Vesuvius Furnace
Vesuvius Furnace


Vesuvius Furnace is maintained by the US Forest Service at Lake Vesuvius State Park. (not the ODNR as previously posted - thanks to Mr. Chris Euler, Archaeologist, Heritage Resources, Wayne National Forest for this correction.) What remains of the furnace is in good condition, but the inner lining and upper stack are gone. The most prominent element to the Vesuvius Furnace is the extensive retaining wall - easily the largest retaining wall of any historical iron furnace visited to date. Vesuvius was the first hot blast furnace built in the HRIR per Robert Ervin.


Start of Operation: 1836 (Lesley reports 1834)

Blowout: 1905

Daily Tonnage: 10

Built By: Hurd, Gould & Others in 1833.

Stack: 31 feet w/10-1/2 foot bosh

Blast: Hot

Type: Charcoal

Eugene Willard indicates that Vesuvius was the first hot blast furnace built in the HRIR region. It was installed in 1837 by William Firmstone. The installation was an experiment - if it worked, Hurd, Gould and Company would pay the expenses, if it failed, the costs were to have been split among four different furnace owners.

Per J.P. Lesley, the ch fn was owned by Dempsey & Co. and managed by Washington Boyd. The fn produced 2,091 tons of mill iron in thirty seven weeks of 1854. The ore was drawn from brown hematite lower coal measure outcrop ore within two miles.


Take route 93 south from Jackson or north from Ironton. The furnace is located in the Vesuvius State Park. Just follow the posted signs to locate the furnace. It sits right on the County Road 22 on the north end of the park.

GPS - N38 36.336 W82 37.818 @611 feet

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