Index

Pictures

Rear of Furnace LH Side of Furnace Front of Furnace
Rear of Furnace LH Side of Furnace Front of Furnace
Closeup of Front Tuyere RH Side of Furnace Rear Wall of Furnace
Closeup of Front Tuyere RH Side of Furnace Rear Wall of Furnace

Description

Cottage Furnace is located within a State Park and is in excellent condition. Some of the inner stonework is still in place and there is minimal debris growing in or around the stack. The stack is located just behind a picnic area and is maintained. On the front of the furnace there is an M.W 1854 carved into the face of the stonework.

The furnace was built against a natural stone wall and is very close to a nearby dropoff. The furnace had two tuyeres in addition to the front tapping area. It is most probable that the blast was supplied from the RH side, since the left hand area is against the rising cliff wall. There is clear evidence that the wagon trail to the charging ramp was located on the LH side. Artifacts of ore were identified on the ledge above the furnace (charging ramp area). The furnace was built crudely, as evidenced by the fact that the blocks do not match well, with many gaps left open. In the river bed below the furnace, I found evidence of slag, limestone, and ore. This is an excellent site, well preserved, and well worth a visit.

First Visited: 1Q 2003

History

Start of Operation: 1854 (Lesley reports 1856)

Blowout: 1879

Daily Tonnage: ?

Built By: Mason and Wheeler

Stack: 35 feet

Blast: Hot

Type: Charcoal

The furnace was sold in 1859 to the McKinney brothers, David, Matthew, James, Thomas and Joel. While the furnace initially utilized slave labor, the McKinney brothers were reported to be fair and honest with their labor force. They were one of the first businesses to free their slaves after the Civil War. In 1879, Joel McKinney received word that his son had died suddenly. In shock, he neglected to tap the furnace, and it never operated again. The original iron remains trapped in the cupola to this day.

Per J.P. Lesley,


Directions

Take State Route 213 South to Marble Yard Road. (From Estill Furnace, head west). Take Marble Yard Road west for three miles. The road will split, bear right. You will almost immediately notice a cabin to your left, about a 100 yards later, a side road will branch off to the left. Take this road to the picnic area, the furnace is behind this lot. Note: In the off season, the branch road may be closed - you will need to park and hike in about 3/4 of a mile.

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