America's Most Complete Charcoal Fueled Iron-Making Complex
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For Teachers!
Click below to download pdf worksheets for students.

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Gallery Tours
Guided and self-guided gallery tours are offered at Cornwall Iron Furnace for all groups. Tours examine an orientation exhibit that provides a clear understanding of the once active iron plantation. Housed in the third bay of the old charcoal barn, the exhibit tells the story of two families and their iron plantation workers.

A visitor today will gain a better knowledge of the early ironmaking era by reading descriptions of a furnace "in blast" and viewing colonial stove plates, cannon balls, and an eighteenth century naval cannon. The gallery also provides information on charcoal making, pig iron, and different types of employees, such as indentured servants and slaves. The exhibit is comprised of period artifacts, text panels, and colorful graphics. Text is written at the comprehension level of middle school-aged children. There is no admission fee for the gallery, which is accessible to all.

Outreach - Iron in the Classroom
Alice Oskam, retired school teacher, has created a classroom presentation for elementary school age students. Mrs. Oskam uses a collection of iron products to illustrate her lesson on early ironmaking in America. During Mrs. Oskamís visit, each student will be given a short quiz with a reward of a free tour of the furnace when accompanied by a paying adult. Nothing quite takes the place of an on-site visit to Cornwall Iron Furnace. So if your schedule permits, we encourage you to combine Aliceís visit with a field trip to the furnace. For information and availability, please contact Alice Oskam at 717-866-5242.

Additional Programs
Cornwall Iron Furnace also offers another program designed for students in grades 3-5. The iron plantation was headed by the Ironmaster; he employed a workforce engaged in a variety of occupations. Each student will be given an opportunity to learn about the different occupations. The fee is included in the price of the student tour; we require a minimum of twenty students for this addition to the regular tour. Please request this special feature in advance.

The Grounds
The property is a 5-acre historic site that offers a picnic area and beautiful grounds for a nice walk on a warm day.

Guided Furnace Tour
The guided furnace tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and highlights ironmaking in the 18th and 19th centuries. The 1742 furnace was remodeled in the 19th century and the equipment installed is what visitors will see on the tour. Click here for our online Furnace Tour. A fee is charged.

Our guided tour is complemented by a video showing the making of charcoal and preparing molds for casting in the 19th century. The video can be seen without participating in a guided tour.

Suggested Reading

  • Cornwall Iron Furnace, Pennsylvania Trail of History ģ, by Susan Dieffenbach
  • The Rise of an Iron Community, by Frederick K. Miller
  • Iron, Independence and Inheritance, by James A. Dibert, M.A.
  • The Colemans, Lebanonís Royal Family, published by Lebanon County Historical Society
  • The Touch of Time, by Richard E. Noble

Things to keep in mind
There is no heat or air conditioning in the furnace building. Be sure to have your group dress appropriately for the activities. Comfortable foot wear is suggested for the guided walking tour.

How do I schedule?
It is best to call well in advance to make reservations. Please call us at 717-272-9711 or send us an email to

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Cornwall Iron Furnace Associates

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

Administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Tom Wolf, Governor |
Nancy Moses, Chairman
Executive Director, Andrea Lowery

With generous support of the Friends of Cornwall Iron Furnace.

Copyright. All rights reserved.

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