Hopewell Furnace

on
Hopewell Stoves. RLO. Elverson, PA.

A day trip to #HopewellFurnace would be hard to waste because it sits inside #FrenchCreekStatePark, a beautiful setting that hosts over 35 miles of #hikingtrails, #camping, #boating, #fishing, and #swimming. We happened to go during a sunny #February day with temperatures lower than ideal, but we kept #warm between the indoor #visitorscenter, and walking the steep #paths and #stairs throughout the old #ironplantation. Entry is free, with the Visitor’s Center showing an introductory 15 minute film about the historic village and various exhibits showcasing 115 years of iron working and stoves, including the original Mark Bird stove from 1772. There also is a small gift shop, vendor machine area, and picnic tables available for use.

Hopewell Furnace. RLO. Elverson, PA. https://www.nps.gov/hofu/index.htm

Some of the sites in the #historicvillage include a cool multi story #furnacestack, #barn with live #animals, and a #blacksmith shop, while various times of the year provide #seasonal #events and #livehistory #weekends that showcase the operation of the 19th Century American #plantation. Established around 1771 by Mark Bird, the #furnace operated until 1883, providing #iron used for the popular #HopewellStove as well as being instrumental in the making of big #guns for the #RevolutionaryWar. The #ironore was #mined within 5 miles of the plantation, and the furnace was one of the last #charcoal burning, #coldblast furnaces operated in PA.

Water Wheel. RLO. Elverson, PA.

During our self tour we were pretty much alone as we made our way along the #quiet #pathways to restored #tenanthouses, #smokeshop, #waterwheel, and a long visit with the #ox, #sheep and #horses. One thing to be #aware of for those that may have a stroller or restrictions with getting around, there are a nice amount of #steps and steep #walkways to various sites. But once inside you are rewarded with some #interactive #displays and a true sense of the hard #work needed during the #industrial #production of the plantation, and it would be nice to go back during a #live #history #weekend to see some of the #activity that really takes us back in #time.

Grazing. RLO. Elverson, PA.

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