Anderson Furnace, Venango County, Pennsylvania
aka Phipps Furnace
Anderson (aka Phipps) - is along the east bank of Scrubgrass Creek in Clinton Township. Phipps Mills stood on Big Scrubgrass Creek, a mile above Kennerdell and was an active place for a quarter of a century. In 1824 John Anderson built the first furnace in the township at this location. He came from Juniata County and was an experienced ironmaster. Ore was obtained
from the surrounding hills and the neighboring forests furnished the charcoal. In 1835 Anderson sold the property to David Phipps, who carried on the operation of the furnace for several more years. He manufactured iron for the Pittsburgh market and stoves, pots, pans and kettles for the local market(s&t). In 1837 Phipps and Clapp were the owners and had 20 hands working(pbd). Phipps banked the furnace in 1847-1848. In 1837 fire burned the furnace buildings, bellows, etc. Only the water wheel and the stack survived(s&t).
Phipps also operated woolen mills and a flour, saw and oil mill at the old town of Kennerdell. At that time the town was known as Phipps Mills and the operations were water powered. Later the Kennerdell family, for whom the town was eventually named, took over, changed the mills to steam power, and made the woolen material for the uniforms of the Venango Grays, the county's first Civil War volunteer unit(evc). The stack is in poor condition but readily visible, and portions of the old burned out buildings are visible, especially a tall chimney of the ironmaster's house(tnh)(rp-dd-2004)).( P)(V)(rp-1977-2004,is/dd-2004).
We show three routes to Anderson Furnace:
(1) The route we took in 2004. Go south on PA308 thru Bullion to Kennerdell Road. Turn left and proceed between 1.5 and 2 miles to a road to the right
41º 14.156'N - 79º 52.371'W (4 wheel drive recommended).Follow this road down to near the creek where it meets an old lease road paralleling the creek. Park here.
41º 13.769'N - 79º 51.706'W. Walk upstream to the furnace along this old road.
GPS Coordinates 41º 13.756'N - 79º 51.775'W(rp, is, dd 2004) (This route was selected in 2004 because the bridge over Scrubgrass Creek was closed. It has benn replaced and now #2 may be an easier route[bf])
(2) From Kennerdell, on the Allegheny River, drive across the bridge on SR3008, continue 2.3 miles from the bridge to the junction with SR3005. Turn left onto SR3005 cross Scrubgrass Creek. Proceed 0.2 miles to a left curve. At this point Phipps Road (T380)(a dirt road) bears off to the right. Take Phipps Road right 0.6 miles to a bridge. Park here
before crossing the bridge. You will see a stone cottage on the right. Proceed thru the yard of this cottage and down to a foot bridge across a small run. Cross this bridge and go upstream to a new suspension bridge crossing Scrubgrass Creek. On the way you will pass the old suspension bridge which is broken down. Cross this new bridge 41º 13.748'N - 79º 51.802'W and turn right. Proceed on an old lease road downstream to the furnace a distance of about 0.13 miles.
GPS Coordinates 41º 13.756'N - 79º 51.775'W(rp 2004)
(3) A variation of #2, and preferred, is to park beyond the far end of the bridge on Phipps Road opposite a driveway on the right. (You my have to take the detour described in route 2 above).Walk up the driveway, bear right across an abandoned sawmill property and down the hill. Go upstream to the suspension bridge across Scrubgrass Creek at 41º 13.748'N - 79º 51.802'W. Then proceed as above.
Looking west acroo old walking bridge leading across Scrubgrass Creek downstream from Anderson Furnace - November 1977. This brideg is no longer there.
Anderson Furmnce opening facing Scrubgrass Creek - November 1977
Anderson Furnace - November 1977
Amderson Furnace- November 1977
New walking bridge acroos Scrubgrass Creek upstream from Anderson Furnace - October 2004
Anderson Furnace - October 2004. Note much deterioration and encroachment of hillsdide in 27 years.
Anderson Furnace - October 2004
Anderson Furnace - October 2004
Anderson Furnace Special Sources:
A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces of Western Pennsylvania, Myron B. Sharp and William H. Thomas (s&t)
Exploring Venango County prepared for the Venango County Bicentennial Commision, 1976(evc).
href="http://www.amkennerdell.com/sc.html">Scrubgrass Creek web site, , Anderson, Bullion, Jane Furnaces
J. A. Caldwell (hvc) publisher History of Venango County, by Edward (Kirke) White, 1879
The News Herald, Thur. Jul 27, 1978 (tnh)
Isaac Harris (pbd) publisher The Pittsburgh Business Directory, 1837
Ian Straffin, Meadville, PA
Dan & Chris Dundon, Erie, PA
Bill Frazier, Lake Hamilton, FL (bf)
Copyright © Richard Parks, November 21 , 2010