America's Most Complete Charcoal Fueled Iron-Making Complex
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Map of Cornwall Iron Furnace

Site Map

1. Visitors' Center
Visitors' Center GalleryLocated in the 19th century Charcoal Barn, the Visitors' Center offers interpretive exhibits on mining, charcoal making, and ironmaking and gives the visitor a glimpse of the huge spaces needed to contain the fuel used in the smelting process. Visitors' services, the Gallery and the museum store are located in this facility.
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2. Connecting Shed
This roof protected charcoal from inclement weather as it was transported in carts to the furnace building. Before the furnace building was constructed around the stack, raw materials were brought to the top of the stack on a bridge from the top of the hill.
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3. Furnace Building
Originally, several distinct buildings clustered around the furnace stack. The furnace building was constructed when the furnace was remodeled and enlarged in the mid-1800s. Its elegant façade and Gothic Revival details are a testimony to the success of the furnace and to the refined taste of its owners. Charcoal, iron ore, and limestone were introduced into the furnace in the charging area on the upper level. The blast equipment, which supplied air to the furnace, is located on the next lower level. This is believed to be the sole surviving example of this type of machinery. The casting room is where molten iron flowed out of the furnace and cast into pig iron or cast iron products.
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Charging Room4. Roasting Oven
Alternate layers of charcoal and iron ore, loosely placed to permit the upward passage of air, were put into the roasting oven to remove sulfur from the iron ore. Failure to eliminate sulfur caused difficulties in smelting and might force the operation to stop. This structure was probably erected in the early 1800s when the mine was beginning to yield a lower grade ore.
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5. Stone Buttresses
This structure was built to support the railway that transported ore from the mine to the site. Later, these buttresses were used to store anthracite coal for use on the iron plantation.
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6. Blacksmith Shop
The fabrication and repair of tools for mining and ironmaking was an ongoing process. Here a blacksmith could make tools and make hardware for the community.
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7. Wagon Shop
Wagons for the mining and ironmaking operations were constructed and repaired in this building.
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Abattoir8. Abattoir
This charming Gothic Revival building, featuring quatre-foil windows, served as smokehouse and butcher shop for the Cornwall estate.
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9. Stable
This building quartered the horses and mules used in everyday functions of the furnace, such as hauling raw materials and finished products. There are keystone arches over the lower doors and the vent grills in the upper doors. Today the stable serves as the maintenance shop for Cornwall Manor.
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10. Manager’s House/ Office Building
Present knowledge indicates that this impressive stone building was constructed in the 19th century as a residence for the furnace manager. Its size and design show the importance of the manager, who ranked second only to the owner. In the 20th century. Bethlehem Steel used this building as its Cornwall office. Today the building is a day care center for children.
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11. Open Pit Mine
Cornwall Ore Banks was one of the world’s greatest iron ore deposits. More than 100 million tons were extracted between 1730 and 1973. The depth of the open pit reached five hundred feet below the surface. The open pit mine can be viewed from Boyd Street.
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12. Minersvillage
Company housing was made available to miners and furnace workers. Minersvillage was started in 1865 and has been occupied continuously. Today the houses are private residence, and may be seen along Boyd Street.
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Paymaster's Office13. Paymaster’s Office
By 1875, this structure was an office serving the Cornwall Estate. The Cornwall Iron Co., Ltd. (1886-1901), who had control over the defunct Cornwall Iron Furnace, used the building for its office. Today Cornwall Manor uses this building as an artist studio.
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14. Ironmaster’s Mansion
Curttis and Peter Grubb, sons of the builder of Cornwall Furnace, built this mansion in 1773. The Coleman family, whose patriarch Robert Coleman had acquired the furnace and estate, did extensive remodeling in 1865. Included in the renovation was the addition of Italianate architectural elements. Today a few residents of Cornwall Manor have apartments in this building.
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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.

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