Hopewell Furnace, Bedford County, Pennsylvania


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Hopewell - is on the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River, in the village of Hopewell, in Broad Top Township. . It was erected in 1801 by Lane & Davis(bsf). Another account indicates the furnace was built in 1800 by William King and Thomas Davis and put in operation in 1801(bhb). A cold blast charcoal fired furnace it originally produced about 15 tons per week(s&t). It was originally blown out in 1820(bhb). In 1830 or 1831 the stack was rebuilt by Mr. Lesley to become a hot blast charcoal furnace, 31 feet high with an 8 foot bosh and producing about 5 tons per day. A series of owners followed including Millegan and Benedict, then David Puterbaugh (1840-1847), then Hopewell Coal and Iron. The railroad caused the buildings to be destroyed but the stack remained to be bought by Lowry, Eichelberger & Co. and put in blast in 1863. In 1873 it was Lowry, Eichelberger and Sons. In 1882 they made 45 to 47 tons per week. The furnace operated until after 1884. The ore was mostly hematite with some fossil ore obtained near the furnace and at Tatesville. Limestone was from quarries in Hopewell Township(bsf/bhb) In the 1960's some of the outer stones and most of the inner lining were standing(s&t), but when we visited the site in 1981, only a few rows of stones and a very small piece of inner lining remained. (P)(V)(rp-1978, rp,ph-2004)
Go to the village of Hopewell, off PA26, about 15 miles north and east of Everett. Turn south on PA915, Raystown Road.. 40 08.285'N - 78 16.005''W Turn left on the first street after crossing the bridge over the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River. About one block up the hill you come to a level spot in the street, which at one time was a railroad right of way. 40 08.185'N - 78 16.017''W Turn left on this old stretch and proceed about 1-1/2 blocks to the parking lot before the Hopewell Borough Water Treatment Facility. Park about 15 feet before a utility pole on the property and back toward the drop off on the left.
GPS Coordinates 40 08.218'N - 78 15.960''W (P)(V)(rrp,ph 2004)
Look over the edge of the hill and the furnace remains are about 20 ft down the hillside. This is the site of the old town dump, no longer used and now heavily overgrown with trees and brush. The furnace is about 90% covered A portion of the inner wall shows plus a few rows of stone. However, we did get pictures of the upper remains.
The slow burial of Hopewell Furnace.
A picture of Hopewell Furnace taken in the 1960's or earlier (s&t) shows a tall furnace with much of its outer stone broken down but much of the inner lining still in fair shape. The town of Hopewerl buried most of it in its garbage dump and by 1980 only 10 or 12 layers of upper stone remained visible. In 2004 the dump had been closed and fenced off and only a few layers of Hopewerll Furnace stone remained above ground. This would make a great archaelogical dig.



These three shots taken in 1980 reveaL about ten rows of stone above garbage level in the dump at Hopewell Furnace.




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All but a few rows of stones of Hopewell Furnace are buried under the former garbage dump in these four pictures taken in August 2004
Hopewell 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 updayed February 8, 2010