President Furnace, Venango County, Pennsylvania


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President - along Hemlock Creek in President Township. At President the furnace as well as the rest of the village owed its early existence to the Rev. Ralph Clapp who, with his wife and six children, settled in the area along the Allegheny River in about 1846. In 1854-1855 Clapp and his son Edwin E. built President Furnace along Hemlock Creek about mile from its mouth.(s&t-evc). This cold blast charcoal furnace was circular in shape. In addition to President Furnace the Clapp's built Clinton Furnace that was further up Hemlock Creek in Washington Township, Clarion County(evc). President was about equal in size and capacity to other furnaces in the county but the period for profitable iron manufacture in small blast furnaces was nearing its end, so after a few years the furnace went out of blast(s&t). Only three or four rows of stone remain at this site, the rest probably carted away for use in other construction.(P)(V)(rp-1977, km-2004).
From Oil City go north on US62 to the village of President. Before crossing Hemlock Creek at President SR2023 goes to the right. Take this road about 100 feet to a dirt driveway on the left. Take this driveway until it makes a sharp turn to the right and proceed to where it ends at a group of cottages. Cross the yard of a log cabin on the right and proceed away from Hemlock Creek toward the hillside. Search this area about 100 yards to the right of this cabin until you find the ruins of the furnace. It is beyond a swampy depression and bank which may have been the millrace, and is in very thick and difficult foliage. Only a few rows of stone and one opening remain and it may be hard to find, .although we came on it quite easily. Karl Mouck visited this site in 2004 and confirmed the coordinates,
GPS Coordinates 41 26.805'N - 79 33.143'W (km-2004)

President Furnace - February 1977

President Furnace - February 1977

President 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
Karl Mouck, Sandy Lake, PA
Copyright Richard Parks, January 23, 2010