Visit Cornwall Iron Furnace
94 Rexmont Road, Cornwall, PA 17016
An iron industry emerged from the abundant mineral deposits like those found at Lebanon County’s Cornwall Iron Furnace, a completely preserved mid-19th-century iron making complex that cast cannon barrels used in the American Revolution.
The furnace was in operation from 1742 to 1883 and produced a variety of materials and goods, including cannon barrels used by the Continental Army in the American Revolution. So vast was the complex that it became an entity almost to itself: all the raw ingredients necessary for the smelting process were found on the plantation, and artisan shops, stores, schools, churches and village housing sprung up within the complex and around the perimeter.
Cornwall Furnace is indeed a unique survivor of the early American iron industry. Originally built by Peter Grubb in 1742, the furnace underwent extensive renovations in 1856-57 under its subsequent owners, the Coleman family, and closed in 1883. It is this mid-19th century iron making complex which survives today. At Cornwall, furnace, blast equipment, and related buildings still stand as they did over a century ago. Here visitors can explore the rambling Gothic Revival buildings where cannons, stoves, and pig iron were cast, and where men labored day and night to satisfy the furnace’s appetite for charcoal, limestone, and iron ore.
Cornwall Iron Furnace is an extraordinary example of the furnaces that dotted the Pennsylvania countryside in the 18th and 19th centuries, but it is now the only surviving intact site of its kind in the Western Hemisphere and stands as a testament to the great iron industry that once flourished in this region.
Guided tours through this National Historic Landmark will explain the history of this unique site and discuss the iron manufacturing process. Special events and lectures are often on offer as well – check the current calendar on the furnace’s official web site.
Open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 5:00 p.m., with the last tour beginning at 4:00 p.m. each day. Open Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day. Hours subject to change without notice.
Regular (12-64) $6.00
Junior (3-11) $4.00
Reduced (65+ and motor club members) $5.50
Complimentary (Children 2 and under) Free
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.