Blair County PAGenWeb


Blair County PAGenWeb








Furnaces & Forges




Old Furnaces and Forges Which Flourished in This Section Now Extinct.


Three-quarters of a century ago the iron industry was flourishing in this part of the country. All about Altoona, and throughout Blair, Huntingdon and Blair counties were located many forges and furnaces in active operation. Today few, if any, are in operation. The centralization of the iron industry in certain localities where materials were cheaper and more easily accessible have caused the abandonment of forges and furnaces.


Way back in 1836 there were 16 furnaces, 24 forges and one rolling mill in operation in this section of the state. They produced that year 13, 750 tons of pig metal and 9, 309 tons of blooms, and from this product the celebrated Juniata iron was made. This iron was as good, if not better, than any iron made anywhere in the world at that time. Most of it was wagoned to Hollidaysburg and from that place shipped to market over the canal.


A list of these furnaces and forges and their locations has been furnished the Mirror by a friend, one A. Thomas Brenneman, brother of Station Master S. H. Brenneman, who now resides in Thomas, W. Va. He was connected with the iron industry in the old days. The list is interesting from an historic standpoint. They were all located in Huntingdon county, part of which is now Blair county, as follows:


On Little Juniata-Elizabeth Furnace and Mary Ann forge, E. Bell, owner; Antis forge, Graham & McCamant, owners; Cold Spring forge, John Crotzer, owner; Union furnace, M. Wallace, Barre forges, Dorsey, Greer & Co.; Tyrone forges, two, Lyon, Short & Co.; Juniata forge, J. H. Shoenbaker; Birmingham, Stewart & Co.


On Frankstown branch-Allegheny furnace, E. Baker & Co., owner; Etna forge, H. S. Spang; rolling mill and forge, George Hatfield; Cove forge, Royer & Shoemaker.


On Raystown branch-Frankstown furnace, D. Hileman, owner; Clinton forge, Hopkins & Beightel.


On Stone Creek-Greenwood furnace and forge, Rawle & Hall, owners.


On Spruce Creek-Elizabeth forge, J. H. Shoenbaker, owner; Pennsylvania furnace and three Colerain forges, Shorb, Son & Co.; Elizabeth forge, R. Moore; Franklin forge, C. Wigton; Mellington forge, William Hopkins; Stockdale, J. S. Isett.


On Shade Creek-Rockhill, J. M. Bell, owner; Winchester, T. F. Cromwell.


On Aughwick Creek-Chester and Augwick furnace.


On Warriorsmark run-Huntingdon furnace, J. H. Shoenberger, owner.


On Little Bald Eagle Creek-Bald Eagle furnace, Lyon & Co. owner.


On Big Trough Creek-Mary Ann furnace, and Mary Ann forge, J. Savage, owner.


On Piney Creek-Springfield furnace and Franklin forge, S. Royer & Co., owner.


On Clover Creek-Rebecca furnace, Peter Shoenberger, owner.

Source: Altoona Mirror, June 5, 1907


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