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 Fayette County Pennsylvania
Alliance Furnace & Iron Works
(Jacobs Creek Furnace),

Alliance Forge,
Jacob's Creek,
Perry Township,
Fayette County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Pennsylvania Iron Furnace Source Book
Fayette 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.

by
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. 3, 2002

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Alliance Furnace & Iron Works, located on Jacobs Creek, up stream from the Youghiogheny River, at Jacob's Creek, Perry Twp., Fayette County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Date Built: ca. 1789
Date Out-of-Blast: ca.1802

Other names Alliance Furnace was known by:
Col. Holker's Iron Works (ca.1791);
Jacob's Creek Bloomery (ca.1789);
Jacob's Creek Forge (ca.1789);
Jacob's Creek Furnace (ca.1789);
Jacob's Creek Iron Works (ca.1791);
Turnbull's Furnace;
Turnbull's Iron Works (ca.1797).

Alliance Furnace ** (National Register of Historic Places, Site #91001130, Added 1991)
Also known as Jacob's Creek Furnace;Alliance Iron Wks.
Fayette County - Off T 568 at Jacob's Cr., Perry Township, Perryopolis
(40 acres)

                           (This site still underconstruction)
Alliance Iron Furnace

A Stone cold Blast Furnace and Iron Works
Located in Perry Twp., Fayette Co., PA



Alliance Furnace Sketch
Sketch of Alliance Furnace
(Courtesy of "Two Centuries of Iron Smelting in
Pennsylvania," 1921)

Location: Alliance Furnace & Iron Works, is located within Pennsylvania State Game Lands No.296, 2mi. east of the Youghiogheny River, 1mi. off of PA Rt. SR1002, on a gated road, Rt. T568 into State Game Lands No.296, about 2000ft. west of its junction with PA Rt. SR4038, Perry Twp., Fayette Co.  The remains of the Alliance Furnace stack and charcoal house, along with some other foundations are on the south bank of Jacob's Creek, in Fayette Co.  The site of Alliance Furnace Forge is located on the north bank of Jacob's Creek, across the creek from the furnace site, in Westmoreland Co.

Alliance Furnace, ca.1897
Alliance Furnace is located along Jacobs Creek in Fayette County. The furnace was first put in-blast in 1789 and operated until 1802. It was adjacent to Valentine Sechrist/Secrest's property and family legend says that the Sechrist Family supplied water and food to the workers.
The photo above shows Harvey Smith of Smithton on top of the furnace, center. Sitting, first row: Jackson Linn, William Jones, Sr. and Dan Guynn. The others are unknown. Standing: Sam Hood, George Smith, Fred Holibaugh, Colonel Suter, Joseph Smith, Bud Sinsley, William Saeger and John Smith.

(Photo courtesy of LaVonne R. Hanlon, descendent of Valentine Sechrist/Secrest.)

Alliance Furnace ca.1930 Alliance Furnace ca.1930
Alliance Furnace in Ruins, Jacobs Creek, Fayette Co., PA Alliance Furnace stack in ruins, Jacobs Creek,
Fayette Co, PA, ca.1930

(photos from the Correspondence of Thomas J. Norris, Pres. Jacob's Creek Oil Co., courtesy of Mrs. Bernard Frese, Jr., in authors collections)
Alliance Furnace ca.1930
Alliance Furnace stack,
Jacobs Creek, Fayette Co, PA
View down stack (above)
Alliance Furnace ca.1930
Alliance Furnace Charcoal Building ca.1930 Alliance Furnace Charcoal Building ca.1930
Charcoal Building at Alliance Furnace,
on hill above Furnace stack (ca.1930)

(photos from the Correspondence of Thomas J. Norris, Pres. Jacob's Creek Oil Co., courtesy of Mrs Bernard Frese, Jr. in authors collections)

Bibliographical Chronological Reference Data:

