Today I was at a customers house near Templeton and we began talking about the history of the area. His father wrote a sizable book about the history of Templeton, Mosgrove, Kittanning and the surrounding locales. In the book was a section on the old iron furnaces in the area. After talking for awhile he gave me directions to the Pine Furnace and I decided to take a quick drive by there.
The Pine Furnace dates back to 1845-46 and was built by James E. Brown and James Mosgrove of Kittanning to make hot blast charcoal iron. It functioned as a charcoal fueled furnace until 1865 when it was remodeled and switched over to coke. The original stack was 32 feet high with a ten foot bosh and was steam powered. The remodeled stack was 40 feet high with a 9'10" bosh and a four foot square hearth. The furnace had a capacity of 50-60 tons a week. In 1879 pig iron had reached $16 a ton and made operating the furnace unprofitable. It operated almost continuously throughout its lifetime and was the cheapest furnace to run in Armstrong County.
By 1880 a sizable community had grown up around the furnace. The town included stores, a schoolhouse and church as well as many residential homes. All that remains today is a stack of stone from the furnace.
(Sources http://www.r2parks.net/ and Armstrong County, PA. Her People Past and Present)
|This is the view from the road.|
|Climbing up the hill. Perfect corners on this stack.|
|Backside of the furnace.|
|Closeup of stonework.|
|Possible race in front of the stack.|
|Front from halfway up the hill.|