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in West Central Pennsylvania had four furnaces. We have visited two, Buena Vista and Baker. Another, Loop, needs further exploration to determine if remains are visible and one, Black Lick, has no remains only a sign pointing to its general whereabouts. The must see site in Indiana County is Buena Vista. To find it currently requires a steep hillside climb down and up, and the fording of an old railroad trackside gulley. The western segment of the Ghost Town rail trail passes right by Buena Vista making it an easier find. Baker also is an interesting site with several old stonework structures identified, but not much left of the furnace itself.

Baker Furnace
Baker Furnace
Buena Vista Furnace
Buena Vista Furnace

Black Lick -was along Blacklick Creek in Buffington Township not far southwest from the Eliza furnace in Cambria County. This furnace was built by David Stewart between 1844 and 1846. It was 35' high with an 8' bosh(s&t). It was a cold blast charcoal furnace, producing about 5 tons per day on a nine months production year. The only evidence of a furnace is a historical marker placed along the Rexis Access Hiking Trail located just outside Vintondale, Pa(jm-rp).
Two routes are given to reach the Blacklick marker;
(1) Follow US22 from Armagh 3.3 miles east to SR2013. Turn left on SR 2013 for about 1.3 miles to a bridge to the left over Blacklick Creek. Cross the bridge and the Rexis access hiking trail and look for the historical marker. The sign is located just north of the road along the west bank of Blacklick Creek at the trail. The road then curves to the right and leads uphill, and the furnace was in the curve of the road. The trail is on the right of way of the so called Blairsville Secondary, a coal hauler, abandoned in 1990. It is planned to become an extension of The Ghost Town Rail Trail which passes by the Eliza Furnace on the Cambria County line.
(2) Take US22 east from Armagh to PA403. Go north on PA403, crossing Blacklick Creek. Turn right onto River Road SR2012 and continue until the road makes a right 90 turn and then a left 90 turn. Look for the trail area which is marked. The sign is located just north of the road before crossing Blacklick Creek.
Approximate Coordinates 40 27' 27"N - 78 57' 55"W. to top
Indiana County Special Sources:
Indiana County Parks - www.indianacountyparks.org/happenings/arch/ivc072903.htm (icp)
Tom Nagy (tn)
Delbert Highlands (Loop Furnace)(dh)
Ed Patterson, Indiana County Parks & Trails(ep)
Jodi L. Polsgrove(jlp) Paper on the Smicksburg area
Timothy A. Spencer(tas) In The Valley of The Fair Mahoining
Ian Straffin , Meadville, Pa., Buena Vista, Baker, (is>
Dan & Chris Dundon, Erie, Pa., Buens Vista, Baket, (dd)
Pat & Michael Hom, San Diego, Ca., Buena Vista, Baker, (ph)

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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, December 30, 2009