Buena Vista Furnace, Indiana County, Pennsylvania


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Buena Vista - is along Blacklick Creek in Brush Valley Township. It was built in 1847 by McClelland and Company(s&t). It was a cold blast charcoal furnace and was blown out in 1856(jm). This is a poorly preserved furnace but with quite a bit of the stack remaining, A triangular front arch is in good condition, and a round keystone right arch is discernable but only in fair condition with many stones above it missing. The back of the left side has fallen down but the left round keystone arch is still visible. The stone retaining wall for the charging bench is just above the furnace. The railroad right of way passes directly through the former charging bench. Much slag abounds. (P)(V)(rp-2004)
Follow US22 to Armagh. Turn left on PA56 N40 27.300' W079 01.905' Go north on PA56 2-1/4 miles past the north end of a bridge over Blacklick Creek to a dirt road on the left. This was the old village of Diaz. N40 29.005' W079 02.630' Turn left and go along the dirt road, the old road, 200 to 300 yards or to a barricade and a clearing which was formerly the path of the old road.. N40 28.895' W079 02.676' Park here. Walk down the steep bank to the the old railroad right of way. Walk right, (west) along the right of way about 200 yards until you are under or just beyond a high bluff on the left which is at the level of the charging bench.
N40 28.853' W079 02.780'. Look for an easy up and over on the left (south) side of the right of way. Climb over, down and to the left and you will be under the stone charging bench. The furnace is directly below and about 200 feet from the creek. The old railroad right of way, formerly known as the Blairsville Secondary, used to haul coal from the Diaz mine until it was abandoned in 1990. The furnace is now accessible from the western portion of the Ghost Town Rail Trail which passes by the furnace site.(ep). The eastern portion of this trail passes by the Eliza Furnace at the Cambria County line(icp).
GPS coordinates N40 28.833' W079 02.783' (rp-2004)

Buena Vista Furnave
October 2004
Front looking Northwest

Buena Vista Furnace
October 2004
East side looking northwest

Buena Vista Furnace
October 2004
Front looking North

Buena Vista Furnace - October 2004
West side looking north

Buena Vista Furnace - Octoer 2004
looking south by west

Buena Vista Furnace Special Sources:
A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces of Western Pennsylvania, Myron B. Sharp and William H. Thomas (s&t)
Pat & Michael Hom. San Diego, California
Dan & Chris Dundon, Erie, PA (dd)
Ian Straffin, Meadville, PA Ed Patterson, Indiana County Parks & Trails(ep)

Copyright Richard Parks, Decemb 30, 2009