Maple Furnace, Butler County, Pennsylvania
Maple - was on the North Branch of Bear Creek in Allegheny Township. It was built in 1844 by George and James Bovard(s&t). The Bovard's founded the Village of Maple Furnace at that time and place(b). In 1854 the furnace was purchased by Matthew S. Adams, who had moved to Fairview, seven miles south of Maple furnace, in 1844 to go into the foundry business. Mr. Adams operated the furnace up to the fall of 1865. His iron was of good quality and was in great demand. He hauled it to Parker's Landing on the Allegheny River and from thence transported it by flatboats to Pittsburgh, In conjunction with the furnace he had a large store(a). The store continued until 1868, and a grist mill was still grinding in 1895, at which time the P. Bullman house stood on the old Maple furnace site(b). The house now is gone(s&t). Another source states that a Scotsman, John Hughes owned and controlled the Old Maple Furnace in Butler County(c). The area has been stripped for coal. Lots of slag is visible along Little Bear Creek below the stripped area(s&t). Nothing remains of the furnace.(V)(rp,ph-2004).
There are several possible ways to get to this site.
(1) A resident who owns the property where the pipeline is located says the best way to get to this location is to go southwest from Six Points on Slater Road to Blauser Road. Left on Blauser, parallel to the creek and downstream to the bridge. The last ½ mile on this road is best traversed with a 4WD vehicle.
41º 06.331'N - 79º 44.729'W (rp,ph - 2004)
Across the bridge is the area of the furnace site. Walk the jeep trail east to a flat area where the village probably was. The vegetation was so thick that it was not possible to discern specific landmarks in July of 2004.
(2) A second way to reach this site may be to go to Six Points on PA58 and turn S on Maple Furnace Road. Talks with residents in this area indicate that this would require a 4 wheel drive vehicle.
(3) Using the s&t directions (1960's) Follow SR1009 for 2.4 miles from the northern limits of the town of Bruin northwest to the village of Eldorado or Glenora as it was formerly called. In Eldorado Sr1009 turns sharply left and Dorado Road (T729?) turns to the right. Proceed straight ahead on a dirt lane to the Goertz farm, about 1/4 mile. Obtain permission to cross their farm, then proceed north on a lane starting at the barn. At the end of the lane park and walk down a cleared gas line right of way. Almost at the bottom of the hill go right on cross road to the creek, and go over the bridge to the site.
(4) A 4th possible way (s&t) to reach this place may be to turn right at Eldorado on T729? and follow it to the bottom of the hill. After about 1.4 miles where the road turns right turn left and park in an old lane, or jeep trail. Walk down this trail to the creek and cross it (The bridge was out when s&t visited the site, so this way may be difficult). After crossing the creek go straight ahead on the old lane along the creek for 1.5 to 1.75 miles. Pass the bridge mentioned in #1 above.
After reaching this location s&t stated the following "to the left. In about 100 yards you will be at the gas line right of way again on the north side of the creek. Upstream from the gas line are large amounts of slag. Above this slag dump is a mound of dirt and in back of it a ditch that could have been the millrace. This ditch continues downstream on the downstream side of the pipe line clearing. Farther down, a road was cut through the hillside, and there is an exposed bank of reddish brown dirt with charcoal slag mixed through it. Across the bridge and downstream is a field of slag. On the hillside above are several mounds of dirt and stone that possibly could be the remains of the furnace, the exact location of which remains a mystery".
A historical account (1895) indicated that the P. Bullman house stood on the furnace site, however there are now no buildings in this area which formerly housed a village.
Maple Furnace Special Sources:
A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces of Western Pennsylvania, Myron B. Sharp and William H. Thomas (s&t)
History of Butler County PA., R. C. Brown & Co. Publishers, 1895, end of ch. 69.
Richard Blauser, RD Parker, Pennsylvania
Adam C. Terwilliger, Parker, PA
Copyright © Richard Parks, Last updated February 8, 2010