Staply Furnace, Venango County, PennsylvaniaShippen Furnace
Stapley (aka Shippen) - in an open field in Richland Township. It was erected in 1835 by Charles and Richard Shippen, and is sometimes known as the Shippen Furnace(evc). It was named for a relative of the family. It was steam powered(s&t), probably the only one in Venango County, and set some distance back from Mill Creek. In fact, it is quite high up a hill. Until the fall of 2004 it looked like a giant milk bottle standing in the field, with most of the outer stones removed(is) and used as a barn foundation. The barn is no longer there(evc). By the fall of 2005 the "bottle" had collapsed and now only a pile of inner furnace stones remain.(jw) (P)(V)(rp-1977, is-2004, jw-2005).
From Emlenton take PA38/PA208 north to Mariasville. Continue on PA38 for 1.75 miles to a historical marker on the left side of the road. Park here. 41º 13.882'N - 79º 40.106'W. Take the path from the marker to the furnace, 150 feet from the highway. The furnace can also be reached by taking PA38 south from its junction with US322 through Nickleville. Look for the historical market on the right.
GPS Coordinates 41º 13.887'N - 79º 40.160'W(is-2004)
Stapley Furnace - 1977
Stapley Furnace - no date
Stapley Furnace remains - 2009 after stack has fallen
Stapley 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
Ian Straffin, Meadville, PA
Copyright © Richard Parks, January 24, 2010