Swatara Furnace - Pine Grove Township, PA USA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Lightnin Bug
N 40° 32.585 W 076° 29.434
18T E 373777 N 4489104
Quick Description: The Swatara Furnace is a historic iron furnace and 200-acre national historic district located along Mill Creek Pine Grove Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 9/12/2020 1:36:38 PM
Waymark Code: WM134B6
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 1

Long Description:
This furnace is also on the National Register of Historical places.

The Swatara Furnace and ironmaster's mansion, the first two of the structures to be erected along Mill Creek and which now make up part of the Swatara Furnace Historic District, were built circa 1830, creating an "iron plantation," which was typical of the furnace-ironmaster home complexes erected across eastern and central Pennsylvania during the early to mid-nineteenth century. The furnace, which was established sometime around 1830 by Dr. George N. Eckert, a Whig member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Simeon Guilford, was "a significant regional furnace from 1830 until its demise c. 1860," according to a 1991 report by Diane B. Reed, a historic preservation specialist with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). A short time later, it was "converted to a forge and foundry where once famous Swatara stoves were cast and finished." According to J. H. Beers' Biographical Annals of Lebanon County, "Simeon Guilford … was for many years prominently identified with the iron business of Pennsylvania, and won public approval as a skilled and reliable civil engineer." Employed in that capacity prior to 1823 during the construction of the Erie Canal, he subsequently secured work as the principal assistant to the Union Canal's chief engineer, Canvas White. Shortly thereafter, Guilford was employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, charged with surveying the route of the canal which ran from Clark's Ferry on the Susquehanna River to Northumberland. It was also during this period (between 1825 and 1832) that Guilford "discovered the celebrated Chestnut Hill iron ore, on the Greider farm, near Columbia, Pa., which he owned for some years," according to Beers' Annals, as well as "three other fine deposits of hematite ore, in Lebanon County." Partnering with Eckert from 1830 to 1831, Guilford then "erected in the Swatara Valley, in Schuylkill county, the 'Swatara Furnace' for the manufacture of iron by charcoal, and here pig iron and such castings as stoves, water pipes, etc., were produced in large quantities, this establishment remaining in operation for twenty years."
Type of Oven / Kiln: Iron

Status: Historical Site

Operating Dates: 1830-1860

Website: [Web Link]

Additional Coordinate: Not Listed

Additional Coordinate Description: Not listed

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