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Pictures

Alliance Furnace Liner Alliance Furnace
Alliance Furnace Liner Alliance Furnace
Rear of Furnace On the Hill On the Hill
Rear of Furnace On the Hill On the Hill

Description

Alliance furnace is in very poor condition, as evidenced by the pictures. It is impossible to tell how many tuyeres (if any) the furnace possessed - as such, it is not clear if the furnace had a blast mechanism. A small portion of the inner liner remains intact, but the rest of the stack has succumbed to nature.

On the hillside just before reaching the furnace, I noted an unusual stone wall. Hiking up to the furnace, I found a rectangular area with access openings on either end. Given the type of wall, it seem unlikely that the area had a roof or cover. The purpose of this construction is not clear - the wall is too high to serve as a defense mechanism, and does not appear to be used for storage purposes.

First Visited: 2Q 2003

History

Start of Operation: November 1789

Blowout: 1802

Daily Tonnage:

Built By: William Turnbul, John Holker, and Peter Marmie

Stack:

Blast: ?

Type: Charcoal

The following information was obtained from Sharp & Thomas.

Alliance was the first iron furnace built west of the Allegheny Mountains. Construction on the furnace actually began prior to actual ownership of the land. On July 13, 1789, William Turnbull took possession of 301 acres of furnace land. He also acquired two additional tracts of 301 and 219 acres respectively. In 1791 Turnbull and Marmie took ownership of an additional 223 acres in nearby Tyrone Township.

William Turnbull had been a purchasing agent and commissary for Pennsylvania troops during the Revolutionary War. John Holker was Consul General of France and Agent General for the French Navy during the same period but remained in the United States after the war. Peter Marmie was also a Frenchman from Rouen. He worked as Holker's private secretary until 1783, when he became partners with Holker, Turnbull, and Robert Morris. Marmie managed the furnace while the others remained in Philadelphia.

Directions

Follow PA51 south to PA981 to the east. This road joins PA51 about 200 yards south of the intersection of PA51 and Interstate 70. Follow PA51 for 2.1 miles to Second Street in Smithton and turn right. You will now be on SR3029 which you will follow 2.2 miles to the village of Jacobs Creek. Turn right and go 0.3 mile to a bridge to the right over Jacob's Creek. Cross the bridge and follow this road SR1002 3.6 miles to a dirt crossroad T568. There will be a Cross Road sign at this point. There is a white house and a garage to the left (north) at the intersection, but the road is merely a farm path, and apparently no longer a township road, Turn left into this farm road and proceed a little over 0.1 mile where you reach a gated entry into state game lands. The road beyond the entrance of the forest is EXTREMELY rough and not advisable, even for a 4W drive. Park off the path at this point. Walk on the road into the game lands. At the railroad track turn left and follow the road parallel to the tracks and under the railroad and around down the hill to the creek. The furnace is about 50 feet to the right of the road and about 100 feet from the creek. Total walking distance about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 miles.

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