1788   Pittsburgh Gazette (Newspaper), Pittsburgh, PA, April 12,1788; Nov. 22, 1788.
          [Accounts of the establishment of the partnership of William Turnbull, Peter Marmie, & Robert Holker in Alliance Furnace.]
           Fayette County Courthouse
1789a Fayette County Patent Books.  Fayette County Patent Book 15, Page 97.
           [Patent of Alliance Furnace lands to William Turnbull.]
1789b Fayette County Patent Books.  Fayette County Patent Book 17, Page 66.
           [Patent of Alliance Furnace Lands to William Turnbull.]
1789c Fayette County Deed Books.  Fayette County Deed Book B, p.39-40, 319.
1789d Fayette County Court Records.  Minutes June Term 1789, Court of Quarter Sessions.
           ["A view of a Road from the furnace on Jacob's Creek, to Thomas Kyle's Mill.]
1790a  Fayette County Patent Books.  Fayette County Patent Book 16, Page 256.
           [Patent of Alliance Furnace Lands to William Turnbull.]
1790b  Pennsylvania Gazette (Newspaper), Philadelphia, PA, Dec. 8, 1790.
          [Under Date Line Nov. 13, 1790...  furnace lately erected by William Turnbull and Company... Jacob's Creek, about 15 miles above the Youghiogheny River, began the blast the 1st. instant (Nov. 1, 1790)...  metal being tried in their forge the same day...]
1791   Fayette County Court Records. Minutes March Term 1791, Court of Quarters Sessions.
           ["The Petition for a road from Jacob's Creek Iron Works; to intersect the road leading to Mr. Thomas Kyle's Mill. - granted." ]
1793a Pittsburgh Gazette (Newspaper), Pittsburgh, PA, Aug. 31, 1793.
           [Notice of the partnership of Turnbull & Marmie having dissolved, claims against them, to be rendered to Peter Marmie at Alliance Iron Works...]
1793b Pittsburgh Gazette (Newspaper), Pittsburgh, PA, Nov. 2, 1793.
           [Account of the failure of Alliance Iron Works...]
           Dickinson College Library
1794   William Turnbull, Letter, Alliance IronWorks, William Turnbull to John Holker, Jan. 30, 1794.
           Dickinson College Library, Special Collections. [William Turnbull's letter on problems & plans for the Iron Works and for the distillery.]
           Westmoreland County Courthouse.
1797a Westmoreland County Deed Books.  Westmoreland County Deed Book 3, Page 77.
           [Deed for Alliance Furnaces Lands.]
1797b Pittsburgh Gazette (Newspaper), Pittsburgh, PA, July 29, 1797.
           [Ad.  10 Dollars Reward - Strayed from Jacob's Creek three miles above Turnbull's Iron Works... A Mare... signed Peter Smail, Jun.]
1797c  Fayette County Court Records.  Minutes December Term 1797, Court of Quarter Sessions.
           [Viewers appointed by the court on a road from Turnbull's Iron Works by the Little Falls.]
1798   Westmoreland County Tax Records.  Tax List South Huntingdon Twp., Westmoreland County.
           [#107  John Holker, Owner & Occupant, Tax on Alliance Forge & Dwellings, Barns, & Smith Shop.]
1799a  Westmoreland County Deed Books.  Westmoreland County Deed Book 4, Page 381-386.
           [Deed for Alliance Furnace & Lands from John Holker to Robert Smith, Mark Pringle, Hugh Moore & Samuel Hughes.]
1799b  Fayette County Court Records.  Minutes March Term 1799, Court of Quarter Sessions.
           [Viewed ground between Jacob's Creek Furnace & Road leading to Peterstown, agreed to public road from bridge across Jacob's Creek at Alliance Furnace.]
1799c  Fayette County Court Records. Minutes Sept. Term 1799, Court of Quarter Sesions.
           [Petition for vacating road from Col. Holker's Iron Works to near Laurel Hill Meeting House.]
1800   Report of Cases in the County Courts Fifth Circuit. (Addison;1800:259-60)
