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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Huntingdon in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

An Undeniable Presence

Greenwood Furnace State Park

 
 
An Undeniable Presence Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, November 9, 2015
1. An Undeniable Presence Marker
Inscription. The iron furnaces at Greenwood dominated this otherwise rural landscape. Beginning in 1834, and for most of 70 years, one or both of the two furnaces located here brightened the night with a fiery, multi-colored glow. For miles around, wood-choppers harvested vast tracts of forest. Colliers then slow-burned the logs into charcoal. Miners dug tons of iron ore from mines nearby, and wagons loaded with limestone lumbered along rustic roads from quarries over the mountain.

So, in 1904, when the last fire went out in furnace #2, an undeniable industrial presence disappeared from this valley. The forests that now surround you slowly reappeared, aided by seedlings grown at Greenwood Nursery, established here after the furnace closed.

(Inscription under the image in the lower left)
If you look carefully at this 19th century photo you will find Greenwood Furnace’s stack #2 nearly enclosed by wooden buildings.

(Inscription under the image in the upper right)
As this cutaway drawing shows, wooden buildings and machinery designed to fan the fire to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, always surrounded the flat-topped stone furnace. Commonly, only the stone stacks survive.

The owners of Greenwood built two furnaces. The oldest (the ruin in front of you on the left) roared to life in 1834. It rose 30 feet above a 30-foot square base and

An Undeniable Presence Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, November 9, 2015
2. An Undeniable Presence Marker
operated until 1880. The second furnace (on the right) went into blast in 1867 and operated until 1904. With a daily capacity of 12 tons (compared with furnace #1’s 4 to 5 tons), it ranked as one of the largest cold-blast charcoal furnaces ever built and one of the last to operate in Pennsylvania.
 
Erected by Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks.
 
Location. 40° 39.108′ N, 77° 45.205′ W. Marker is in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, in Huntingdon County. Marker is on Broad Mountain Road. Click for map. This marker is in Greenwood Furnace State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Huntingdon PA 16652, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. From Mineral To Metal (here, next to this marker); An Industry in Ruins (here, next to this marker); The “Best” Iron (here, next to this marker); Basic Ingredients (a few steps from this marker); The Worker’s Pyramid (a few steps from this marker); Greenwood Furnace (a few steps from this marker); Blacksmith & Wagon Shop (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Northern Water Snakes (approx. ¼ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Huntingdon.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
An Undeniable Presence Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, November 9, 2015
3. An Undeniable Presence Marker
An Undeniable Presence Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, November 9, 2015
4. An Undeniable Presence Marker
This marker is the second marker from left to right.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 112 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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