Fairchance Furnace, Fayette County, Pennsylvania


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Fairchance - Is on a branch of Georges Creek in Georges Township. It was built by John Hayden in 1803 or 1804 and sold to the Oliphant's in 1805(s&t). In 1822 John Oliphant was the listed owner, and also owned nearby Fairfield Furnace(dav). In about 1870 the borough of Fairchance began its growth due to the Fairchance Furnace Company's presence and was incorporated in 1884 through the efforts of the company and it's superintendent Robert L. Martin(smh). Fairchance Furnace was rebuilt several times and blown out in 1887. This furnace was one of the first to have preheated blast. The air for the blast passed through a pipe that was 150 feet long. When it was freezing at the tuyeres Mr. Hayden would light a fire under the blast pipe and the hot blast cleared up furnace freezing. Hayden did not follow up on his discovery and regular use of hot blast came later(s&t). It is only a pile of stones and rubble about 10' high. (P)(V)(rp,ph-2004).
From Hopwood go south on SR3027 (Hopwood-Fairchance or Mountain Road) through Fairchance to the intersection with PA857. 39 48.742'N - 79 45.666'W Turn right and go 200-300 feet. Just before reaching the railroad track (or rr right of way) turn right into a stone driveway at 39 48.811'N - 79 45.637'W. About 150 feet down this lane you will come to a house. Seek permission and proceed around the house to the back yard and to a small bridge which crosses the remains of the millrace. Walk to the right along the race to the back of the lot and you will see the pile of stones, slag and rubble about 10 feet high.
GPS Coordinates 39 48.909'N - 79 45.484'W (rp2004).

Fairchance Furnace, a pile of rubble behind a backyard fireplace built from its stones
July 2004

Evidence of the race running to site of Fairchance Furnace
July 2004

Rubble pile remains of Fairchance Furnace - July 2004

Rubble pile remains of Fairchance Furnace - July 2004

Fairchance 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
Copyright Richard Parks, Last updated March 8, 2010