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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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Sligo Furnace
Piney 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, Arechaeologist & Web Master,
Ryan P. Washlaski, Technical Advisor.
Virtual Museum of Pennsylvania Iron Furnaces
A Publication of the 19th Century Society of Pennsylvania
Updated Sept. 11, 2002

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Sligo Furnace & Iron Works:  Located on Licking Creek, Village of Sligo, Piney Twp., Clarion County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Date Built: ca. 1845
Date Out-of-Blast: ca.1871

Other names Sligo Furnace was known by:

Sligo Furnace & Iron Works:
A Stone Blast Furnace & Iron Works
Lyon, Shorb & Company (ca.1850- ? )

Short History of Sligo 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
Sligo Furnace       1        1845   1,560 Tons
        Owners  Post Office      Kind of ore used  No. of Men &
Boys Employed
 No. of horses &
mules Employed
Lyon, Shorb & Company Clarion Argillareous Carbonate       75         40
No. Tuyeres
 Kind of
Power used
Kind of Metal Made  Largest product Actual Product
in 1849
  1  8 feet 6 inches  35 feet    Steam Close Gray Iron    1,555 Tons   1,215 Tons

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

Sligo Furnace, 1845, steam cold and hot blast; on Licking Creek near Sligo, in Piney township; owned by Lyon, Shorb & Co.; William Lyon, of Pittsburgh, J. P. Lyon, resident at Sligo, Anthony Shorb, and Thomas McCulloch, of Sligo. The furnace received its name from Sligo, near Pittsburgh, where the company's iron works were situated; changed to hot blast in 1857; employed chills; produced in 1845 1,500 tons; in 1856, 2,400 tons of rolling-mill iron; abandoned in 1871.(Davis,1887:113,116)

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.)

Sligo Furnace.  Located on Licking Creek near Sligo borough in Piney Township. Named for Sligo, headquarters of the company's iron works near Pittsburgh. Owners William Lyon (of Pittsburgh), J. P. Lyon (Sligo), Anthony Shorb, and Thomas McCullough (Sligo). Steam - originally cold blast. Changed to hot blast in 1857. Used chills. Production in 1845 and 1847 was 1,500 tons. Produced 2,400 tons rolling mill iron in 1856. Abandoned 1871. The Sligo and Madison Company was the only one to introduce "chills" (iron moulds). All the other furnaces ran their metal into sand. [Note: the result produced a crude form of glass as a by-product.]  (Caldwell,1877:  )

Sligo Furnace.  This furnace was built in 1845 and operated until 1871, when it was abandoned.  Originally a steam powered cold blast furnace, it was changed to hot blast in 1857. (Sharp & Thomas,1966:40-41)

(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 Piney Township & Sligo 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.)
To visit the site of Sligo Furnace. From Callensburg, Clarion County, follow PA Rt. 58 east to Sligo.  At the western edge of town the highway crosses a bridge.  Just over the bridge and to the left of the road there is a large old frame building that at one time was a grist mill.  In back of this building is a tall, square, brick chimney for the the old furnace boiler house.  Beside this old mill is a Pennzoil bulk plant [ca.1966].  Where their truck loading rack now is was the site of the old Sligo Furnace.  Slag blankets the entire area.  The hill, which was the charging bench, still is covered with ore.  Mr. Greenawalt, at the bulk plant, said that his grandfather worked at the furnace.  He gave us the above information.  (Sharp & Thomas,1966:41)

The site of Sligo Furnace probably contains archaeological remains that are not visible.

Sligo Furnace, Piney Township, Clarion Co.
1872 Map of Piney Township, Clarion, showing the location of Sligo Furnace and the settlement around the furnace location.
(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 Sligo Furnace, Sligo, Piney Township, Clarion Co., Pa.]
If you have pictures or know of where pictures of the furnace are located or additional information on Sligo Furnace, Clarion Co., please contact the Ironmaster

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