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Pictures

Rear of Cambria Furnace Cambria Furnace RH Side of Furnace
Rear of Cambria Furnace Cambria Furnace RH Side of Furnace
Retaining Wall Closeup of Cupola Liner Slag Sample
Retaining Wall Closeup of Cupola Liner Slag Sample

Description

Cambria Furnace is by far one the hardest furnaces to locate in Southern Ohio. It is on private property and is extremely difficult to obtain access - simply put, if the owners don't know you, you won't be able to visit. I am deeply indebted to Norman Murphy for providing me for both access and directions.

Update! The furnace is now located on public land, having been assumed by the U.S. Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy

I have included a recent section of topographical map to provide a sense of the area. Cambria Topo Map

Cambria is an interesting furnace, located just above a small creek. The front portion of the furnace has fallen in, permitting a view of the upper portion of the cupola liner.

The furnace has only one tuyere, which is unusual for a coal blast furnace. The furnace must have used coal since we found evidence of this material along the wagon path and the charging hill. However, the slag evidence indicates a very poor result. The furnace may have been a charcoal furnace and then converted to coal. The conversion may or may not have been successful. Many furnaces in the 1850's attempted to convert to the cheaper coal, but found the inability to achieve high blast temperatures a major obstacle to successful implementation.

First Visited: 4Q-2003

History

Start of Operation: 1854

Blowout: ?

Daily Tonnage: 7-8 tons per day

Built By: D. Lewis & Company

Stack: 30-1/2 feet w/10-1/2 foot bosh

Blast: Hot

Type: Coal

According to information obtained from the Robert Ervin text, Cambria Furnace was a Welsh Stock Company, similar to Jefferson Furnace. It had an initial capital of $60,000 dollars with 60 total shareholders. Some farmers donated forest land to pay for their shares and were awarded $15/acre of land. The furnace was weakened by the Panic of 1857 and did not capitalize on the Civil War, when iron prices soared. The furnace closed in 1878.

Per J.P. Lesley, the fn was owned by David Lewis & Co and managed by D.T. Lewis. In 1857 the fn produced 1,950 tons of iron from limestone ore and some blue ore.

Directions

Reference the topo map above, or contact the Ironton Ranger Station for directions

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