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UER Forum > Archived US: Mid-Atlantic > Iron Furnaces (Viewed 290 times)
solstice 


Location: Charlotte, NC
Gender: Female


Just assume I have no idea what's going on.

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Iron Furnaces
< on 4/5/2007 9:31 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
So, to prove that I don't just lurk around responding to other people's posts, here's some exploring I've been doing lately, and a subject I've become obsessed with after finding this thing. I live near/on a geological belt of iron ore, which I knew because I live in Iron Station. I also had heard of these old furnaces scattered throughout the woods in town, but I'd never seen one until a few weeks ago.

Here's what you see standing about ten feet from the road:


As you can see, it's partly crumbled, and when I asked an older neighbor about it he told me that several years ago a kid on a field trip was killed when a furnace (don't know if it was this one or not) collapsed on him. But I didn't know that when I did this:

Oops. Seemed stable to me!

Anyway, there are at least a dozen of these huge things in my county, and the history nerd part of me forced me to do lots of research on them. Apparently, in 1788, the NC General Assembly passed an act to encourage the growth of the iron industry that let anyone who would build a furnace on land unsuitable for agriculture claim 3,000 acres for that use.

I believe that this particular furnace is Rehoboth Furnace, built by Alexander Brevard (who is buried right up the road from my house) in 1810. It produced supplies for the Civil War between 1862 and 1865, closed in 1882, and was abandoned in 1890. And since then it's been sitting there growing trees.






I think the vines and tree roots are the only things holding it together these days.




The left side as looking from the road. Note the tree.


"Wilkes Cold Blast."


Slag (the non-iron minerals that melt out during smelting) on a hill next to the stack.



PS- The lighting in the photos looks wacky because I went on two separate days, one overcast, one sunny. And they're not great because I wasn't really going for artistic shots, just documenting the location.




I <3 archaic industry.
tick 


Location: Abingdon, VA
Gender: Male




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Re: Iron Furnaces
<Reply # 1 on 4/5/2007 11:39 PM >
Posted on Forum: Infiltration Forums
 
Very cool, I'm kinda a dork for anything having to do with the iron industry in Virginia. My job lets me spend lots of time driving around the mountains, so I've spent this spring trying to visit as many of the old furnaces as I can.

Here's a good website about a lot of the iron furnaces in Virginia: http://www.botetourtironfurnaces.com/
[last edit 4/5/2007 11:40 PM by tick - edited 1 times]

solstice 


Location: Charlotte, NC
Gender: Female


Just assume I have no idea what's going on.

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Re: Iron Furnaces
<Reply # 2 on 4/5/2007 11:53 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by tick
Very cool, I'm kinda a dork for anything having to do with the iron industry in Virginia. My job lets me spend lots of time driving around the mountains, so I've spent this spring trying to visit as many of the old furnaces as I can.


Sweet. I never knew it was such a big deal in my area, but learning about it has been really interesting--and led me to some other historic sites. Got pictures of any VA furnaces? Rehoboth is the only one I've actually seen (though I'm actively searching for them whenever I'm driving by woods with creeks now), I'd love to see some others!

I <3 archaic industry.
res_novae 


Location: NoVA
Gender: Male




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Re: Iron Furnaces
<Reply # 3 on 4/7/2007 2:26 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Thanks for the site Tick, I've been looking for someplace around the greater Roanoke area...

UER Forum > Archived US: Mid-Atlantic > Iron Furnaces (Viewed 290 times)



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