Welcome to Bedford County Old Stone Furnaces
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in Southwest Central Pennsylvania
had four old stone iron furnaces that we can find in the historical records. Robert Hornbarger, from Clearville, Bedford County stated that there were three more and gave the locations. We visited and documented two of the three sites he mentioned. The first, which we called Bedford is actually a lime kiln, as explained by Mike Reed. The second we will call Hewitt until otherwise informed. This also may be a lime kiln since no slag was found. The third site could not be located where Mr. Hornbarger had advised. The two new sites are well worth a visit, and we thank Mike for clarification and would welcome further information. A fourth site was identified by Richard Wever and we will call it Evitts, (for it's location along Evitts Creek and Evitts Ridge, south of Bedford). This is also probably a lime kiln. Another interesting site is the Bloomfield Furnace Farm which has many structure ruins from the furnace operation. The Hopewell furnace, in the village of Hopewell, has all but a bit of the inner lining sticking up under a pile of debris from a former garbage dump, and the old Lemnos furnace has only a few furnace stones left on the site.
Lime Kiln at Bedford
Furnace Barn at Bloomfield
Bedford Lime Kiln - On the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River in Snake Spring Township. We found an old stone structure east of Bedford, as per Robert Hornbarger's directions. Recent information from Mike Reed reveals this to be a lime kiln. It was used to cook lime from the limestone that was quarried between it and the Juniata River. In 2006 the quarry was filled by the Route 30 project. The kiln has about 2/3 of its stone rows intact. It has a very different design, with a concave semicircular opening extending upward from the normal tuyere area to the top of the furnace. This would support the revelation that this is a lime kiln. (P)(V)(rp-2005).
Go east from Bedford on US30 and about a mile beyond the Interstate underpass near the top of the hill. Below the Altoona Bank and near the northeast corner of the Construction Supply Center parking lot you will notice two old buildings and several pine trees. The furnace is between the buildings and the pine trees. Much new construction has taken place in this area and we saw no slag.
GPS coordinates 40º 01.530'N - 78º 27.083'W
Bloomfield - is along Halter Creek in Bloomfield Township. According to the 1884 history of Bedford County(bsf), Elizabeth furnace was torn down about 1847 and rebuilt at Bloomfield near the Bedford-Blair county line. It was owned by Dr. P. Schoenberger until 1851 when by his will it was passed to the Duncan heirs. In 1884 it had not been in operation for several years(bsf), and could have by that time been moved to Rodman in Blair county where it became the "Middle Maria" furnace. Bloomfield production was about 50 tons per week. There are large slag piles which attest to its success. All that remained of the furnace was a pile of stones (s&t)(P)(V)(rp,ph-2004). The owner of the property says there are now no remains.
Follow PA36 south from Hollidaysburg to Roaring Springs, and turn right onto PA867 (Bloomfield Road). N40º 20.525' W078º 24.180' (This may be different if approaching from the east) Follow this road for 3.2 miles to Sproul Mountain Road (SR1042) to the right. N40º 17.128' W078º 25.036' About 0.2 miles down this road is a red brick house on the right. On an adjacent barn (was) a faint sign reading "Bloomfield Furnace Farm". Park here, N40º 17.134' W078º 25.307' . The fields in back of the house to the wooded area along the creek where the furnace ruins are is bounded by barbed wire and is a llama farm. You will need to contact the owner before proceeding. (814-224-2626). We were
escorted by the owner across the llama field to the open field beyond and to the north. Where the field rises gently to a small crown and you approach the woods, the furnace remains were within the woods at this point.
GPS coordinates 40º 17.252'N - 78º 25.275''W. (rp,ph 2004)
Much slag abounds in piles to the right of the furnace location and in the woods and underbrush. "This was originally a charcoal furnace but changed over to coke" (s&t). To the northwest of the barn and on a small hillside was the furnace mansion house with foundation location easily discernable. Also other remains abound, including the furnace vehicle storage area and the old barn with some of the original timbers and stones. This was the horse barn for the furnace.
Elizabeth - was originally along Yellow Creek in Woodbury Township. Elizabeth Furnace was built in 1827 by King, Swope and Company, in which Dr. Shoenberger was the company. After about 20 years it was taken down and moved to Bloomfield, and later to Blair County (Rodman) (s&t). No trace of the original stack remains, but charcoal, ore and foundations of some of the works are there.
To reach the original site, take PA36 south from Hollidaysburg to Woodbury. At the south edge of town turn west on Club House Road. Pass the mill on the right, cross the bridge and enter the field on the left. There was a good size slag pile near the creek. On a bench above you can see where the furnace was. Coordinates 40º 13.37'N - 78º 22.19'W.
Evitts Ridge kiln - On Evitts Creek south of Bedford in Cumberland Valley Township. This stone structure, called to our attention by Richard Wever, is about 20 feet in height with one opening in front and a cylindical opening in top. It is built into the side of Evitts Ridge. It is probably an old lime kiln.
To reach the site from the intersection of US220 and US30 in Bedford go south on US220 about 11.8 miles and turn left onto Business 220 as it angles back toward the Bedford Springs Hotel. Just before Bus 220 crosses over Evitts Creek you will notice a dirt road to the right. The furnace is against the hillside about
25-50 yards up the old dirt road. It can be seen from Bus 220 in the fall after the leaves have fallen(rw). We have not visited this site. Any help and pictures would be appreciated.
Approximate coordinates 39º 52.267'N - 78º 36.389'W.
