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A Virtual Museum of Pennsylvania Iron Furnaces & Iron Works

A Digital Iron Furnace Research Library
The 19th Century Society of Pennsylvania
Links to:
Pennsylvania Furnaces Every Name Index
Clarion County Iron Furnace & Iron Works Index
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Cited References for Pennsylvania Iron Works & Iron Furnaces

The Iron Furnaces of Clarion County Pennsylvania
Buchanan Furnace &
Iron Works

Clarion River,
Licking Twp.,
Clarion County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Pennsylvania Iron Furnace Sourcebook
Clarion County Iron Works & 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 & 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 Nov. 2, 2002

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Buchanan Furnace & Iron Works: Located on the north bank of the Clarion River, in a bend of the river opposite Callensburg, a short distance northwest of PA Rt. 58 bridge, Licking Twp., Clarion County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Date Built: ca.1842/1844
Date Out-of-Blast: ca.1858

Other names Buchanan Furnace was know by:
Crary's Furnace;
Plumer's Furnace;

Plummer, Crary & Company Furnace;
Plummer, Creasy & Company Furnace.
See also: Jefferson Furnace, Clarion County.

Buchanan Furnace & Iron Works:
A Stone Blast Furnace & Iron Works
Plummer, Creasy & Company (ca.1842-1857);
Plummer & Creary Company
Plummer, Crary & Company (ca.1842-1857);
F.G. Crary (ca.1857-1858)

Buchanan Iron Furnace
Buchanan Furnace, across the Clarion River from Callensburg, Licking Twp., Clarion Co.
(Photo courtesy of A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces in Western Pennsylvania, by Sharp & Thomas, 1966)

Short History of Buchanan Furnace:

From: "Early History of Western Pennsylvania and of the West" 1846
Buchanan Furnace, Clarion County, owner Plummer, Creasy & Company. (A Gentleman of the Bar,1846:384)

From: "Proceeding of the Iron Convention" 1849.
Buchanan Furnace, Clarion County.  F.G.Creary attended the convention. (Iron Masters Association:1849:n.p.)

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
Buchanan Furnace       1        1842   1,400 Tons
        Owners  Post Office      Kind of ore used  No. of Men &
Boys Employed
 No. of horses &
mules Employed
Plummer & Creary Company Callansburg Argillareous Carbonate       86         61
No. Tuyeres
 Kind of
Power used
Kind of Metal Made  Largest product Actual Product
in 1849
  2  9 feet  30 feet    Steam Close Gray Iron    1,200 Tons   830 Tons

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

From: "Iron Manufacturer Guide" 1859.
Buchanan Cold-blast Charcoal Furnace, owned by F.G. Crary of Kittanning, Armstrong County, and standing, no dismantled, (since April, 1856), four miles west of Sligo Furnace, No. 396, on the Clarion River near Callensburg, Clarion county Pennsylvania, was built in 1844, 8 by 30, and averaged 1,200 tons a year of iron out of coal measure ores.  Its timber is exhausted.  (Lesley,1859:100)

From: "Caldwell's History of Clarion County" 1877
Buchanan Furnace.  Located on the north bank of the Clarion River opposite Callensburg.  Height 30 feet, 8 foot bosh.  Cold Blast.  Production in 1847 was 2,000 tons, averaged 1,200 tons annually.  Owners were S.F. Plummer (of Kittanning), Arnold Plummer (of Franklin), and F.G. Crary (of Kittanning).  Crary became sole proprietor ca.1857.  Abandoned fall, 1858, because timber was exhausted. (Caldwell,1877:  )

From: "History of Clarion County" 1887.
Buchanan Furnace, cold blast. 1844, on the north bank of the Clarion River, opposite Callensburg; eight feet across bosh, thirty feet high; owned by Plumer, Crary & Co., (S. F. Plumer, F. G. Crary, of Kittanning, and Arnold Plumer, of Franklin). F. G. Crary became sole proprietor about 1857. Averaged 1,200 tons a year; abandoned 1858; its timber was then exhausted. (Davis,1887:117)

The Buchanan furnace mill was erected to supply the wants of the furnace people, probably in 1850. It was afterwards torn down, and moved away. (Davis,1877:n.p.)

Furnaces. -- Buchanan Furnace was built in 1842 by Fred Crary and Samuel Plummer. As it is intended to write up furnaces in a separate chapter, we shall only observe here that the stack of the furnace is still standing. (Davis.1877:n.p.)

The Buchanan wharf, where the pig iron was loaded in the boats for transportation, was located below the furnace. The Prospect wharf was on the east side of the mouth of Licking. Above Crary's Dam, on the south side of the river, was located the Sligo metal wharf, many of the timbers of which are still to be seen. (Davis,1877:n.p.)

The furnace companies at Prospect and Buchanan each had stores.(Davis,1877:n.p.)

A Mrs. Hoveler was burned to death at Buchanan furnace. (Davis,1877:n.p.)

From: "A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnace in Western Pennsylvania" 1966.
Buchanan Furnace.  This is the best preserved furnace (ca.1966), in Clarion County.  It was built in 1844 and was blown out for good in 1858. A cold blast charcoal furnace with 2 tuyeres and a 9 foot bosh, its maximum production was 1200 tons a year.  In 1850 the operators were Plummer and Creary. (Sharp & Thomas,1966:31)

To locate the site of Buchanan Furnace, from Callensburg, Clarion Co. go north on PA Rt. 58.  Cross the bridge over the Clarion River.  About 500 feet after crossing the Clarion River bridge, a private lane turns off to the left. Turn left into this private lane (get the land owners permission before proceeding up the lane).  Go about 500 feet on this lane, Buchanan Furnace stack is on the right, next to the hill.   It is in the open and was plainly visble (ca.1966) from the lane, but is hidden from PA Rt. 58 by the curve of the hill.
(Sharp & Thomas,1966:31)

(It is recommended that you obtain and use the "Pennsylvania Atlas & Gazetteer" by DeLorne Mapping, as your map source in finding the Clarion County Iron Furnaces.)
The Licking Township map is cropped from a 1/50,000 USGS Geological Survey Map of Clarion County dated 1986; based on 1/24,000 maps dated 1963 through 1969.
(Map courtesy of the U.S.G.S. Topographic Survey, Washington, D.C.)

Buchanan Iron Furnace ca.1975
The Buchanan Iron Furnace Stack as it appeared ca.1975.  At the time this picture was taken a well defined raceway extended from the Clarion River to the furnace site.  The raceway would indicate that at some point in the history of the Buchanan Furnace, the blast machinery was powered by water power.
(Photo courtesy of Arnold Kepple, author of "History of Callensburg Boro & Licking Township.")

Buchanan Iron Furnace, ca.2001
The Buchanan Iron Furnace stack, as it appeared in September, 2001.
(Photo courtesy of Hank Hufnagel, of Clarion County.)
Bibliographical Sources:  This section under construction.  

A Gentleman of the Bar

1846  Early History of Western Pennsylvania and of the West.  cv0000                                                 

[No early pictures are presently available for Buchanan Furnace, Clarion Co., Pa.]
If you have pictures or know of where pictures of the furnace are located or additional information on Buchanan Furnace, Clarion Co., please contact the Ironmaster; Web Master Ray Washlaski.
RETURN to Clarion County Iron Works & Iron Furnace Index
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