Ramsey Furnace, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania


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Ramsey - Was a steam powered furnace above the Kiskiminetas River in Washington Township. It was built in 1847 by Frederick Overman and Dr. J. P. Speer of Pittsburgh. The "Iron Manufacturer's Guide (1859)" says that this was a cold blast charcoal furnace. The ruins of the stack are on the side of a hill far above the river, so we may assume that it was steam powered, and this assumption combined with the date of construction leads us to believe that this was a hot blast furnace(s&t). All of the slag appears to be coke slag showing that at least in its later years it used coke instead of charcoal.(s&t/rp). (V)(P)(rp-2003).
To reach Ramsey- From the junction of US22 and PA66 south of Delmont N40 23.857' W079 34.286' (dl) Go east on US22 2.6 miles to junction with PA819. N40 24.082' W079 31.473' (dl) Turn left (north) on PA819 through Slickville and Perryville. About one mile beyond Perryville PA819 makes an abrupt left bend N40 31.168' W079 30.577' . Do not turn but go straight ahead on SR981. After 0.4 miles turn left onto Main Street toward Salina. N40 31.168' W079 30.150' Continue into Salina to where the road veers right away from the railroad. N40 31.168' W079 30.577' (topo)N40 31.471' W079 29.426'(gps) Park here and walk the railroad right of way to the east until you come to an abandoned tunnel on the right. About 200 yards beyond the tunnel entrance you will note a faint gradual upgrade splitting off to the right. This was a former railroad spur that went up the hill. Follow this until you come upon some slag piles from the old furnace. Look above these piles and you will see a level bench, actually a newer path probably put there to aide construction of homes on the upper side of the hill. Walk further until you can climb easily to the newer path and return back along it until you are just above the slag piles. You can see traces of furnace stones and rubble along this path and above it. This is all that remains of Ramsey Furnace.
Approximate GPS Location N40 31.926' W079 28.978' (rp-2003)

Abandoned Railroad Tunnel on way to Ramset Furnace - October 2003

Ramsey Furnace Remains - October 2003

Ramsey Furnace Remains - October 2003

Ramsey Furnace Special Sources:
A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces of Western Pennsylvania, Myron B. Sharp and William H. Thomas (s&t)

Copyright Richard Parks, January 14,, 2010