Hewitt (kiln?) - On a branch off Town Creek at Hewitt in Southampton Township We found the site brought to our attention by Robert Hornbarger. It may have been a lime kiln, since nop slag has been located and we found no historical record of an iron furnace in this area. We will call it Hewitt until a historical name can be found. It has a few courses of stone on the sides and the front is mostly broken down, however you can make out what appears to be a tuyere opening. The sides are braced up by piles of rock and the stones have been mortared from the outside. These changes were probably made to protect the road embankment. (P)(V)(rp-2005).
Go south from Chaneyville on PA326 to a sign for a covered bridge at Hewitt. (39º 45.531'N - 78º 31.049'W). Turn left and drive across a bridge at the stream and park. Walk back across the bridge and go to the right downstream along the creek about 20 yards, then work your way toward the hillside through thick brush. You will see the furnace up against the road embankment.
GPS coordinates 39º 45.551'N - 78º 31.008'W. (rp-2005)
Hopewell - is on the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River, in the village of Hopewell, in Broad Top Township. . It was erected in 1801 by Lane & Davis(bsf). Another account indicates the furnace was built in 1800 by William King and Thomas Davis and put in operation in 1801(bhb). A cold blast charcoal fired furnace it originally produced about 15 tons per week(s&t). It was originally blown out in 1820(bhb). In 1830 or 1831 the stack was rebuilt by Mr. Lesley to become a hot blast charcoal furnace, 31 feet high with an 8 foot bosh and producing about 5 tons per day. A series of owners
followed including Millegan and Benedict, then David Puterbaugh (1840-1847), then Hopewell Coal and Iron. The railroad caused the buildings to be destroyed but the stack remained to be bought by Lowry, Eichelberger & Co. and put in blast in 1863. In 1873 it was Lowry, Eichelberger and Sons. In 1882 they made 45 to 47 tons per week. The furnace operated until after 1884. The ore was mostly hematite with some fossil ore obtained near the furnace and at Tatesville. Limestone was from quarries in Hopewell Township(bsf/bhb) In the 1960's some of the outer stones and most of the inner lining were standing(s&t), but when we visited the site in 1981, only a few rows of stones and a very small piece of inner lining remained. (P)(V)(rp-1978, rp,ph-2004)
Go to the village of Hopewell, off PA26, about 15 miles north and east of Everett. Turn south on PA915, Raystown Road.. 40º 08.285'N - 78º 16.005''W Turn left on the first street after crossing the bridge over the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River. About one block up the hill you come to a level spot in the street, which at one time was a railroad right of way. 40º 08.185'N - 78º 16.017''W Turn left on this old stretch and proceed about 1-1/2 blocks to the parking lot before the Hopewell Borough Water Treatment Facility. Park about 15 feet before a utility pole on the property and back toward the drop off on the left.
GPS Coordinates 40º 08.218'N - 78º 15.960''W (P)(V)(rrp,ph 2004)
Look over the edge of the hill and the furnace remains are about 20 ft down the hillside. This is the site of the old town dump, no longer used and now heavily overgrown with trees and brush. The furnace is about 80% covered A portion of the inner wall shows plus a few rows of stone. However, we did get pictures of the upper remains.
Lemnos - is two miles west of Hopewell along Yellow Creek in Hopewell Township. It was built in 1841 by Loy and Patterson. It was abandoned prior to 1878 after having had a variety of owners. A pile of stone and rubble with one large piece of lining visible at the top of the pile. There is charcoal slag along the creek and in the fields(s&t). (P)(V)(rp,ph-2004).
Go north from Everett on PA26 to the village of Eichelbergertown. About 0.7 miles east of town turn sharply right onto Plank Road (SR1009) at the community of Sunny Side.
40º 08.575'N - 78º 17.124''W. If going west from Hopewell about 1.1 miles to Sunny Side split left onto SR1009. Cross Yellow Creek twice on Plank Road and continue to the 3rd house on the left, a white house. 40º 08.128''N - 78º 17.447'W The owner of the Lemnos property, Mr. Luke Williams lives here. You may wish to call Mr. Williams (814-928-4446) before proceeding. Continue down Plank Road to near a barn and a red brick house, between the road and the creek valley. Just beyond the barn you will see a road to the left going down to Yellow Creek. Follow this lane to the first of two bridges over the creek. Do not cross the bridges. Park here.
GPS coordinates 40º 07.852''N - 78º 17.585'W (P)(V)(rrp,ph 2004)
Walk to the right about 50 feet. The furnace remains are next to the hill on the right.
Bedford X2 - Robert Hornbarger stated that there was a furnace along Beaver Creek near PA869 and Salemville Road. We talked with Mr. Snider, owner of the property, and he knew of no furnace in this vicinity. Robert has been requested to advise us further.
The furnace would hve been along Beaver Creek in South Woodbury Township. Go west from New Enterprise on PA869 to the junction of SR1026 Salemville Road. Turn south onto SR1026. The furnace would have been on the right in some brush just beyond the intersection. We found no likely location in this vicinity. Would appreciate any help to locate this site.Approximate coordinates 40º 10.445'N - 78º 27.445'W
Bedford County Special Sources:
Robert Hornbarger, Clearville, Pennsylvania(Bedford, Hewitt and BedfordX2) (rh)
Mike Reed, Bedford, Pennsylvania (Bedford Lime Kiln)(mr)
Gerald Slick - Bloomfield Furnace Farm
Luke Williams - Hopewell Twp.- Lemnos Furnace
Pat & Michael Hom, San Diego, Ca., Bloomfield, Hopewell, Lemnos, (ph)
Your source for Western Pennsylvania Iron Furnace Information
Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard
Copyright © Richard Parks, December 25, 2009