Saugus in Essex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
Workers returned from the forest, bogs, and the gabbro quarry at Nahant to toil around the clock, feeding layer upon layer of measured ingredients into the charging hole.
The 340 cubic foot furnace interior held three tons of ore, 265 bushels of charcoal and two tons of gabbro rock (fluxing agent). After three days of intense heat from the continuous blast, the ore and gabbro were reduced to liquid and the filled crucible was emptied of its molten contents. The furnace was repeatedely tapped as the layered charging continued day and night.
Bog iron ore (the mineral limonite) was dug from stagnant ponds and swamps; each year up to 1000 tons of ore were delivered to the furnace.
Gabbro, a fluxing agent and aid to smelting, was an innovative local discovery that replaced the limestone traditionally used in the 17th century ironworks of England.
Charcoal, fuel for the furnace, was used in great quantities. It was produced by woodcutters and skilled colliers working in nearby forests.
The weight and
Furnace, Water Wheel and Bellows
Location. 42° 28.145′ N, 71° 0.505′ W. Marker is in Saugus, Massachusetts, in Essex County. Marker can be reached from Bridge Street. Click for map. The marker is at the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, on the walkway to the reconstructed smelting furnace. Marker is in this post office area: Saugus MA 01906, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Casting House (within shouting distance of this marker); River Basin Terminus (within shouting distance of this marker); The Forge (within shouting distance of this marker); Iron Works (within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing); Blacksmith Shop (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Appleton's Pulpit (approx. 0.2 miles away); Saugus Vietnam Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Saugus Massachusetts World War I Honor Roll (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Saugus.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 112 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.