Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site

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Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site in Pennsylvania preserves a 19th century iron plantation. It was founded in 1771 by ironmaster Mark Bird and built around a charcoal-fired cold-blast furnace. It was prosperous in the early 1800s until the industry began turning to anthracite powered furnaces instead of charcoal.

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At the visitor center, we watched the introductory film on the history of Hopewell and the people who lived there. We also saw a media clip in the back of the museum which featured rangers harvesting timber and making charcoal the old-fashioned way.

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Then we took a self-guided walking tour around the village. There are 14 restored structures including the blast furnace, the ironmaster’s house, company store and workers homes.

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There is also a barn and pasture with livestock and an orchard where you can pick apples. We saw a flock of sheep and a horse. The park periodically holds living history demonstrations.

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Hopewell is adjacent to French Creek State Park. We saw at least one trail leading from the National Park site into the State Park.

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Location: 2 Mark Bird Ln, Elverson, PA 19520

Designation: National Historic Site

Date designated or established: August 3, 1938

Date of my visit: 10/4/2019

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