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Jefferson Sign Jefferson Furnace Across Lake Jackson
Jefferson Sign Jefferson Furnace Across Lake Jackson

Description

Very little remains of Jefferson Furnace since the area was changed to a lake. The furnace can be seen from the road across the lake, or from the picnic area just west of the lake. Only the top portion of the furnace is visible. The tuyeres are not evident, and the stack has probably fallen in. The steep rear wall of prevents easy access, and the area is fenced off for safety purposes.

Last Visit: 1Q-2002

History

Start of Operation: 1854

Blowout: 1916

Daily Tonnage: 10 tons based upon Lesley data, but reported capacity was 25 tons

Built By: Jackson Furnace was built by J. Hurd, Young, and Others

Stack: 37 feet w/11 foot bosh

Blast: ?

Type: Charcoal

Old Pictures - The following picture was provided courtesy of Richard Leive.

Jefferson Furnace
Old Photo of Jefferson Furnace

The following information was obtained from Robert Ervin.

Jefferson Furnace was formed by a group of Welshmen who formed one of the first Joint Stock Companies in order to raise the necessary capital. There were thirty stockholders, owning 100 shares valued at $500/share, for a total capital investment of $50,000. The group was led by Thomas T. Jones (Agent) and John D. Davis. Some of the investors were farmers who offered mineral and/or forest rights in place of cash. These land rights were granted in sets of 40, 80, or 160 acres at a value of $12/acre. Others paid for the stock with labor or cash.

Management was paid a flat fee of $500-$600/year, while the direct labor force was paid $0.80-$1.25/hour.

The first cast was completed on October 15th, 1854. The stack was 40 feet tall and the furnace had a daily capacity of 14 tons. The iron produced at Jefferson was sold under the trade name "Anchor". Some of this iron is reputed to have been used to make the Union warship Monitor (of Civil War fame), as well as the seven ton guns at Harper's Ferry.

The furnace was originally a cold blast furnace, but was converted to hot blast in later years, with a steam pressure of 60 psi max. The waste gasses were sent under the boiler, thru a single hot blast stove, and then into the furnace. The blowing engine was a horizontal steam engine wiht a six foot strike. The engine powered to blowing tubes that measured 42 inches in diameter. The actual blast pressure within the furnace was 2-3 psi.

The last cast at Jefferson Furnace was poured at 11:40 PM on December 26th, 1916.

Per J.P. Lesley, the ch fn was owned by the Jefferson Furnace Co., and managed by George W. Baker. In half of 1856 the fn produced 1,565 tons of soft grey iron drawn from coal measure limestone ores within a two mile radius.

Directions

Take RT93 south from Jackson, Ohio. Turn right onto 279 West. Cross the bridge and pull off to the parking lot on the left. The stack is on the right, across the lake to the west. You can go further up to the first road on the left, and then turn into the picnic area.

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