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Cornwall Furnace - Lebanon, PA

From 1742 until the furnace was closed in 1883, the Cornwall Furnace was a leading iron producer in Pennsylvania. The furnaces, buildings and surrounding community have been preserved as a historical site and museum. The site is the only intact charcoal-burning iron blast furnace in its original plantation in the western hemisphere.


In 1742 the Cornwall Furnace was created by Peter Grubb in 1742. It was operated during the Revolution by Grubb's sons Curtis and Peter Jr. Both sons were major arms providers to George Washington. After the Revolution, Robert Coleman acquired Cornwall Furnace and became Pennsylvania's first millionaire. In 1932, ownership of the furnace and its surroundings was transferred to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


Located at: 94 Rexmont Rd, Cornwall, PA 17016


Paymaster’s Office

By 1875, this structure was an office serving the Cornwall Estate. The Cornwall Iron Co., Ltd. (1886–1901), had control over the defunct Cornwall Iron Furnace and used this building for their office. Today, this building is used as an art studio.



The Roasting Oven

Alternate layers of charcoal and iron ore, loosely placed to permit the upward passage of air, were put in the roasting oven to remove sulfur from the iron ore. Failure to eliminate sulfur caused difficulties in the smelting process and could force the operation to stop. This structure was probably erected in the early 1800s, when the mine was beginning to yield a lower grade of ore.


Coal Bins

In the 1800's both company houses and the ironmaster’s mansion were heated by anthracite coal, even though charcoal was the only fuel used in the furnace operation, The coal bins supported the track of the Cornwall Railroad’s (1850–1968) spur to the furnace, which brought iron ore from the open pit mine to the furnace.


The Abattior

This charming Gothic Revival building is known as the abattoir. It was used by the Coleman family to help feed their workers. This building was built with quatre-foil windows and served as a smokehouse and butcher shop for the Cornwall estate.


The Abattior is not open to the public for tours.


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