Antietam Iron Furnace - Sharpsburg, MD
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 39° 24.977 W 077° 44.437
18S E 264064 N 4366557
Quick Description: The remains of the Antietam Iron Works are located along Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Maryland, USA.
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 8/9/2008 6:47:44 PM
Waymark Code: WM4DP2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Crystal Sound
Views: 74

Long Description:
From the Antietam Ironworks website:

In 1727 Israel Friend acquired land on the Maryland side of the river from the Indian Chiefs of the Five Nations. This land would become the site of the Frederick Forge and later the Antietam Iron Works. Interestingly, the Antietam tract was measured by "arrow shoots." A "shoot" was the farthest distance an archer could shoot an arrow. Friend's land measured 200 shoots along the river with a depth of 100 shoots and then the backside was squared off to intersect with Antietam Creek. In the 1760s and 70s, Frederick Forge was a critical part of the economy of the colony of Maryland, situated in close proximity to the resources needed to make iron: water, wood, lime, and iron ore. The forge is reputed to have produced cannons for the Patriot cause in the American Revolution. For decades this was the largest business in the area, with as many as 250 employees and 50 slaves. As a result of this employment boom the village of Antietam sprang up along the banks of the creek.

There were many ups and downs in the iron business in the early 19th century and ownership of the Antietam Iron Works changed hands again and again. The original company consisted of Joseph Chapline, Samuel Beall, Jr., David Ross, and Richard Henderson.

Joseph Chapline received over a thousand acres of land for his efforts in the French and Indian War and furnished the land for the Iron Forge. The articles of agreement were drawn up February 4, 1763, and recorded October 31, 1765. John Brien and John MacPherson operated the Antietam Iron Works in the early 1800s. In 1845, they began blending coke with charcoal. Coke shipments made part of the journey on C&O Canal boats. The advent of coke as a furnace fuel indicates that charcoal was becoming too expensive. The tariff on imported iron was reduced in 1842. This event effectively forced the shift to coke. The furnace closed in 1858. It reopened after the Civil War but finally closed in 1886. In 1888 Peter Allen Otzelberger operated a general store, which remained open through the 1950s. Today the Antietam Ironworks has been cleverly restored and is used as a venue to host private parties and special events. Current owner Wayne McCrossin has taken great care to maintain the integrity of the original property creating an environment that entices the visitor with historic lure and a picturesque setting.

The remains of Antietam Iron Works sit astride Antietam Creek, about a quarter of a mile from the mouth of the creek as it pours into the Potomac River. A few nearby houses are all that remain of the village of Antietam, once a thriving community owing its existence to the iron trade. An old arched stone bridge marks the entrance to the village from the east. Upstream from the bridge, in an area about the size of three football fields, is the iron works site. Remains of an iron blast furnace are relatively intact, perched against a hillside on the south side of Harpers Ferry, Road which runs close to and parallel to the creek. A mile from the forge is the mouth of Antietam Creek. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal crosses the creek. Historical landmarks are abundant. Less than three miles to the north is the Antietam Battlefield.

Website: [Web Link]

Dates of Operation: Not listed

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