Big Bend Furnace, Mercer County, Pennsylvania
Big Bend - Is on the Shenango River in Jefferson Township. John King and James McFarland built this furnace in 1846. It was abandoned after only a few years of operation(s&t) It was a relatively small furnace with a 7.5' bosh and may have used raw coal for fuel. Probably used Lake Superior ore(jp). The road to the furnace SR3022 has been relocated over the top of Big Bend furnace since viewed by Sharp and Thomas in the 60's when it was just a pile of rubble. The stones of the road bank in the area where the furnace stood look very much like furnace stones when viewed in 1977, and may be all that remains. (P)(V)(rp-1977).
Follow PA258 northwest from the square in Mercer 5.75 miles to a road T584, North Bend Road, to the right. Follow this road 0.75 miles to its end on SR3022. Turn left on SR3022 about 100 feet. This road has been relocated since the early 60's and is now over the top of Big Bend Furnace. The stones along the road embankment at this point look suspiciously like furnace stones, and may well be all that remains. (1980). Coordinates 41º 17.03'N - 80º 19.02'W.
Furnace Stones in Road Embankment - 1978
Big Bend Furnace Special Sources:
A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces of Western Pennsylvania, Myron B. Sharp and William H. Thomas (s&t)
Copyright © Richard Parks, Last updated January 29, 2009