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MERCER COUNTY

in Northwestern PENNSYLVANIA had sixteen Old Iron Furnaces of which we have found and photographed the sites of eight. Of these eight, only four have furnace remains visible. Nothing remains of the other eight furnaces and sites have not been visited. All four of the visible furnaces in Mercer County are in very poor condition. Springfield is by a beautiful waterfall and is the subject of an archaeological dig. . Iron City as is the "Old Furnace" are right off the road and worth visits. It took mounds of research and searching to find Iron City and Old Furnace . Clay is the fourth Mercer furnace with some remains visible.

 > Iron City Furnace
Iron City Furnace


Blanche (aka Sharpsville) - Was on a canal of Pymatuming Reservoir in Hickory Township. This furnace was built in 1846. Joseph and John McClure and Vincent and Himrod were the builders. It was rebuilt in 1870 to use coke and imported ore (Lake Superior ore[jp]). It was replaced in 1882 with a modern type stack and accessories. Nothing remains of the site. Subsequent building has erased all traces of it(s&t).
To reach this furnace site go to Sharpsville and follow High Street east. About 700 feet after passing Prospect Street on the right, a street goes to the left. The old stack stood about 300 feet west of this street and about 125 feet from the old canal. Coordinates 41º 16.05'N - 80º 28.79'W, to top

