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Virtual Museum of Pennsylvania Iron Furnaces & Iron Works

Digital Iron Furnace Research Library
The 19th Century Society of Pennsylvania
Links to:
Pennsylvania Furnaces Every Name Index
Armstrong County Iron Furnace & Iron Works Index
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Iron Furnaces of Armstrong County Pennsylvania
Buffalo Furnace No.1
Buffalo Furnace No.2
Village of Buffalo Mills,
West Franklin Twp.,
Armstrong County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Pennsylvania Iron Furnace Sourcebook
Armstrong County Iron Furnaces

A Tribute to the Iron Masters and Iron Workers
that built and keep in-blast
the old Stone Blast Furnaces of Pennsylvania.

Raymond A. Washlaski, Historian, Archaeologist, Editor & Web Master,
Ryan P. Washlaski, Technical Advisor.

Virtual Museum of Pennsylvania Iron Furnaces & Iron Works
A Publication of the 19th Century Society of Pennsylvania
Updated Dec. 7, 2004

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Buffalo Furnace No. 1:  Located on Buffalo Creek, Village of Buffalo Mills, near Worthington, West Franklin Twp., Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Date Built: ca. 1839
Date Out-of-Blast: ca.1865

Buffalo Furnace No. 2:   Located on Buffalo Creek, Village of Buffalo Mills, near Worthington, West Franklin Twp., Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Date Built: ca.1846
Date Out-of-Blast: ca.1865

Other names Buffalo Furnaces were known by:
Graff's Furnace;
Gruff's Furnace;
P. Graff & Company.

See also: Maple Furnace, Butler Co.

Short History of Buffalo Furnaces:
Documents Relating to the Manufacture of Iron in Pennsylvania, 1850
A Detailed Statement of all the Charcoal Cold Blast Furnaces in Western Pennsylvania in the year 1850
Published on behalf of the Convention of Iron Masters,
Which met in Philadelphia, on the Twentierth of December, 1849
Philadelphia: Published by the General Committee. 1850
Name of Works date of Sheriff's
sale or failure
in-blast 1849
out-of-blast 1849
date of construction Capacity in Tons
Buffalo Furnace         1        1846   1,100 Tons
        Owners  Post Office      Kind of ore used  No. of Men &
Boys Employed
 No. of horses &
mules Employed
P. Graff & Company   Worthington Argillareous Carbonate       40         20
No. Tuyeres
 Kind of
Power used
Kind of Metal Made  Largest product Actual Product
in 1849
    2  8 feet  32 feet Steam & Water mottled & white iron
or hard iron
   300 Tons     300 Tons

                                                                                                           (Iron Masters Association,1850:n.p.)

Buffalo Furnaces:  The first of these two charcoal furnaces was built in 1839 by P. Graff and Company on Buffalo Creek at the crossing of the Kittanning and Butler Pike.  It produced 45 tons a week and was the first furnace in the county to use hot blast.

The second furnace was built in 1846.  It was a hot blast charcoal furnace with an 8 foot bosh as compared with a 9 foot bosh in the first furnace. Although smaller than No. 1 Furnace it was, due to improvements, a better producer of these furnaces.  Both went out of blast in 1864. (Sharp & Thomas,1966:9)

Follow US Rt.422 west from Kittanning or east from Butler to Worthington.  In Worthington turn onto the old highway PA SR4010 (old Rt.422).  Turn west on PA SR4010, and proceed through the town.  At the foot of the hill turn left (south) on a road just before reaching the bridge over Buffalo Creek.  This is the small Village of Buffalo Mills. An old white store building is on the left.. Proceed down this road past a row of houses on the right, about 1/4 mile.  Park here and go on foot down the lane for 200 or 300 feet.  On the left just beyond a bend in the road next to the hillside are the depressions where Buffalo Furnace No.1 and Buffalo Furnace No.2 stood [ca.1966]. The stacks were destroyed, and crushed for stone for road repair in the  West Franklin Township.  A large amount of slag remains on the hillside.
(Sharp & Thomas,1966:9)

Bibliographical Sources:  This section under construction.                                                    

[no pictures are presently available for Buffalo Furnaces, Armstrong Co., Pa.]
If you have pictures or know of where pictures of the furnace are located or additional information on Buffalo Furnaces, Armstrong Co., please contact the Ironmaster

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