Index

Pictures

Pine Grove Furnace Cupola Cupola Door RH Side of Furnace
Pine Grove Furnace Cupola Cupola Door RH Side of Furnace
Rear of Furnace Closeup of Cupola Air Vent Engine House
Rear of Furnace Closeup of Cupola Air Vent Engine House
Storage Area Flour Mill
Storage Area Flour Mill
Company Store Mansion Stables
Company Store Mansion Stables

Description

Pine Grove is yet another fine site, restored and maintained by the Pennsylvania State Parks. The site is in excellent condition, and contains many of the buildings associated with an iron furnace community. In addition to the furnace itself, they have structures of ten buildings and the structural remains of seven other buildings. The furnace produced pig iron and castings - primarily hollow ware and stove plates.

The cupola itself has been rebuilt, but the original plates covering the tapping holes were incorporated during the restoration. This is one of the few sites ever encountered with these features remaining intact.

The rear of the furnace has also been rebuilt, as can be seen by the red brick, built into the older stonework.

The records indicate that the original furnace operated from a waterwheel powered bellows. In later years, the blast mechanism was converted to a steam powered blowing engine. This was mounted to the left of the furnace on a slight rise. The original building is gone, but the foundation stones for the engine remain.

Looking up the tuyere arch, the air vent was observed to extend clear through to the top of the stack. This is an unusual architecture, as most furnaces seen to date do not have this feature, or punched a hole through the furnace wall a few feet above the tuyere.

Another unusual feature is the area that is "built in" to the retaining wall. The retaining wall extends for a good 100-150 yards down the hill side. It is not clear what would have been in this area - it may have been a building of some kind, but the engine house and company office are already accounted for. The charcoal house is located on the hill behind the furnace. I believe that the area was utilized as a storage site.

The flour mill was originally thought to be a charcoal house. Much thanks to Betty Carson for identifying this error.

The fact that the furnace operated as a nearly fuedal type operation is evident by the agricultural sites located near the furnace. The Pine Grove site contains a mill (for grinding grain), a church, and a schoolhouse. One building was thought to be a meat house, but Ranger Joshua Montanari kindly pointed out this was not the case. Additionally, Mr. Montanari identified two structures (the carpenter shop and the blacksmith's shop) to be incorrect - both these buildings relate to the park service and are not part of the original furnace site.

The ore pit is now filled with water and is named Fuller Lake. The water originates from underground seepage. This was a constant source of difficulty for the operators of Pine Grove Furnace. The water wheel near the lake was utilized to draw out the water, but historical records indicate that flooding was a serious concern during rainy periods.

First Visited: 3Q 2002

History

Start of Operation: 1764

Blowout: 1895

Daily Tonnage: ?

Built By: Reported to be built by Michael Ege, but may have been built earlier by Samuel Pope and/or George Stevenson.

Stack: ?

Blast: Cold

Type: Charcoal

I found an interesting history of Pine Grove on the web. The information was obtained from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

After the furnace site ceased operation, the last iron master (Jackson Fuller) started up a brick making operation in the area located just east of the furnace site.

Directions

Located in Pine Grove State Park, off St Rt 233, south west of Carlisle, PA. The park operates a website Pine Grove, or can be contacted at 717-486-7174.

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