Franklin Furnace, Venango County, Pennsylvania
aka McClelland's Furnace
Franklin (aka McClelland's) - is along Big Sandy Creek in Sandy Creek Township. It was built by George McClelland about 1825-1830(s&t) at the foot of Pecan Hill south of Franklin After McClelland's death in 1834 the furnace was apparently shut down, although the amount of slag in the area suggests that it might have been put in blast again at a later date(evc). In 1837 an account shows no Franklin Furnace in operation at that time(pbd). The ruins of this furnace are still in existence although in very bad condition. A large millrace runs along the base of the hill to the furnace. It then makes an abrupt right turn and the tailrace runs south to the creek(s&t)..Some of the stones from the furnace have fallen into the race(evc). (P)(V)(rp-1977, km-2004).
From Franklin proceed south on route 8 to the junction of SR3013 (Old route 8). SR3013 is a turn to the right shortly beyond the DeBence Music Museum. Proceed down Pecan Hill to the bridge over Big Sandy Creek. Just before the bridge turn left onto a dirt road which then runs parallel to Big Sandy Creek going downstream. Park here. This road is currently marked private keep out. To reach the furnace you would proceed down this road until you notice a pipe line clearing. Follow the pipe line clearing to the base of the hill. At this point turn right along the old millrace about 100 feet to the furnace. The ruins are against the hillside on the left across the millrace. (1978). Karl Mouck provided the GPS coordinates and tells us the furnace is in a heavy briar thicket.
GPS Coordinates 41º 20.056'N - 79º 53.112'W(km-2004).
Franklin Furnace - 1978
Franklin Furnace Special Sources:
A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces of Western Pennsylvania, Myron B. Sharp and William H. Thomas (s&t)
Exploring Venango County prepared for the Venango County Bicentennial Commision, 1976(evc).
J. A. Caldwell (hvc) publisher History of Venango County, by Edward (Kirke) White, 1879
The News Herald, Thur. Jul 27, 1978 (tnh)
Isaac Harris (pbd) publisher The Pittsburgh Business Directory, 1837
Karl Mouck, Sandy Lake, PA
Copyright © Richard Parks, January 22, 2010