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