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This is an image of Hopewell Furnace National Historical Park

Hopewell Furnace National Historical Park

This is one of the finest examples of a rural American 19th century iron plantation. The buildings include a blast furnace, the ironmaster's mansion, and auxiliary structures. Hopewell Furnace was founded in 1771 by Ironmaster Mark Bird. The furnace operated until 1883. Designated Hopewell Village National Historic Site August 3, 1938; name changed September 19, 1985. Boundary changes: June 6, 1942; July 24, 1946. Primarily an area that is significant for its cultural resources, Hopewell Furnace consists of 14 restored structures in the core historic area, 52 features on the List of Classified Structures, and a total of 848 mostly wooded acres.

Hopewell Furnace was a rural industry; agriculture was integral to its operation and the community. Most Hopewell families did some farming on the "iron plantation." Probably no crop grown at Hopewell Furnace was as important as hay. Hay fueled the dozen of horses which hauled the charcoal, limestone and iron ore that went into the furnace and transported to market all of the products the furnace produced. Hay is made up of grasses and legumes (like clover). They were carefully preserved by drying to be used as feed in the winter or when the horses were too busy to graze.

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