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7. A Blast From The Past - the Beckley Iron Furnace!

Continue on Rte. 7 North. To reach Land of Nod Winery, nationally recognized as a bicentennial farm take a right on Lower Rd., follow for two miles passing a large limestone quarry. The vineyard is situated on 200 acres along the Blackberry River and in the Historic Iron District. Visitors enjoy complimentary wine tastings and a lovely shop that offers a unique selection of gifts.

Continue on Lower Rd. for one mile to visit the Beckley Iron Furnace, a 19th century Industrial Monument listed on the National Register of Historic Places, located on Blackberry River.

For two hundred years, the foremost industry in Canaan was the production of iron and the smelting and forging of products from nails to ship anchors. Built in 1837, the Beckley Iron Furnace stone stack was originally thirty feet square at the base and thirty-two feet high. When it was rebuilt after a fire in 1896, the height was increased to forty feet and the most advanced technology was incorporated, making this furnace a "state of the art" model of its day. In addition to iron ore, the necessary ingredients needed to produce pig iron were water, lime and fuel. The highest quality iron was produced here using charcoal as fuel. Malleable Salisbury charcoal iron was the finest produced through the 18th and 19th century.

The Beckley Furnace closed in the winter of 1918-1919 after eighty-one years of production. In 1923, the East Canaan #3 furnace was closed ending Connecticut's iron making era after one hundred and ninety years. The State of Connecticut purchased the Beckley Furnace for a park in 1946 and it was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Currently the site is undergoing restoration.

Retrace your steps to Rte. 7 north. At the junction of Rte. 44 and Rte. 7, take Rte. 44 west to the center of Canaan. At one time Canaan served as the hub for the Connecticut Western Railroad that serviced 12 passenger trains daily.