Washington Furnace, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

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Washington - Is on Furnace Run in Ligonier Township. Per s&t Johnson, McClurg and Company built this cold blast charcoal furnace in 1809, however an article in an 1812 newspaper indicates that construction started in 1811 and was completed about July 4, 1812(gir). It was abandoned in 1826. In 1848 it was rebuilt by John Bell and Company and was operated until 1854(s&t). The interior, of fire brick, including the cupola(jm), is intact but the outer walls have fallen. Near the furnace there was a large salamander taken from the furnace. It is probable that it was removed when the furnace was remodeled in 1848(s&t). (P)(V)(rp-1978, jm-2003, rp 2005).
To find Washington go 1 mile east of Laughlintown on US30. Turn left through stone pillars onto Furnace Run Lane just east of Washington Furnace Inn. Go down this private road to 137 Furnace Run Lane which is a house with two more stone pillars at its entrance. Contact the owner at 724-238-5830 to seek permission to proceed. The house is beside Furnace Run and a small walking bridge crosses the creek to the right at this point. Cross the bridge and walk along a path with high rock cliffs to the right and the stream to the left for about 300 feet.. You will see the furnace remains just to your left.
GPS coordinates 40 12.420'N - 79 10.513'W.(rp-2005)

Washington Furnace - November 2005

Wheel Pit Washington Furnace - November 2005

Washington Furnace Special Sources:
A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces of Western Pennsylvania, Myron B. Sharp and William H. Thomas (s&t)
Gilbert Flint, Laughlintown, PA
Jack Thorne, Laughlintown, PA

Copyright Richard Parks, January 15 , 2010