Rodman Furnaces, Blair County, Pennsylvania
aka Lower Maria, Middle Maria and Upper Maria Furnaces

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Rodman (aka Upper, Middle and Lower Maria) - There were three furnaces several 100 feet apart along Plum Creek in Freedom or Taylor Townships. The three Rodman Furnaces were built by Dr. Schoenberger and named for his daughter. Middle Maria is said to be the original Elizabeth furnace that was move first to Bloomfield in Bedford county in 1847 and then moved to Rodman. A paved road was said to cover all three sites(s&t). However in 2004 we found that one furnace ruins remain, probably that of Lower Maria (P)(V)(rp,ph-2004)
(The old S&T account states that no Rodman Furnaces remain. We quote "Follow PA36 south from Hollidaysburg through McKees Gap. Just past McKee's Gap there was on the left a large plant of the New Enterprise Limestone Company. Across the highway from the main entrance are slag piles along the hillside above the road. The three stacks stood where the paved road now is. They were several hundred feet apart. Nothing but slag remains. Elizabeth Furnace, originally built at Woodbury in Bedford County, was removed to Bloomfield in 1847, and some years later was again moved, this time to Rodman, where it became the Middle Maria").
We receive word from the Yerty brothers Dwaine and Rod that there was a furnace at Rodman. We investigated with Rod and indeed found the remains of a furnace at Rodman. Rod stated that when the new road and the limestone plant were put in there were other furnaces that were destroyed. These furnaces were above the site of the furnace we found, so we conclude that the remains are that of Lower Maria, and that the other two higher up the road toward Roaring Spring were the Middle Maria (Old Elizabeth, then Bloomfield Furnace) and the Upper Maria. To reach this site from Roaring Spring, proceed north on PA36 past the Limestone Plant on the right to the Yerty Auto Service (red) building on the right. Park here 40 21.247'N - 78 24.564'W. Acknowledge your presence to the Yerty's. Walk the right shoulder of the road about 150-200 yards and you will see the remains against the hillside on the right.
GPS coordinates 40 21.319'N - 78 24.564'W.(rp,ph 2004)
About seven rows of stone and one opening face the road and parts of the two side walls are visible. A portion of the stones are mortared and the top is dressed off, probably upon the construction of a road farther up the hillside to an auto storage yard, and again higher up a quarry road.

Rodman (Lower Maria) Furnace
Michael Hom - July 2004

Rodman (Lower Maria) Furnace
August 2004

Rodman (Lower Maria) Furnace
August 2004

. Rodman (Lower Maria) Furnace
August 2004

Lower Maria (Rodman) Furnace Special Sources:
A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces of Western Pennsylvania, Myron B. Sharp and William H. Thomas (s&t)
Dwayne, Rod and Mattt Yerty, Roaring Spring PA
Pat & Michael Hom, San Diego, CA
Copyright Richard Parks, Last updated February 22, 2010