|Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site|
|Location||Union Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, USA|
|Nearest city||Reading, Pennsylvania|
|Area||848 acres (343 ha)|
|Established||August 3, 1938|
|Visitors||49,980 (in 2005)|
|Governing body||National Park Service|
|Website||Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site|
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site in southeastern Berks County, near Elverson, Pennsylvania, is an example of an American 19th century rural "iron plantation," based a charcoal-fired cold-blast iron blast furnace. The significant restored structures include the furnace group (blast furnace, water wheel, blast machinery, cast house and charcoal house), plus the ironmaster's house, company store, blacksmith's shop, barn and several worker's houses.
Hopewell Furnace was founded c. 1771 by ironmaster Mark Bird, son of William Bird, who had been one of Pennsylvania's most prominent ironmasters. The site's most prosperous time was during the 1820-1840 period with a brief return to significant production during the American Civil War. In the mid 19th century changes in iron making, including a shift from charcoal-fueled furnaces to anthracite-fueled steel mills rendered smaller furnaces like Hopewell obsolete. The site discontinued operations in 1883.
In 1938 the property was designated Hopewell Village National Historic Site under the authority of the Historic Sites Act, thereby becoming one of the earliest cultural units of the National Park System.
Today, Hopewell Furnace consists of 14 restored structures, 52 features on the List of Classified Structures, and a total of 848 mostly wooded acres. Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site is located in the Hopewell Big Woods and bordered by French Creek State Park on three sides and State Game Lands 43 on the south side, which preserves the lands the furnace utilized for its natural resources.
- Cast iron
- Sand casting
- Birdsboro Steel Foundry and Machine Co
- Charcoal making
- Birdsboro, Pennsylvania
- Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site: Administrative History (National Park Service)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hopewell Furnace.|
- Official website
- History of Hopewell Furnace
- African-Americans at Hopewell Furnace
- Hopewell Village National Historic Site
- Hopewell Furnace: A Pennsylvania Iron-making Plantation, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) lesson plan
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. PA-5157-A, "Hopewell Village, Furnace & Bridge House", 2 photos, 1 photo caption page
- Sand Molding at Hopewell Furnace - U.S. National Park Service (YouTube video)
- Iron Casting at Hopewell Furnace - U.S. National Park Service (YouTube video)
- Charcoal Making at Hopewell Furnace - U.S. National Park Service (YouTube video)