Mt. Etna Furnace, Blair County, Pennsylvania
aka Etna Furnace
Mt. Etna (aka Etna) - is on Roaring Run in Catherine Township. It was built between 1807 and 1809 and put in operation in the latter year by John Canon, David Stewart and William Moore(s&t/bhs). This was the first furnace in Blair County. Henry Spang bought it in 1837(s&t), or 1823 and he constructed a stone mansion, a new company store, and tenant home where the workers lived(bhs). Jacob Isett bought it about 1855(s&t). Business flourished during the Civil War but declined after the canal, along the Frankstown Branch of the Juniata River, closed in 1872, and the furnace was shut down in 1876(bhs). Many houses remain from the days when it was active, including a row of log houses about ¼ mile from the furnace which were in use in the 1960's. About 100 yards from the log houses is the iron masters house built by Spang and later occupied by Isett(s&t). The site where the furnace stands was deeded to the Blair County Historical Society in 1947. The stack began to crumble, and so, in 1980 through a state grant, measures were taken to prevent further collapse. . The stones were mortared and cables were installed to hold it in position and the openings were blocked with concrete blocks, thus diminishing its original authenticity.(V)(P)(rp-2003).
Drive east on US22 through Yellow Springs. About 0.4 mile beyond Yellow Springs and just before you cross a bridge over Roaring Run.
N40º 31.536' W078º 11.975'
turn right onto Etna Furnace Road. Follow this road for 1.05 miles. The furnace is on the left about 30 feet from the road. The furnace can also be viewed by traveling up the Lower Trail corridor from Williamsburg, by hiking, biking or horseback.
GPS coordinates N40º 31.382' W078º 10.793'
Mt. Etna Furnace - November 2003
Retaining Wall of Charging Bench
Mt. Etna Furnace - November 2004
Two views of Iron Masters House -Mt. Etna Furnace - November 2003
Mt. Etna (Etna) 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 February 21, 2010