Center Furnace, Fayette County, Pennsylvania
aka Dunbar Furnace
Center (aka Dunbar see also Union) - Is at the intersection of Dunbar Creek and Glade Run in Dunbar Township. When built in 1815 by Isaac Meason this furnace was called Dunbar Furnace. It is now in poor condition. All of the stack except part of the base has fallen into Glade Run. The charcoal house, the wheel pit, millrace and cast house foundation are still discernable. Across glade run are quantities of slag and a large stone retaining wall. (S&T early 1960's). We plotted three routes into the furnace, and reached it in 2004 by hiking up Dunbar Creek. The routes are described in the Location page. (P)(V)(rp,ph-2004)
We provide three routes to this location.
(1) The first option, and probably the easiest, would be to go upstream along Dunbar Creek starting from the south east side. Follow SR1055 east from the bridge over Dunbar Creek in Dunbar. 39° 58.304'N - 79° 36.831'W. Proceed on SR 1055 about 3.0 miles. Here SR1055 bears left and a gravel road (T782) Betty Knox Road goes right. 39° 56.664'N - 79° 34.745'W. Follow this rough road to its end in a game lands parking lot. Park here. 39° 55.909'N - 79° 35.270'W. In low water, or with proper wading equipment Dunbar Creek can be forded and the furnace approached by walking upstream. Start by walking upstream on the SE side (left bank) of Dunbar Creek. You will have an easy stepping stone crossing of Limestone Run. You will then pass a location where a road comes down from the opposite bank (no bridge) and continues on upstream. This is called 2nd crossing. Continue on this path, left bank upstream, until it comes back to the creek and you see a wide shallow crossing to a continuation on the right bank. This is 3rd crossing. Ford Dunbar Creek and continue on upstream on the NW side of the creek until you arrive at the confluence with Glade Run. This is about 1.33 straight line miles from the parking lot. Ford (now Little Dunbar Creek) one more time and you are in the V formed by Glade Run and Little Dunbar Creek. Walk up the right (southwest) bank of Glade Run no more than 100 feet and you will see the wheel pit, the furnace remains, and structures above on the hilltop, probably the charcoal house and others.
GPS coordinates 39° 54.945'N - 79° 36.136'W (P)(V)(rp 2004).
Gary Sherwin (email@example.com) has a web site that explains in detail how to take this route up Dunbar Creek to the confluence with Glade Run. On the return trip down Dunbar Creek cross back over at 3rd Crossing, but then you can take an optional route. When the road comes back down to the stream you will be at 2nd Crossing. Cross again to the NW side
and walk back until you see the parking lot across the creek at 1st Crossing. Ford again to your starting point. This option will not have the steep hillsides or extremely difficult over/under and
vegetation problems affecting your journey.
(2) The second option, another proposed by Gary Sherwin(gs), is to take US40 east to just past the Summit and down to Chalk Hill. Hear you go left onto SR2010, Chalk Hill Road to the east side of Deer Lake where you turn left onto Greenbrier Road which runs along the ridge. In about two miles you turn left on Betty Knox Road into the state game lands #51. This road is gated, and was not open in July of 2004. If open you continued on this road about 2+ miles until you reach a loop road. At about N 39° 54.50' W079° 35.46' you look for an old logging road going northwest down the hill to the confluence of Dunbar Creek and Glade Run. Using this route there are no fords necessary until you reach the confluence. There will be a lot of over/under, heavy brush travel, and hills on this route. Gary Sherwin can supply the GPS coordinates for this old trail.
(3) The third option, by s&t and modified by road changes and visitation is; North from Uniontown on US119 to the exit to the intersection of Connellsville Road and Shady Grove Road. N 39° 56.020' W079° 39.873' Go east on Shady Grove Road, which becomes Surry Lane and Old Braddock Road, for 2.8 miles to a road to the left. N 39° 55.402' W079° 37.413' Take this gravel road to the left for about 0.3 to 0.4 mile to where the road deteriorates and a small parking area is observed to the left. Park here. N 39° 55.331' W079° 37.085' Walk the road about another 200 feet and look for a faint lane to the right. N 39° 55.315' W079° 37.050' (V) (P)(rrp 2003). This lane is posted no trespassing and has a barbed wire fence. It is 0.91 miles SE of the furnace location so we are fairlycertain this is the lane described by s&t in the 60's that leads down to Dunbar Creek, although we did not enter in 2003. If you followed the lane down the hill until you see Little Dunbar Creek you should be upstream of the junction of Glade Run at this point, so parallel the creek to the junction. The furnace should be to the right across Little Dunbar Creek in the V with Glade Run. This route could be rigorous due to the steepness of the hillside and probable heavy obstructions.
We have completed only the first option shown above, traveling up Dunbar Creek.
r3rd Crossing Dunar Creek - August 2004
Wheel Pit - Aug 2004
Center Furnace - August 2004
Structure @ Center Furnace site - August 2004
1s Crossing Dunbar Creek - August 2004
Center Furnace Special Sources:
A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces of Western Pennsylvania, Myron B. Sharp and William H. Thomas (s&t)
Gary W. Sherwin, Yukon-Dunbarm PA
Pat & Michael Hom, Sab Diego, Callifornia (ph)
Copyright © Richard Parks, Last updated March 6. , 2010