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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
Limestone Furnace
Limestone 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
A Publication of the 19th Century Society of Pennsylvania
Updated Nov. 2, 2002

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Linestone Furnace & Iron Works:  Located on Little Piney Creek, northeast of Greenville (presentday Limestone), Limestone Twp., Clarion County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Date Built: ca. 1845
Date Out-of-Blast: ca.1853

Other names Limestone Furnace was known by:

Limestone Furnace & Iron Works:
A Stone Blast Furnace & Iron Works
J. & J. B. Lyons (ca.1850)
J. B. Lyons
Jacob B. Lyon & Company
J. Painter
G. B. Smith

Short History of Limestone 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
Limestone Furnace   1850 S            1        1845   1,100 Tons
        Owners  Post Office      Kind of ore used  No. of Men &
Boys Employed
 No. of horses &
mules Employed
J. & J. B. Lyons Greenville Argillareous Carbonate       58         33
No. Tuyeres
 Kind of
Power used
Kind of Metal Made  Largest product Actual Product
in 1849
  1  8 feet  32 feet    Water Close Gray Iron    700 Tons   316 Tons

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

Limestone Furnace.  Located on Piney Creek in Limestone Township.  Bosh 8 feet. Cold blast.  Production in 1847 was 1,000 tons and about 1,000 tons each year afterward. Abandoned 1853. (Caldwell,1877:  )

From "History of Clarion County" 1887.
Limestone Furnace, cold blast; built in 1845 ; eight feet wide across the bosh; situated on Piney Creek in Limestone township; owned by Jacob B. Lyon & Co., and J. Painter, and G. B. Smith; it was abandoned in 1853; produced about 1,000 tons per year. (Davis,1887:117)

Limestone Furnace.  Built in 1845 on Piney Creek in Limestone Township. It was a cold blast charcoal furnace with one tuyere and powered by water.  The owner was J. B. Lyons.
Quite a portion of this furnace remains, [ca.1966], but it is covered with trees and brush.  Only the top of one of the exterior walls is visible.  The stream (the old millrace) goes underground at the furnace.  Evidently it had or has found a channel through the stones.
 (Sharp & Thomas,1966:33)

Limestone Furnace.  Limestone Furnace is now in ruins, as can be seen by the pictures below. A local resident stated that in 1976 the nearby creek flooded, causing considerable damage to this furnace site. (J. Markiel,2002:n.p.)

Ruins of Limestone Furnace, from near the top of the stack, ca.2002. (Photo courtesy of J. Markiel, Columbus, OH.)

Ruins of Limestone Furnace stack, ca.2002.  (Courtesy of J. Markiel, Columbus, OH.)

To locate the site of Limestone Furnace, from Limestone, Limestone Twp., Clarion Co., proceed north on PA Rt.66, for about 1/2 mi. to the junction of T-490, a township road.  Turn right (east) on T-490 for about 3/4 mile.  As the road crosses Little Piney Creek, the site of Limestone Furnace is on the left side of the road, about 100 feet north of the bridge and just south of the intersection with PA SR2001.

The stack is covered with trees and brush.
(Sharp & Thomas,1966:36)

[The directions have been revised with the new route numbers.]

(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 Limestone 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.)

Limestone Furnace,
Limestone Township,
Clarion Co.

1872 Map of Limestone Township, Clarion, showing the location of Limestone Furnace and the settlements 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 other pictures are presently available for Limestone Furnace, Limestone Township, Clarion Co., Pa.]
If you have pictures or know of where old pictures of the furnace are located or have additional information on Limestone Furnace, Clarion Co., please contact the Ironmaster

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