Victory Furnace, Venango County, Pennsylvania
Victory - along Victory Run in Victory Township is a fine, well preserved furnace which can also be entered for a view up the stack. Andrew Bonner built this furnace in 1843. Later owners were Archibald and Joseph Bonner, Alexander Hayes and George Crawford who allowed the furnace to fall into decay. Crawford sold it to R. C. Shorts. The furnace went out of blast probably in 1850. It is said that the Shorts family, who owner the property for many years, operated it for a short time prior to the Civil War (1859-1860); but there is no record in the tax books or elsewhere to substantiate this claim(s&t). (P)(V)(rp-1977-1991-2004, he-2003,km,rp,is,dd-2004).
Finding the furnace was a challenge before the new route 8 was built. Now it can be reached in at least two ways.
(1) Park along Hwy 8 and crawl under the fence to the creek and up to the furnace. From Franklin proceed south on new route 8 to the bottom of the hill and the bridge across Sandy Creek. Proceed south up the hill 0.75 miles to just before the end of the guardrail at 41º 18.896'N - 79º 52.708'W.
The furnace can be reached by going under the deer fence near a large rock below the west side of the road and down the hillside. Proceed upstream until you see the furnace on a flat across the creek and against the hillside. Ford the creek to the furnace. This furnace was visited by Hank Edenborn in August 2003, and Karl Mouck in 2004 and they provided GPS coordinates.
(2) The secomd more difficult route is to walk up Victory Run up from Sandy Creek. EnterVictory Run at Sandy Creek (west of the brideg on Route 8) and hike south up the run. This is a vigorous hike.
We have visited it both ways.(P)(V) (rp-1977-1991-2004, he-2003, km,is,dd,rp-2004).
GPS coordinates 41º 18.929'N - 79º 52.788'W.(km,rp,dd.is-2004); 41º 18.962'N - 79º 52.75'W(he-2003)
looking south at main opening
Ian Straffin (l) Dan Dundon (r)
lloking south at main opening
looking west toward hillside
Victory Furnace - November 204
Christmas comes to Victory Furnace (he)
Victory 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
Hasnk Edenborn, Finleyville, PA (he)
Dan & Chris Dundon, Erie, PA (dd)
Karl Mouck, Sandy Lake, PA (km)
Ian Straffin, Meadville, PA (is)
Copyright © Richard Parks, Last updated March 11, 2010