Jackson Furnace, Venango County, Pennsylvania


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Jackson - is on East Sandy Creek in Cranberry Township. It was built by Smullin and Richards in about 1833(s&t/pbd). Shortly after its erection Smullin bought Richards' interests(s&t) and became sole owner as William S. Smullin & Co. In 1837 there were 30 hands at work(pbd). Smullin sold the plant in 1844 to the Hatch Brothers. Thereafter it changed owners several times and was abandoned in 1856(s&t). One of the walls has fallen down but the remainder of the furnace is in good condition. There is a large crack in one side which makes it possible to enter the structure and stand inside the bosh, but this should only be attempted with caution(evc). (P)(V)(rp-1977, jm-2003, is-2004).
From Franklin proceed east on US322 to the village of Van. Just before crossing the bridge over East Sandy Creek turn left onto T391. Approximately 0.4 miles down the road T391 makes a sharp turn to the left. Park here and walk on foot down an old lease road which would be a straight ahead extension of T391 from Van. This road can be driven part way with a jeep type vehicle, until you reach a "no motorized vehicle" sign. About mile down the road the road begins to bear left. At this point look for a faint path on your right. Follow the path about 100 yards and look for the furnace on the right side near the creek. (1978). Ian Straffin visited this site in Aug. 2004 and provided the GPS reading and updated directions.
In 2003 John Markiel visited Jackson Furnace and gives a more detailed description of the approach. From the parking spot a long hike past a hunting cabin and an electric right of way to a split. Split left and look for 3 apple trees on the right. At this point look for an old wagon trail hidden in the weeds and follow it toward the creek. The furnace is on the right buried in the brush(jm).
I believe both of the above descriptions are one and the same route(rp).
GPS Coordinates 41 19.190'N - 79 38.122'W.(is-2004)

Jackson Furnace - October 1977

Jackson Furnace - 2004 (is)

Jackson Furnace - 2004 (is)

Jackson 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
Ian Straffin, Meadville, PA (is)
Copyright Richard Parks, January 22, 2010