Sally Ann Furnace Complex - Sally Ann, PA
N 40° 28.268 W 075° 43.433
18T E 438635 N 4480301
Quick Description: This furnace was built in 1791 by Valentine Eckert and was located on Sacony Creek in Berks County.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 1/9/2010 1:47:47 PM
Waymark Code: WM81HP
Some Historical write-ups do a better job explaining the significance of this area than I could:
"The Sally-Ann furnace was erected, it is supposed, by Valentine Eckert, an iron-master, about 1791. It is situated on the Sacony Creek, in the northern section of Rockland Township. This supposition is, however, doubtful, if not erroneous. Previous to 1811 Abraham Biever, a farmer, owned the tract of 94 acres upon which the furnace stands. In the year named he sold this tract to Nicholas Hunter, an iron-master. There was no furnace on then. It is, therefore, probable that Mr. Hunter erected this furnace soon after the purchase of the land. Subsequently he transferred the furnace and lands to his son Jacob V. R. Hunter; whose estate still holds it. Active operations were discontinued about 1869. It was leased in 1879, but work was carried on for only a year."
Source: Early Furnaces and Forges of Berks County, Pennsylvania
By Morton L. Montgomery
How the Town of Sally Ann got its' Name:
"If only some writers could ever realize how their words might be taken generations down the line. Writing way back in 1926 in his Pennsylvania: A History, George Donehoo laid out the basics regarding this village/ settlement. The story dates to around 1791 when forge masters from New York City 'penetrated' the wilderness of what later became Berks County. Because the site was far from deposits of 'virgin ore,i said Donehoo, historians have long pondered what prompted "the erection" of this famed iron furnace that took on the name of Sally Ann. Sally, it seems, was short for Sarah Ann Fisher, wife of Nicholas Hunter who owned a magnificent estate on the grounds of the Sally Ann Furnace, though whether she witnessed the actual erection is a matter that shall be kept under wraps. According to Donehoo, the grounds were "studded" with a prolific growth of huge dogwood trees that formed a unique type of charcoal that proved particularly effective in the manufacture of iron. In terms of the overall history of Pennsylvania, the stoves of the famed furnaces were deemed significant enough to place on display at the State Museum in Harrisburg. At the time Donehoo wrote these charming notes in 1926, ruins of the famed furnace works were still visible, making for a minor tourist attraction. Apparently the erection of iron furnaces using virgin ore in newly penetrated wilderness lands studded with dogwood of prolific growth was such an exciting event to the locals that tradition called for naming the furnace after the founder's wife (as it were). We see similar excitement over in Lancaster county, where the town of Elizabeth was named for the same reason. If only Sally Ann and Elizabeth corresponded over the years and compared notes, we might have quite a steamy romance novel on our hands. "
All that remains of the furnace complex that is *NOT* on private property is a ruin about 200 yards east of the marker.
Sally Ann Road Furnace Road
Topton, PA USA
County / Borough / Parish: Event, Architecture/Engineering
Year listed: 1976
Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering
Periods of significance: 1750-1799, 1800-1824
Historic function: Domestic, Industry/Processing/Extraction
Current function: Domestic and Ruins
Privately owned?: yes
Primary Web Site: [Web Link]
Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]
Season start / Season finish: Not listed
Hours of operation: Not listed
Secondary Website 2: Not listed
National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.