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Virtual Museum of Pennsylvania Iron Furnaces & Iron Works

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The 19th Century Society of Pennsylvania
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The Iron Furnaces of Clarion County Pennsylvania
Catfish Furnace & Iron Works
Village of Catfish,
Madison Twp.,
Clarion County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Pennsylvania Iron Furnace Sourcebook
Clarion 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 & 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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Catfish Furnace & Iron Works: Located at mouth of Catfish Creek, and Allegheny River, Village of Catfish, Madison Twp., Clarion County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Date Built: ca. 1846
Date Out-of-Blast: ca.1856

Other names Catfish Furnace was known by:
Miller's Furnace;
Reichart & Lobaugh Company Furnace;

Catfish Furnace & Iron Works:
A Stone Blast Furnace & Iron Works
Over, Reichart & Lobaugh Company;
Alexander Miller;
J. L. Miller;
Miller & Son Company

Short History of Catfish Furnace:
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
Catfish Furnace   1850 S       1        1846   1,400 Tons
        Owners  Post Office      Kind of ore used  No. of Men &
Boys Employed
 No. of horses &
mules Employed
Miller & Son Company Brady's Bend Argillareous Carbonate       75         48
No. Tuyeres
 Kind of
Power used
Kind of Metal Made  Largest product Actual Product
in 1849
  1  9 feet  30 feet    Steam Close Gray Iron    1,120 Tons   1,120 Tons

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

From "History of Clarion County" 1887.
Catfish Furnace, 1846, steam cold blast; eight feet across the bosh thirty feet high; built by Over, Reichart and Lobaugh, on the Allegheny, at the mouth of Catfish, who failed in 1851. The property was purchased by Alexander Miller, and leased by J. L. Miller; managed by J. H. Kahl. It made in thirty-three weeks of 1856, 925 1/2 tons of metal from carbonate and red ores, taken from within a mile to the north.  (Davis,1887:118)

Catfish Furnace.  Located on the Allegheny River at the mouth of Catfish Creek.  Steam - cold-blast.  Height 30 feet, 8 foot bosh.  Failed 1851.  Built by Over, Reichart & Lobaugh.  Sold to Alexander Miller, leased to J.L. Miller. Manager J.H. Kahl.  Production in only 33 weeks of 1856 was 925 1/2tons.  Used carbonate and red ores from within one mile to the north. (Caldwell,1877:   )

From: "A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnace in Western Pennsylvania" 1966.
Catfish Furnace.  This steam powered cold blast charcoal furnace was built in 1846 at the mouth of Catfish Run in Madison Township.  It was permanently shut down some time after 1856.  Miller and Sons owned it in 1850. (Sharp & Thomas,1966:31)

To reach the site of Catfish Furnace, starting at East Brady, Clarion Co., follow PA Rt.68 east for 5.3mi. to PA SR3006.  Turn left on PA LR3006, and follow it to the bottom of the hill. The road turns right, paralleling the Allegheny River.  The site of Catfish Furnace is to the right against the hillside and near Catfish Creek.

This area has been used for coal storage for many years and no trace of the old furnace stack or raceway remains today.  Charcoal slag can be found on the banks of Catfish Creek and in the field across from the furnace site.
(Sharp & Thomas,1966:32)

[PA Rt. nos. have been updated in the above description.]

(It is recommended that you obtain and use the "Pennsylvania Atlas & Gazetteer" by DeLorne Mapping, as you map source in finding the Clarion County Iron Furnaces.)
The Madison 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.
(Courtesy of the U.S.G.S. Topographic Survey, Washington, D.C.)

Catfish Furnace, Madison Township, Clarion Co.
1872 Map of Madison Township, Clarion, showing the location of Catfish Furnace and the settlement around the furnace.
(from "Atlas of the County of Lawrence & The State of Pennsylvania,"  Published by G.M.Hopkins & Co., Philadelphia, PA, ca.1872)

Bibliographical Sources:  This section under construction.                                                    

[no pictures are presently available for Catfish Furnace, Clarion Co., Pa.]
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