Easton in Northampton County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Men of Iron
"Between 1850 and 1880, the Lehigh Valley was America's greatest iron producing region."
Craig Bartholomew, Historian
Lance Metz, Historian
The Lehigh Valley is rich in many natural resources, including limestone and iron ore. For this reason, ironmaking became a predominant industry in the area. In all, four iron works operated either within or near the boundaries of Hugh Moore Park.
Noted English ironmaster William Firmstone built Glendon Iron Company's first furnace along the Lehigh Canal near Easton in 1844. During its early days, most of the company's pig iron was shipped to New York via the canals. From there, the iron was sent to the Glendon Rolling Mill in Boston. By 1860, Glendon Iron's four furnaces made it one of the largest anthracite-fueled ironmaking plants in America. Three decades of prosperity resulted in the growth of the community of Glendon across the canal from the furnaces. Fierce competition and changing technology eventually led to the demise of the Glendon Iron Company. The company closed its doors in 1894 and the furnaces were torn down for salvage. Remains of the plant, including several furnace foundations, are visible in Hugh Moore Park.
As Glendon Iron Company approached its peak in 1872, Peter Uhler built an iron furnace near the Glendon site. Situated between the Lehigh River as the canal, this small, single furnace fell victim to the Depression of 1873. A year later, Dr. Garret B. Linderman, superintendent for a Bethlehem partnership, acquired the furnace. He named it Lucy Furnace after his wife, Lucy Packer Linderman, who was also the daughter of railroad tycoon and Lehigh University founder, Asa Packer. The furnace operated successfully until 1886, when it was sold to the Bethlehem Iron Company. Again, competition and changing technology forced the company to shut down the furnace in 1897.
The Van Buren Furnace, an early experimental iron furnace on the ground of the Hugh Moore Park, only operated from March 1838 to June 1839. The nearby Keystone Furnace, established in 1876, became part of the Thomas Iron Company in 1882. It quickly became one of the most productive anthracite furnaces in the Lehigh Valley. After the company ceased operations in 1923, it was sold for scrap.
Erected by City of Easton, Pennsylvania.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 40° 40.128′ N, 75° 14.185′ W. Marker is in Easton, Pennsylvania, in Northampton County. Marker is on Hugh Moore Park Road 0.1 miles south of Hill Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Easton PA 18042, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. From Brownfields to Greenfields (here, next to this marker); Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution (here, next to this marker); Iron in Colonial Pennsylvania (a few steps from this marker); The Industrial Revolution (within shouting distance of this marker); Hugh Moore Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Fathers of the Industrial Revolution (within shouting distance of this marker); The Promise of Anthracite Coal (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lehigh Crane Iron Company (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Easton.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 4, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 4, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 36 times since then. Photo 1. submitted on October 4, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.