Hannah Furnace, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
aka Unity Furnace
Hannah (aka Unity) - Is along Tubmill
Creek in Fairfield Township. It was erected prior to 1810 by John
Beninger, who also built a small forge on the same creek near the present town of Bolivar(s&t). Another account states this cold blast charcoal furnace was built by Lloyd, Steel & Company in 1830 and named after Lloyd's daughter Hannah, and operated until 1850(jm). We visited the site in 1978 and again in 2004 and found remains of the base of the furnace and part of the wheel pit. Just loose stones scattered about. (P)(V)(rp 1978, jm-2003, rp-2004)
To find the remains of Hannah take PA711 to West Fairfield. Turn southeast onto Ross Mountain Road. Continue 3.2 miles to the junction with SR1007, Ross Mountain Park Road. Turn left on Ross Mountain Park Road to the far end of the golf course, past Ross Furnace on the left. Continue on SR1007 Ross Mountain Park Road 1.1 miles past Ross Furnace to a lane on the left leading to a white house
visible on a hill on the left side of this lane about 100 yards from SR1007. Follow the lane over the creek to this house. Ask permission at the house to visit the furnace site. Return down this lane to the creek and the furnace ruins will be on your right (south) just a few feet from the lane and next to the creek and just below the house. Only a few loose stones are scattered about. This was the exact same spot we found in 1978.
GPS coordinates 40º 20.436'N - 79º 05.367'W. (rp-2004)
Note: When we visited this furnace in 1978 we were following the directions given in the original Sharp and Thomas account which was published in "The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, Vol. 48, No. 4, page 378", which are different from the s&t book published in 1966. However, we did arrive at the same ruins we found with the corrected directions in 2004. The newer way was much superior.
Three views of remains at Hannah Furnace site - August 2004
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, January 14, 2010