            [Report of the suit by John Kirkpatrica against Turnbull & Marmie, March, 1795.]
1807a  Pittsburgh Gazette (Newspaper), Pittsburgh, PA, Mar.27, 1807.
           [Ad.  Alliance Iron Works & Lands offered for Sale by Samuel Hughes.]
1807b Genius of Liberty & Fayette Advertiser (Newspaper), Uniontown, PA, May 20, 1807.
           [Ad.  FOR SALE -- Those Iron works with about Three Thousand Acres of land adjoining Jacob's Creek... know a by the name Alliance Iron Works;  & also stock on hand, &c. on liberal terms...  The premises will be shown by Mr. Stinchcomb, who resides thereon...  signed Saml. Hughes, Hagerstown, Maryland, dated March 23d, 1807.]
          Western Pennsylvania Historical Society
1810  Holker Papers. Western Pennsylvania Historical Society, Pittsburgh, PA
          [Alliance Iron Works, materials, Iron, etc. offered for Sale by P. Marmie.]
1815  Westmoreland County Deed Books.  Westmoreland County Deed Book 15, Page 113-119.
          [Deed for Alliance Furnaces Lands.]
1817  Fayette County Deed Books.  Fayette County Deed Book 15, Page 129-127.
          [Sale of Alliance Furnace lands by Col. Holker to Paca Smith & by Smith to Henry S. Weitzer.]
          Craig, Neville B.
1851  History of Pittsburgh. (Craig,1851:212).
          [Mentions four hundred cannon balls being made by the Alliance Furnace.]
1854  Sketch of the Life & Services of Isaac Craig. (Craig,1854:n.p.)  [Contains material of interest in connection with the firm of Turnbull & Marmie and the Furnace at Jacob's Creek.]
          Rogers, Henry Darwin
1858  Geology of Pennsylvania.  A Government Survey.  In two volumes.
           Philadelphia, PA:  J.B. Lippincott & Company.  (Rogers,1858,2:608)  [Describes iron ore used at Turnbull's Furnace & Forge, Jacob's Creek. States that the furnace stack was in excellent condition in 1857.]
           Bishop, J. Leander
1864   A History of American Manufactures From 1608 to 1860. 2 Vols.  
           Philadelphia, PA:  Edward Young & Company, No. 441, Chestnut St.  (Bishop,1864:567-8). [Mentions William Turnbull & Company's Furnace, built 1790.  Also Turnbull & Marmie Furnace & Forge, first blown-in, Nov. 1, 1790.]
           Albert, George Dallas
1882a History of the County  of Westmoreland. (Albert,1882:   ) [Contains a little bit of information on Alliance Furnace, Jacob's Creek, Fayette County.]
           Ellis, Franklin, ed.
1882b History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania.  
           Philadelphia, PA:  L.H.Everts & Company.  (Ellis,1882:233-35).  [Contains a short history of the establishment & demise  of Alliance Furnace.]
           Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
1883   Report of the Secretary of Interior Affairs. (Comm. PA.1883:27).  [Historical Notes by Swank:  Alliance Iron Works, Furnace & Forge, on Jacob's Creek, 2mi. above the Youghiogheny River, Fayette Co., built in 1790 by William Turnbull & Peter Marmie, stack still standing, but in ruins.]
           Nevin, R. P.
1888   Les Trois Rois.  
           Pittsburgh, PA:  n.p.  (Nevin,1888:57-58).  [Contains the story of the Legend of Peter Marmie and his hounds, leaping into the mouth of Alliance Furnace.]
           Wiley, Samuel I.
1889   Cyclopdia of Fayette County. (Wiley,1888:446).  [Samuel Martin was a furnace-man at Turnbull's Furnace, Fayette Co., in 1790.]
           Swank,  James M.
1891   History of the Manufacture of Iron.  (Swank, 1891:214).  [Contains a mention of Alliance Furnace.]
          Darlington, Mary Carson
1892  Fort Pitt and Letters from the Frontier.
          Pittsburgh, PA:  J.P.Weldin & Company.  (Darlington,1892:259).  Contains letters dealing with Turnbull & Marmie's Company.]
