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Mt. Etna Furnace Historic Site in Blair County

Posted in Historical Places in Blair County, Pa.

Mt Etna Furnace Mt. Etna Furnace was one of the largest working iron furnace operations in Pennsylvania. This furnace structure was built in 1809. The entire Mt Etna Iron Furnace operations covered over 4,000 acres. There was over 100 employees and their families who lived and worked at Mt. Etna Furnace until its closure in 1877. There were lots of support buildings around the Mt. Etna Furnace ruin. This working furnace consisted of 2 blast furnaces, a stone storehouse, numerous homes, a tenant house, the iron master house, many outbuildings, 2 sawmills, stables,

grist mill, a forge, in addition to the stone barn where 100 plus mules were fed and housed. These mules were an intricate part of the everyday Mt. Etna Furnace operations. The mules were used to move the many materials and iron throughout Etna Furnace daily. The iron workers combined limestone, iron ore, and charcoal to make pig iron at Mt. Etna Furnace. By 1812 Etna Furnace produced 600 tons of pig iron per year. Many of the buildings still stand today, some of which are the iron master’s house, log cabins, an iron furnace, stone barn, and store house. When visiting the area today it has a peaceful, serene feel to it. It is hard to imagine the smells, heat, and sounds that would have filled this valley back when Etna Furnace was fully operational. In 1999 Dan and Eileen Detwiler purchased the iron master’s house and some of the surrounding log cabins. There is much needed restoration to be done to the old stone house and log cabins. The Detwiler’s are slowly restoring the house back to its elegant past. They hope to someday open it as a Bed and Breakfast for the public. 

The Etna Furnace is one of twenty eight historic places listed in the National Register of Historic Sites in Blair County. View more photos of Etna Furnace.

Location of the Etna Furnace



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