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Virtual Museum of Pennsylvania Iron Furnaces & Iron Works

Digital Iron Furnace Research Library
The 19th Century Society of Pennsylvania

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The Iron Furnaces of Clarion County Pennsylvania
Hemlock Furnace
Village of Venus,
Washington Twp.,
Clarion County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Pennsylvania Iron Furnace Source Book
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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Hemlock Furnace & Iron Works:   Located on McCauley Run, a branch of Hemlock Creek, 9mi. east of the Allegheny River, near the Village of Venus, Washington Twp., Clarion County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Date Built: ca. 1845
Date Out-of-Blast: ca.1865

Other names Hemlock Furnace was known by:

Hemlock Furnace & Iron Works:
A Stone Blast Furnace & Iron Works
(ca.1845- ? ) W. B. Fetzer & McGuire
(ca.             ) Horner & Eaton
(ca.             ) F & W.M. Faber, of Pittsburgh, PA
(ca.1850- ? ) Moore & Seymour

Short History of Hemlock Furnace:

Hemlock Furnace, 1845; steam cold blast; built by W. B. Fetzer and McGuire; owned later by Horner & Eaton, and finally by F. & W. M. Faber, of Pittsburgh; seven and one-half feet across the bosh; thirty feet high (inside); it was very close to Clinton furnace, on Hemlock Creek; production of 1846, 2,000 tons; 1856, 1,200; abandoned about 1860. (Davis,1887:118)

Hemlock Furnace.  Located on Hemlock Creek, very near Clinton Furnace.  Built by W.B. Fetzer & McGuire;  Horner & Eaton.  Height 30 feet (inside), 7 1/2 foot bosh.  Steam - cold blast.  Production in 1846 and 1847 was 2,000 tons, 1856 was 1,200 tons.  Abandoned about 1860. (Caldwell,1877:   )

Hemlock Furnace. This iron furnace was built on Hemlock Creek in 1845.  It was a cold blast water powered iron furnace.  In 1850 it was owned by Moore and Seymour. It went out-of- blast in 1865.

This furnace is very interesting.  The front half has been removed in such a way that it looks as if it has been cut through vertically by a huge knife.  You can still see the entire inner wall of the stack, bosh and hearth (ca.1966).
(Sharp & Thomas,1966:34-5)

Hemlock Furnace.  Hemlock Furnace is virtually gone - the only remains are the sign, some fallen stones, and the back portion of the inner cupola. The site is heavily overgrown and nature is slowly reclaiming this old relic of our industrial past. The cupola area is very open, including the bosh and hearth. It is unusual to find a hearth that is not filled with earth or rubble.

From Oil City, to visit the site of Hemlock Furnace, Washington Township, Clarion County, starting from Oil City, travel east on US Rt. 62 approx. 2.5 mi to Rose Garden, and the junction of PA Rt.157.  Turn right onto PA Rt.157, Follow PA Rt.157 approx 12 mi. through the Village of Coal Hill to the Village of Venus, which sits on the Venango Co.-Clarion Co. Line.  In Venus, turn left (east) onto T-593 (Gowry Road), follow T-593 (Gowry Road) for approx. 1mi. to the junction of T586 to the right.  At this point T-593 crosses McCauley Run, a branch of Hemlock Creek,  and T586 curves to the right. The remains of the Hemlock Furnace site are next to the hillside on the right.

Another furnace, Clinton Furnace, is close by and worth viewing.
(Sharp & Thomas,1966:35)

(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 Washington Township, Clarion County, PA 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.)

Bibliographical Sources:  This section under construction.                                                    

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

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