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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Ewing in Lee County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Iron Furnace

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

 
 
Iron Furnace Marker image. Click for full size.
September 28, 2022
1. Iron Furnace Marker
Inscription.  
From the early 1820s to the 1880s, an iron smelting business here took advantage of the rushing waters of Gap Creek. Today only the creek and part of the original 30-foot-high stone tower remain, a small part of an industrial complex of buildings, slag heaps, and machinery then called the Newlee Iron Furnace.

All the ingredients needed to make iron were nearby: iron-ore deposits close to the surface, limestone, abundant firewood to be made into charcoal for fuel, and waterpower to run the air bellows and a massive hammer mill. Some iron made here was sold to local blacksmiths. Some of the 150-pound ingots or ‘pigs’ were shipped down the Powell River to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

[Captions:]
Artist Harry Fenn made this drawing of this iron furnace in the late 1800s.

Frontier-era ironworks had an enormous appetite for firewood. During the 60 years iron was refined in this tower, more than 10 square miles of trees went up in smoke.

A typical early-180s ironworks needed a hammer mill and bellows next to the tower, as well as a way to continually dump charcoal and ore into
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the top of the chimney. For Newlee Furnace, the exact positions of these components are not known.

 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Appalachian Iron Furnaces series list.
 
Location. 36° 36.087′ N, 83° 40.09′ W. Marker is near Ewing, Virginia, in Lee County. Marker can be reached from Pennlyn Avenue west of Llewelyn Street, on the right when traveling west. Iron Furnace Parking Area can be reached from Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ewing VA 24248, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gateway to Kaintuck (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hiking in the Gap (about 300 feet away); Three States Cornerstone (about 400 feet away in Tennessee); On Guard in Cumberland Gap (about 400 feet away); Russell Berkau 1867 - 1936 (about 400 feet away in Tennessee); Warriors' Path (about 600 feet away); Gap Cave (about 600 feet away); Hard Road to a New Life (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ewing.
 
Also see . . .  Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Iron Furnace Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, July 27, 2020
2. Iron Furnace Marker
. National Park Service (Submitted on December 22, 2020.) 
 
Iron Furnace image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Bosse, May 29, 2011
3. Iron Furnace
Iron Furnace image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, July 27, 2020
4. Iron Furnace
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 6, 2022. It was originally submitted on January 11, 2015, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 1,280 times since then and 149 times this year. Last updated on October 5, 2022. Photos:   1. submitted on October 5, 2022.   2. submitted on December 20, 2020, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio.   3. submitted on January 11, 2015, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee.   4. submitted on December 20, 2020, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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May. 18, 2024