Esther (aka Hope) - Was on the west side of the Shenango River, in a ravine, north of the point formed by the "Y" with the Little Shenango River, in Greenville, West Salem Township. It was built in 1846 by Power, Waugh and Reed. No trace remains but slag is visible across the Shenango River in the "Y" formed by the junction with the Little Shenango. This slag was from Esther and also Greenville Furnace which was close by(s&t).
Go to Greenville and follow PA 358 west across the river. At the west end of the bridge, turn north. Just above the dam in the river and opposite the point between the two rivers a ravine runs back from the river. The furnace was in the far end of this ravine.
Very Approximate Coordinates 41º 24.6'N - 80º 23.669'W.
Greenville - was set in a ravine 400 feet north of Esther Furnace. in the "Y" formed by the Shenango and Little Shenango Rivers. Himrod and Woodworth sponsored this furnace in 1846. It went out of blast in 1851. There is nothing left of this furnace except the slag dump mentioned in conjunction with Esther Furnace(s&t). Coordinates 41º 24.6'N - 80º 23.6'W.
Very Approximate Coordinates 41º 24.8'N - 80º 23.698'W.23.6'W. to top
Hamburg was on a run off the Shenango River in Delaware Township. was built by Mills and Lowry in 1846(s&t). Accourding to s&t In the 1960's a house stood on the site of the furnace with part of the house foundation being part of the furnace foundation. However, when we visited the site in 2004 the house is gone and nothing remains.
Follow PA58 north 7.2 miles from Mercer Square to SR4024 Baker Hill Road. Turn left and proceed about 2.5 miles to New Hamburg village. Turn right then left, and then left again. Follow this road across the river and, according to s&t turn left at the end of the bridge (T544? unmarked?). Go south for about 1/4 mile. Cross the bridge over the small stream. You may see a house on the right. This house stood on the site of Hamburg Furnace(s&t).
When we visited this site in Oct. 2004 we turned left after crossing the new highway bridge and went well over the 1/4 mile described by s&t. There was no small stream or house on the right that could have been the site of the furnace. However, we had found what appeared to be an old road bearing left from the current highway before the bridge crossing the Shenango. Returning to the old abandoned road that veered left we walked across an abandoned bridge over a small tributary, found that the old road was abandoned before crossing the Shenango, and the bridge was gone. We walked parallel to the tributary on a faint path for about 1/2 mile but found no evidence of a house or a hill near which the furnace was to have stood. This entire area has apparently changed since the 60's. Since there was no evidence of Hamburg in the 60's, other than the house foundation, and the house appears to have disappeared, we stopped our search.
The coordinates would have been approximately 41º 19.13'N - 80º 20.385'W. to top
Mazeppa - Was on a branch of Lackawannock Creek in Findley Township. Erected by Garrett, McGaw and Company about1852, Mazeppa went out of blast in 1859. Ore was dug from open pits nearby. During the First World War ore again was mined here and shipped to Pittsburgh furnaces(s&t). No trace of the furnace remains.
Drive east on PA58 from Jct with US19 in Mercer 2-1/4 miles. Turn right on Pew Road (T431?) about 1/2 mile. Where the road veers slightly right stop. Go through a gate on the left. Walk straight ahead through the field to the creek. The furnace was on the far bank of the creek close to the hill. You can easily discover the site by reason of the difference in the vegetation on the location of the stack. Slag covers the field. Coordinates 41º 12.39'N - 80º 12.75'W. to top
Reed (aka Annadale, Sandy) - was on Sandy Creek in Sandy Lake Township. Built in 1843 by Charles M. Reed of Erie, this furnace was out of blast by 1849. The furnace probably was also known as Sandy Furnace. There is nothing left of the furnace but the site has other interesting artifacts to observe, including the stone lined mill race, a mill pond, charcoal slag, a cut stone millhouse basement, and other cut stone building foundations. It is worth a visit (km-2005).
Drive east from Sandy Lake about 3.5 miles on PA62 to its junction with Reeds Furnace Road 41º 20.880'N - 80º 01.036'W. Turn right and proceed to where the road becomes dirt and probably inaccessible except with a 4WD vehicle. Continue down to near Sandy Creek. Total distance from PA62 is about 1.3 miles(km). When Karl Mouck(km) visited this site in June of 2005 he verified that the old s&t directions are no longer valid since the bridge across Sandy Creek at this point has been gone for many years. The old s&t directions from this point were to walk west, parallel to the creek and old millrace. Stay north of the millrace. At the dam go right to the bank and locate the old building foundation. Just west of the foundation is a depression in the ground, thought to be the furnace site. Karl believes this to be a mill pond, and believes the furnace site was a bit south of here, nearer to the millrace and slag deposits. It is very difficult to determine the exact location of the furnace. We will use the estimated spot from Karl's GPS reading.
GPS coordinates 41º 20.128'N - 80º 0.365'W. (km-2005) to top
Sharon - was in Sharon in Hickory Township. It was built in 1846 by Shoenberger, Agnew and Company. Dr. Shoenberger was the sole owner in 1852, and after his death the furnace became the property of Boyce, Rawl and Company. In 1882 the furnace was rebuilt and adapted to the use of coke. It was operating in 1889 and was shut down sometime later(s&t). No trace of this furnace remains. No trace of this furnace remains.
In Sharon, drive north on PA518 1-1/4 miles from its intersection with US62. Here the road turns east. About 1/4 mile farther on the road turns north again. About 1/4 mile past this turn you may see a limestone plant on the right. The furnace stood about in the center of the company's yard. Nothing remains. We did not visit this area so are not sure if the limestone plant is still there.
Coordinates 41º 15.18'N - 80º 29.70'W. to top
West Middlesex - was a steam powered hot blast furnace using raw coal as fuel. It was located in a ravine in West Middlesex, Shenango Township. West Middlesex was built in 1845 by Sennett, Clark and Company, and operated intermittently until about 1875 when it was torn down. Nothing remains except slag(s&t). Nothing remains.
The site may be reached from West Middlesex, which is at the intersection of PA18 and PA318 in southwest Mercer County. Drive west on PA318 and cross the bridge over the river. Turn sharply left at the first intersection and go back to the river at the foot of the bridge. Turn right along the river road. The furnace site is in the first ravine running back into the hill. Only slag remains. Coordinates 41º 10.2'N - 80º 27.5'W.
Mercer County Special Sources:
East Lackawannock Twp. by Ruth Z. Woods(rzw) on Behalf of Mercer Co. Historical. Soc. Iron City
www.rootsweb.com/~pamercer/PA/PL/Maps/1873/elackawann.jpg --(elw)(courtesy Chris, Mercer County Historical Society). Iron City
Karl Mouck, Sandy Lake, Pa., Harry of the West, Mineral Ridge, Reed, Springfield, (km)
Mike Rubio, Mercer County, Pa., Springfield(mr)
Ian Straffin, Maedville, Pa., Clay, Iron City (is)
Larry Bruno, Sprongfield site owner
Terry Nills, Spring Valley Couintrty Club


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Copyright © Richard Parks, updated April 9, 2010, Decenber 14, 2011