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Hopewell Furnace RH Side of Furnace Water Run
Hopewell Furnace RH Side of Furnace Water Run

Description

Hopewell Furnace was the first furnace known to be built in Ohio. The furnace was also known as the Poland Furnace. The exact date of construction is not clear; dates range from 1801 to 1809. The widely reported date is 1804, although Lesley reported the 1809 timeframe.

The furnace is in poor condition and quickly approaching ruin. Vandals have extensively damaged the stonework, with a number stones used for firepits. The front and top of the stack fell long ago and lie on the hillside below the furnace. The furnace was built in a semi-circle against the stonewall of the cliff. This construction probably acted as a significant heat sink and reduced the effectivity of the furnace.

Hopewell was clearly a cold blast furnace. There are extensive slag deposits around the furnace and down the hillside trail.

I found some stonework on the flood area to the left of the furnace. It appears that the stream has altered it's flow, probably when the nearby dam was installed. Tracing the probable channel of the original stream it seems reasonable that the noted reservior was part of the diverted water run utilized to power the bellows system. The furnace opening facing the river was probably the entrance point for the blast, with the right hand opening being utilized for tapping.

First Visited: 1Q-2007

History

Start of Operation: 1804 (Lesley reports 1809)

Blowout: 1837

Daily Tonnage: Unknown, probable 1~3 tons

Built By: Daniel & James Eaton

Stack: 30 feet w/7 foot bosh

Blast: Cold

Type: Charcoal

Per J.P. Lesley the furnace was rebuilt in 1816 and 1837. Local lore indicates that the furnace was shut down during the war of 1812, but this is not substantiated. Lesley indicates that the furnace was abandoned after two blasts in 1837, so it is likely that they conducted an unsuccessful experiment with coal as a fuel.

The furnace was also known as Poland Furnace. Poland furnace is believed to be the oldest furnace built in Ohio. Per Gilbert Dodds Poland was the site of the "Old Furnace" built in 1803 by Daniel Heaton, who later changed his name to Dan Heaton. The furnace was not a commercial success and closed after three years of operation. The furnace was located on Yellow Creek, at the point where the creek emptied into the Mahoning River.

Per J.P. Lesley, this cold blast charcoal furnace was 30 feet high with a 7 foot bosh. The furnace was rebuilt in 1809, 1816, and 1837. It was abandoned after making two blasts.

Directions

Located in Struther's Ohio at the North end of Lake Hamilton on the Yellow River. Take Hopewell Drive to the southernmost point where it loops North. Stop at 330 Hopewell and ask permission. Follow the river south along the ridge, the trail will loop down around the hill side and the furnace will be directly above you when you the trail reaches the creek.

I could not obtain a signal lock at the furnace. At the point on the ridge above the furnace the GPS location is GPS - N41 02.228 W80 35.460 @947 feet from above the fn.

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