Musselman-Vesta Iron Furnace - Marietta, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 40° 03.524 W 076° 32.098
18T E 369085 N 4435404
Quick Description: The Musselman-Vesta Iron Furnace is one of eight iron furnace works that existed in a short distance on the eastern bank of the Susquehanna River, near the canal that ran along the shore.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 9/5/2014 6:49:20 PM
Waymark Code: WMMDNA
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member chstress53
Views: 3

Long Description:
Near Marietta, near the shore of the Susquehanna River, is the Musselman-Vesta Iron Furnace Center, which is a historical museum that relates that story of the Musselman-Vesta Iron Furnace nearby and other iron works in the area.

The Musselman-Vesta Iron Furnace Center is located at the end of Furnace Road, near PA Route 441 on the eastern edge of the settlement of Marietta. From US 30 in Columbia, go north on PA Route 441 to Furnace Road on your left, just after entrances to the Chickies County Park. Travel to the end of Furnace Road where the Center is located. There is also a boat ramp to the Susquehanna River nearby. The ruins are part of the Chickies County Park. Thus, the property is open daylight hours for exploration. The Center is open on Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm, though check the Facebook page for up-to-date information.

I was not able to visit when the Center was open, so my interpretations are based on several web sites, including the web site for the Center and the application for getting it listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since I am not familiar with the location, I could not identify every feature. However, just beyond this building, there are several ruins.

The Center occupies most prominent and restored building on the property, which was originally the Musselman-Vesta Office Building. From the office building, you can see several broad pillars, which were the pillars to a curving railroad track. Behind that are several foundations. The largest, a rectangular section with at least one round section, was the complex that contained the furnace. This area is now wooded with small trees.

According to sources, the furnace was started in 1868 by Henry Musselman of Marietta and Henry Watts of Carlisle. It was the last of eight hot blast anthracite furnaces located in this part of the river. The partnership soon dissolved. Musselman took this furnace while Watts took the other furnaces in Marietta. The plant produced pig iron that was used in plants elsewhere along the river - transported first via the Pennsylvania Canal that ran nearby, then by the railroad that replaced the canal. It changed hands over the years and became known as the Vesta furnace. By the 1920s, the furnace was shut down. They were dismantled between 1928 and 1934.

Sources: (Musselman-Vesta Furnace):
(visit link) (Musselman-Vesta Furnace):
(visit link)

facebook (Musselman Iron Furnace Center):
(visit link)

NPS NRHP Application (Chickies National Historic District):
(visit link)
Dates of Operation: From: 1/1/1909 To: 1/1/1924

Website: [Web Link]

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