          Rowe, A. L. 
1902  Among the Hills of Jacob's Creek (Rowe:1907:n.p.)  [A story about Alliance Furnace.  Published in "The Watchword," August 19, 1902]
          Reed, George Irving, ed.
1904  Century Cyclopedia of History & Biography of Pennsylvania. Vol. 1.
          Chicago, IL:  The Century Publishing and Engraving Company.  (Reed,1904:100-101).  [Alliance Furnace & Alliance Forge, Jacob's Creel, Fayette County, put in-blast Nov. 1, 1790, built by William Turnbull, Peter Marmie & Col. John Holker, in-blast till 1802.]
          Swank, James M.
1908  Progressive Pennsylvania.  (Swank,1908:191) [Contains a short write-up on Alliance Iron Works, it was first blown-in Nov. 1, 1790.]
           Dahlinger, Charles W.
1922   Fort Pitt.  
           Pittsburgh,PA:  Privately Printed.  (Dahlinger,1902:80).  [Contains mentions of the firm Turnbull & Marmie.]
           Frese, Mrs. Bernard, Jr.
1930  Correspondence of Thomas J. Norris, Pres. Jacob's Creek Oil Company.  (Frese,1930:n.p.)  [Correspondence of Thomas J. Norris concerning Alliance Furnace, and the history of the furnace.  Including pictures of the furnace site.  In authors collections.]
           Sons of the American Revolution
1932   Fort Necessity & Historic Shrines of the Redstone County.  (S.A.R.,1932:109-111).  [Contains a short history of Alliance Furnace.]
           Turnbull, Archibald Douglas
1933   William Turnbull, 1751-1822, with some accounts of those coming after.  
           New York, NY:  Privately Printed.  (Turnbull,1933:n.p.).  [The Life of William Turnbull, one of the builders of Alliance Furnace.]
1935a Fayette County Deed Books.  Fayette County Deed Book 68, Page 107.
           [Lease of Alliance Furnace Lands from Jacobs Creek Oil Company to Peoples Natural Gas Company, Aug. 17, 1935.]
1935b Westmoreland County Deed Books.  Westmoreland County Deed Book 962, Page 215.
           [Jacobs Creek Oil Company lease of Alliance Furnaces Lands to Peoples Natural Gas Company.
          Knopf,
1953  Issac Craig Collection.  (Knopf,1953:n.p.).  [Collection of correspondence concerning Alliance Furnace.]
          Sharp, Myron B., William H. Thomas,
1966  Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces in Western Pennsylvania. (Sharp & Thomas,1966:43-44).  [Gives the description & location of Wiliam Turnbull, John Holker & Peter Marmie's Alliance Furnace, Jacobs Creek, Fayette.]
           Van Atta, Robert
1972  Old Iron Furnaces.  
          Published in "Scene Magazine,"  Nov.-Dec., 1972: pp.30-35.  Scottdale, PA:  Laurel Highlands Publishing Company.  (Van Atta,1972:33). [Alliance Furnace, Jacobs Creek, NE Perryopolis, Fayette Co., built 1789, operated until 1802, much of the ruins of the furnace remain.]
           T. & R. Bureau, Fayette Co.
1976  Old Iron Furnaces of Fayette County. (T. & R. Bureau,1976:n.p.)  [Contains the location & short complilation of data on Alliance Furnace.]
          Shaw, Mary Jane, ed.
1978  Iron Furnaces Fayette & Westmoreland Counties.
          Published in "Westmoreland-Fayette Historical Society Newsletter," Vol. 1, No. 7, April, 1978:n.p. West Overton, PA:  Westmoreland-Fayette Historical Society.  (Shaw,1978:n.p.).  [A compilation of data on the iron furnaces, contains a short write-up on Alliance Furnace.]
          Heald, Sarah H., ed.
1990  Fayette County, Pennsylvania:  An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites. America's Industrial Heritage Project.  (Heald,1990:25,26). [Contains a short history & location of Alliance Iron Works.  Contains data relating to the date of construction of the furnace, that has been interpreted incorrectly.]

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