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8. Discover the Historic Furnace Site

At the junction of the dirt road and the footpath take a sharp right, following the blue blazes, to the furnace site. Take some time to explore these fascinating ruins, the most extensive and the best preserved in the state.

The 19th century iron operation at Mine Hill began with the transportation of ore from the mines down Donkey Trail to the roasting ovens. Here, the ore was heated then sorted to remove impurities. Next, the ore was mixed with charcoal and marble and loaded into the blast furnace to be smelted. The chimney located southeast of the blast furnace was part of the blowing engine that provided the blast. The molten ore was removed from the furnace by being allowed to run into channels dug into the sand in front of the blast furnace. Here the ore cooled and formed iron bars known as pigs. The remaining impurities in the ore were drawn off as slag. As you walk around the blast furnace and climb the four terraces to the roasting, ovens, to a commanding view of the site, try to imagine this peaceful haven as a busy, noisy, and smoky industrial center.