Wharton Iron Furnace – Farmington, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Wharton Iron Furnace

This historic furnace was once used to produce cannonballs during the Civil War.  

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The Wharton iron furnace is only one of two restored stone iron furnaces that still exist in Fayette County, PA. Located a little southwest of Normalville in the Laurel Highlands, this is one of many iron furnaces that once produced pig iron in the iron ore-rich region of the Allegheny Mountains. The site operated from about 1839, until 1872. It was constructed by Andrew Stewart, the first United States District Attorney for the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Pennsylvania. He was appointed to the position by President James Monroe.

Located on Pennsylvania State Game Lands, the furnace is an odd sight to see in the middle of the forest. It was rebuilt during the 1960s, and still provides an interesting peek into how iron was extracted from raw ore during the 18th and 19th centuries.

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