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Laurel Furnace Sign Laurel Furnace LH Side of Furnace Closeup of Cliff
Laurel Furnace Sign Laurel Furnace LH Side of Furnace Closeup of Cliff

Description

Laurel Furnace appears to be in good condition, although I was unable to get close up to the furnace. A heavy thicket of thorn bushes effectively guards the site - at least the furnace should be spared from grafitti and trash. There is a small tree starting to grow from the top of the stack, but otherwise, only minor brush threatens the stack. I examined the interior via binoculars and it seems in good condition - I did not see any debris or collapse in the stack. The furnace was clearly carved out of the cliff to form the lower portion of the stack, while the upper portion was formed from cut stone. The furnace has two tuyeres, and must have been hot blast as there is no room for a bellows system to either side of the stack. This would have placed the engine house off to the right of the furnace, but I could not explore the ground due to the aforementioned sticker bushes.

First Visited: 1Q 2003

History

Start of Operation: 1849

Blowout: 1874

Daily Tonnage: 10 tons

Built By: George and Samuel Wurts

Stack: 39 feet, with 10-1/2 foot bosh (Lesley reports 40 feet w/10 foot bosh)

Blast: Hot

Type: Charcoal

Per J.P. Lesley,


The attached file (Laurel Iron Furnace History) contains information on the furnace, as donated by Nora Kelley from the Greenup County Public Library.

Directions

Take Route 1 north of Grayson to Old Town. Go west of Laurel Road. At the first split, bear left and then look for the Emmanual Missionary Baptist Church on your right. At the second split, bear left again and look for the furnace on your right.

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