Endor Iron Furnace – Sanford, North Carolina - Atlas Obscura

Endor Iron Furnace

Ruins of an American Civil War iron forge still survive as a reminder of Confederate industrial strength. 

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Located deep on a 426 acre nature park, the Endor Iron Furnace (no relation to Star Wars) still retains most of the imposing nature it must have held as it spat out workable iron for the American Confederacy.  

The Endor Iron Furnace is on of the more stunning pieces of North Carolina history.  Tucked away in the woods of Lee county, the furnace is a decaying monument to the legacy of Confederate industry. The furnace itself is a 35-foot tall, stacked-stone edifice at the end of a path liberally sprinkled with the remains of iron ore and pig iron dropped in its heyday of operation during the Civil War. It was built a bit off the beaten path to take advantage of the veins of ore in the nearby Deep River. Refined iron only steamed from the Endor Iron Furnace for a cumulative total of ten years, but its remains have kept the memory of a tumultuous time alive for well over a hundred.   

Update as of August 2020: The site is currently fenced off for protection.

Know Before You Go

The site IS fenced off, as stated, but there aren't any "NO TRESPASSING" signs anywhere to be seen. (Perhaps there should be.) Instead you will find signs against excavation - violaters subject to heavy fines and jail terms. If you plan to visit the Endor Iron Furnace, do so at your own risk, and don't pick up ANYTHING. It is strongly recommended contacting the NC Historical Society for permission to view the site.

The furnace is about a mile hike past the fenced of area. By the tracks in the dirt road, the site is traveled often by someone and is well maintained.