Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
East Canaan in Litchfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Birth of an Industry

The Iron Works of The 1700's

 

—Beckley Furnace Industrial Monument —

 
Birth of an Industry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, April 15, 2011
1. Birth of an Industry Marker
Inscription.
Birth of an Industry
The Iron Works of The 1700's
Iron forges came early to the Blackberry River, with the first Catalan forge built in 1739 downstream from this point. About this time young Samuel Forbes (1729-1827) arrived on the scene, first learning and then leading the development of the industry. Drawing on the high quality iron ore from nearby Salisbury, limestone from local quarries and charcoal made from the surrounding hardwood forests, the forges and furnaces of East Canaan were to play a major role in the nation's iron industry.
In 1759 Samuel Forbes and his brother Elisha built a larger forge to make anchors for sailing ships of the day. As his salesmen brought orders from ports as far away as Philadelphia, he developed standard sized products to replace the old, expensive individual designs.
Samuel Forbes joined with other partners in 1762 to build a blast furnace in nearby Lakeville. During the Revolutionary War he served as Iron Master there, making cannons so necessary in the march to independence.
The growing settlements would need nails, precious commodities pounded out by hand. In the 1780's Samuel built a slitting mill that provided a better means to produce iron nails, knives and rods. Canaan's iron products helped both to break the yoke of the British in the Revolutionary
Beckley Furnace Information Kiosk image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, April 15, 2011
2. Beckley Furnace Information Kiosk
Beckley Furnace
1847 – 1919
Department of Environmental Protection
Canaan - Falls Village Historical Society
Beckley Furnace is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, February 14, 1978
War and the War of 1812, and to provide the iron goods so necessary during the first years of our United States.
The forges of the 1700's provided the foundation for the major development in the 1800's. Since those early forges, this short stretch of the Blackberry River has powered three blast furnaces, providing iron well into the twentieth century. Saw mills, grist mills, fulling mills and a cider mill also operated along its banks.
 
Erected by Tri-Corners History Council, Committee for the Preservation of the Beckley Furnace.
 
Location. 42° 0.663′ N, 73° 17.548′ W. Marker is in East Canaan, Connecticut, in Litchfield County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Lower Road and Furnace Hill Road, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Located on the information kiosk at Beckley Furnace Industrial Monument. Marker is in this post office area: East Canaan CT 06024, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Salamander (here, next to this marker); Tuyere Arch (a few steps from this marker); What Is This Place? (a few steps from this marker); Casting Arch & Furnace Hearth (a few steps from this
Beckley Furnace image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, April 15, 2011
3. Beckley Furnace
marker); Samuel Forbes (approx. 0.4 miles away); East Canaan Veterans Monument (approx. half a mile away); North Canaan (approx. 2 miles away); Joseph Deferari (approx. 2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in East Canaan.
 
Also see . . .  Friends of Beckley Furnace. (Submitted on April 25, 2011, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
 
Categories. Colonial EraIndustry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 550 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement