Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site was operated as an Iron Plantation from 1771 to 1883.
The Ironmaster's Mansion (Big House) was home to the furnace owner's family, the central office for the furnace and boarding house for single workers. The house has 19 rooms and 4 floors. The oldest part of the house dates back to 1770s to 1800. Can you imagine sitting on that front porch on a beautiful day?
The Charcoal Pit where volunteers demonstrate the method of charcoal making.
The Charcoal House could hold as much as 30,000 bushels of charcoal. Charcoal was brought by wagon and deposited under the cooling shed portion of this building.
Bridge House - Iron ore, limestone and charcoal were wheelbarrowed in to the top of the furnace stack.
Cast House contains the cold blast iron furnace.
Tenant House and Boarding House - Some employees worked 12 hour shifts so it was essential for them to live close by. The buildings were rented out to employees by the furnace management. At one point there were 14 tenant houses, but only four remain.
Barn - Iron making depended upon animals to provide power to maintain the business. One of the sheep is an escaped artist.
Office/Store was established in 1784. The company clerk who ran this building served as the second in command to the ironmaster. Prices were competitive and the location convenient.
The blacksmith shop was used for shaping shoes for the horses and mules, nails, hinges, hooks, wagon parts, tools, etc.
The hot blast anthracite furnace was built in 1853. Instead of using charcoal it used anthracite. Unfortunately it was too expensive to ship in the anthracite and the furnace was abandoned in 1857.