Morgantown in Monongalia County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Fueling a Community: The Henry Clay Iron Furnace
Furnaces like this were built near the resources needed to produce iron: trees, iron ore, limestone, and water. This furnace was literally a hotbed of activity - it operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, producing about 4 tons of iron every day of the year during its short lifespan (from about 1834 - 1847). Intense heat would have radiated out, charcoal smoke would have lingered throughout the community, and the glow from the furnace would have been visible at night for some distance. Few large trees would be visible, having been cut down to fuel the furnace. Everyone - men, women, even older children - would have worked to keep the furnace and community alive.
The Fire Goes Out
This iron producing region boomed in the early 1800s, but by 1849 was declining rapidly. Transportation was difficult and costly because iron had to be shipped down rivers. Competition had also increased from other iron producing regions in the U.S. About 100 homes, a school, store, church, and more were here - but can you see any evidence of them? Over time
Erected by West Virginia State Parks and Forests.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Appalachian Iron Furnaces marker series.
Location. 39° 38.933′ N, 79° 49.091′ W. Marker is in Morgantown, West Virginia, in Monongalia County. Marker can be reached from Clay Furnace Trail. Touch for map. This marker is at the end of a one mile downhill hiking trail, the Clay Furnace Trail, blazed red and described as moderate in difficulty. It begins at the furnace parking area in Coopers Rock State Park where the Henry Clay Furnace state marker is located. Marker is in this post office area: Morgantown WV 26508, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Henry Clay Iron Furnace (within shouting distance of this marker); Henry Clay Furnace (approx. 0.4 miles away); The CCC: Creating a Lasting Monument to Conservation (approx. 0.8 miles away); Salt Sand (approx. 0.9 miles away); Monongalia County / Preston County (approx. 1.9 miles away); Ice’s Ferry Site of the Birthplace of David Adam Ice (approx. 2.6 miles away); George Washington Stopped Here (approx. 3.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Morgantown.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features •
Credits. This page was last revised on October 26, 2017. This page originally submitted on October 24, 2017, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 79 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 24, 2017, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.