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LAWRENCE COUNTY

in Western Pennsylvania had ten iron furnaces. We have visited four of these sites, and the other six have no traces remaining. A most interesting site in Lawrence is the location of Lawrence furnace remains. Not much to see except a pile of stone and rubble but down the beautiful Hells Run is a lovely waterfall and a lime kiln, mistakenly identified as Lawrence Furnace. The Wilroy Furnace is in good shape with unusual setbacks, and Neshannock has a nice charging bench retaining wall.

 

Wilroy Furnace
Wilroy Furnace


Etna - Was built in 1838 by James D. White. In 1842 steam was substituted for water power(s&t). Nothing remains of this furnace.
Etna Furnace was on the Shenango River in New Castle in Union Township. It was located on the west bank of the Shenango River opposite the end of Bridge Street in the city of New Castle. It was near the north end of the railroad bridge over the river at this point. > to top
Hope - was on a branch of Slippery Rock Creek at Rose Point in Slippery Rock Township. Emory and Culbertson built this furnace about 1845. Quarrying operations have obliterated this furnace.
Hope was located on a small stream which flows into Slippery Rock Creek a few yards north of the US422 highway bridge and west of the creek. The site has been obliterated by extensive quarrying operations. It stood on a hill but the entire hill has been removed(s&t).
Approximate coordinates 40 58.07'N - 80 11.40'W. to top
Martha - was in Newcastle, Union Township. It was a cold blast, water powered charcoal furnace built by Theodore Powers in 1844. Much industrial activity has eliminated all signs of this operation.
Myra - was on Taylor Run in Plain Grove Township. Emory and Culbertson erected this furnace about 1853-1855. It was operated successfully by them until 1870, when involvement in other less successful furnaces so drained their resources that they were forced to close down Myra. The furnace was demolished and a private swimming pool built on its site. Between the pool and the creek are large quantities of slag. Along the creek bank the slag had a depth of 3 to 4 feet. A man who lived nearby said that when the pool was being built, many of the furnace stones and a large salamander were uncovered. They were used for fill in other areas. This man had a couple of pigs that he dug up at that time(s&t).
Go south on US19 from PA208 intersection in Leesburg 4-1/2 miles to a blacktop road to the left (Graystown Road SR1018). Follow this 2.5 mile. Turn right into a lane just before reaching a bridge over Taylor Run, and follow this lane about 200 yards to the swimming pool and adjacent house. The swimming pool occupies the furnace site. Much slag is in the creek, along the banks, and between the pool and the creek.
Coordinates 41 03.600'N - 80 09.650'W. to top
Sophia - was south of Neshannock Creek, in Newcastle, Union Township. It was built in 1853 by a Mr. McCormick who, the year before, had become the proprietor of Peeble and Company, iron manufacturers, in New Castle. In 1863 the business became the Shenango Iron Works; the stone stack was remodeled; in 1876 the Shenango Iron Works occupied 20 acres of ground in the Fourth Ward in New Castle and consisted of three blast furnaces plus other facilities.
Sophia was South of Neshannock Creek about two blocks east of Jefferson Street and just about where Mercer Street would be if it crossed the creek. The area is covered with industrial development now and no trace remains.
Wampum - was in the town of Wampum in Wayne Township. Porter R. Friend and Company built the furnace in 1856. A steam powered hot blast furnace, using raw coal and coke. It was sold to Kimberly and Company in 1866 and went out of blast sometime after 1877. Nothing remains of Wampum or the coke ovens nearby(s&t).
Take PA18 to the town of Wampum. As you enter the community from the south bear right on T482(?). The road goes under two railroad bridges. The furnace site was to the left and between the two. The railroad embankments cover the entire site. The coke ovens which were beyond the northernmost track have been replaced by houses and other buildings(s&t).
Approximate coordinates 40 53.22'N - 80 20.21'W. to top
Lawrence County Special Sources:
www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/ParkGuides/pg4_9/Site2.aspx (lpg)
The Youngstown Vindicator, Sunday, March 23, 1980 (yv)
Al Shaffer- Fremont Furnace site. Pat & Michael Hom, San Diego, Ca., Lawrence Lime Kiln, Neshannock, Wilroy, (ph)


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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, December 27, 2009