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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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Pike Furnace &

Pike Forge
Madison 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 April 17, 2002

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Pike Furnace & Iron Works:  Located on Wildcat Run, .75 miles north of Lawsonham, Madison Twp., Clarion County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Date Built: ca. 1845
Date Out-of-Blast: ca.1868/1869

Other names Pike Furnace was known by:
Orr's Furnace

Pike Furnace & Iron Works:
A Stone Blast Furnace & Iron Works
Lawson, Duff & Orr Company
Hunter Orr

Short History of Pike 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
Pike Furnace       1        1845   1,350 Tons
        Owners  Post Office      Kind of ore used  No. of Men &
Boys Employed
 No. of horses &
mules Employed
Lawson, Duff & Orr Company Curlsville Argillareous Carbonate       77         53
No. Tuyeres
 Kind of
Power used
Kind of Metal Made  Largest product Actual Product
in 1849
  1  8 feet 6 inches  30 feet    Steam Close Gray Iron    1,000 Tons   830 Tons

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

From "History of Clarion County" 1887.
Pike Furnace, 1845, steam hot blast, near Wildcat Run, three-fourths of a mile north of Lawsonham; eight foot bosh by thirty feet high; originally built as a cold blast stack. First owned by Lawson, Duff & Orr, afterward owned and managed by Hunter Orr. Production of 1845 period, 1,700 tons; of 1856, about 1,500 tons. Iron made from limestone ore, soft brown and hard blue, in beds which crop out among the coal measures horizontally around the furnace. Suspended in 1858 for a while, blown out in 1868-69; now entirely dismantled. (Davis,1887:117)

Pike Furnace.  Located on Wildcat Run, three-quarters of a mile north of Lawsonham.  Height 30 feet, 8 foot bosh.  Steam - hot blast, but originally cold blast stack.   Hunter Orr was owner and manager.  Production in 1845 and 1847 was 1,700 tons. 1856 was 1,500 tons from limestone ore in coal beds near furnace.  Suspended production 1858 for a while.  Blew out 1868-9.  Dismantled by 1887. (Caldwell,1877:  )

Pike Furnace  Was built in 1845 an abandoned in 1868.  It originally was built as a cold blast furnace but after a short time it was changed to hot blast, charcoal and steam. (Sharp & Thomas,1966:38)

To reach the site of Pike Furnace, follow PA SR2009 south for 3.3 miles fromits junction with PA Rt. 68 in Rimersburg to Lawsonham.  Park and walk norhteast along the railroad tracks along Wildcat Run.  Between 1/2 and 3/4 mile along this section of track you will see some houses at the top of a steep bank to the left.  The ruins of the stack are between the track and the bank.  When the railroad was built the fill covered about half of the furnace stack, so that only about six or eight feet of the top now show.  The track curves to the right just before you get to the ruins and to the left just past them.  A forge stood across the track near the creek at one time, but no trace of it remains.
(Sharp& Thomas,1966:38)

(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 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.)

Pike Furnace, Madison Township, Clarion Co.
1872 Map of Madison Township, Clarion, showing the location of Pike 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 Pike Furnace, Madison Township, Clarion Co., Pa.]
If you have pictures or know of where pictures of the furnace are located or additional information on Pike Furnace, Clarion Co., please contact the Ironmaster

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