallels the road.(rp) A quarter mile beyond the bridge you will see a house on the right side of the road. Ask permission to look directly behind the house. You will find a small stream joining at this point. Karl believes the furnace stood in the flat area at the "v" juncture of the two streams. (This is also in accordance with the Sharp & Thomas account.)
Although no furnace stones are found, this is not
unusual since they have often been used for other construction. The hillside behind this spot is ideal for a charging bench, and stacked stones in the creek suggest a mill race was here.
GPS coordinates 40º 56.386'N - 79º 31.226'W.(km09),
Back on the road, about another 1/4 mile below the house, toward Rimer, look to the right and you may see
remains across the creek while standing on SR1004(jm).
Here there two walls and a pit are partially standing, and there are stones in the creek and in a dam built downstream from the walls. Old roads exist which may have been used in the furnace operation. . A narrower stone lined lower road also exists.
These and other ruins in the area, may be the remains of a furnace community, and could stand further investigation.
Structuiral remains. Probably from the furnace community below Americal Furnace
More remains (jm-2007)
Area above structure remains. Could be near furnace site (jm-2007)
Furnace Special Sources:
A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces of Western Pennsylvania, Myron B. Sharp and William H. Thomas (s&t)
James E. Mayuric, Armstrong Co. PA (jm)
Karl Mouck, Sandy Lake, PA. (km)
Copyright © Richard Parks, Last updated January 31, 2009