America's Most Complete Charcoal Fueled Iron-Making Complex
Cornwall Iron Furnace Great Wheel

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Welcome to the website of Cornwall Iron Furnace, part of a National Historic Landmark District, America’s most complete charcoal fueled ironmaking complex.

Visitor Center GalleryA Site of “Transcendent Significance”
In these words, Robert Vogel of the Smithsonian Institution described Cornwall Furnace. “With the exception of a mere handful of similar preservations in Sweden and Germany — and possibly a few in eastern Europe — I doubt that elsewhere in the world is there a 19th century iron furnace complex with the degree of historical integrity to be found at Cornwall…”

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 ironmaking 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 part of a National Historic Landmark District by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. It has also been designated a National Historical Landmark by the American Society of Metals, and a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, citing Cornwall Furnace as “the only one of America’s hundreds of 19th century charcoal fueled blast furnaces to survive fully intact.”


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Cornwall Iron Furnace Associates
Pennsylvania Trails of History

Cornwall Iron Furnace
Rexmont at Boyd Street
P.O. Box 251 Cornwall, PA 17016
Phone: 717-272-9711
Fax: 717-272-0450


Administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Tom Corbett, Governor | Andrew E. Masich, Chairman
James M. Vaughan, Executive Director

With generous support of the Friends of Cornwall Iron Furnace.

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