Loop Furnace, Indiana County, Pennsylvania
aka Benton Furnace
Loop (aka Benton) - was built in 1847 by Hampton and Smith(s&t), who also were listed as owners in 1849. In 1842 Elisha Dow Barrett was a partner in a Loop Iron Works, and his brothers Marcus and Lysander had an interest in the works at one time. Marcus Barrett is shown in the tax records as paying taxes on the Benton Furnace in the 1850's, the property of which adjoined his property in the loop. We can conclude that the Loop and Benton furnaces were one and that the same. An 1856 Peelor map of Indiana County shows the Loop Furnace in a loop of Mahoning Creek in West Mahoning Township about a mile south of the Jefferson County line.(jlp/tas) According to the current owner of the property, Delbert Highlands, there is nothing to indicate a furnace existed here. There is some rubble which Mr. Highlands believes may be the remains of an old barn bridge. He also stated that the Federal Government cleared the land for flood control and much of what was on the flood control acquisition no longer exists, except for traces here or there of a farm. I believe this location should be explored to determine if any of the remains could have been part of an iron furnace community or if slag may be found downstream from this location.
The best way to visit this location is to start from Jefferson County.
Go west from Punxsutawney on PA36 then PA536 to a T intersection called Grange at approximately 79º 05' W. Turn left onto SR3002 and continue to approximately 79º 08.75 W where Mc Divitt Road T301 comes in from the left. (Mc Divitt Road becomes Barnett Hollow Road T394 in Indiana County). Take Mc Divitt/Barnett Hollow Roads across the county line into Indiana County to a junction with North Loop Drive (Loop). Turn left and proceed across the intersection with North Loop Road to the vicinity of 40º 53.579' N and 79º 10' W. and look for the furnace to the right between the road and the creek. An aerial view (tn) indicates what appears to be a field with a possibility of rubble. We did not visit this location.
Approximate coordinates; 40º 53.579' N and 79º 10' W.(map scaled location).
The Loop Furnace was in the southt turning loop of Mahoning Creek, just aboove the E in the word WESTt. It was on the inside west side of the loop. Notice a "Barrett" property shown nearby.
Loop Furnace Special Sources:
A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces of Western Pennsylvania, Myron B. Sharp and William H. Thomas (s&t)
Indiana County Parks - www.indianacountyparks.org/happenings/arch/ivc072903.htm (icp)
Tom Nagy (tn)
Delbert Highlands (Loop Furnace)(dh)
Ed Patterson, Indiana County Parks & Trails(ep)
Jodi L. Polsgrove(jlp) Paper on the Smicksburg area
Timothy A. Spencer(tas) In The Valley of The Fair Mahoining
Copyright © Richard Parks, Decemb 30, 2009