Once roaring iron furnace or iron forge named towns

Source: oldforgeborough.com

The following list identifies villages, hamlets, and communities named for local iron furnaces and forges that operated during the 18th and 19th centuries. There were a number of other furnaces and forges, but their either wasn’t an adjacent community or it wasn’t named for the furnace/forge.

Catoctin Furnace in Maryland – Source: etsy.com

Many of these communities boomed while pig iron production took place, but later devolved after the furnace/forge stopped operating. Common reasons for the closing of the furnace/forge included depleted raw trials (iron ore or wood for charcoal), financial issues locally or nationally, and the development of the Bessemer process for production. Many are now are ghost towns or hollow remnants of their former selves. 

  • Bay Furnace, Michigan (1869) – now a ghost town and a historic site – furnace operated 1870-1877
  • Blacklick Furnace, Pennsylvania – now a ghost town
  • Catoctin Furnace, Maryland – now preserved as part of Catoctin Mountain Park
  • Carp Furnace, Michigan – now part of the City of Marquette
  • Centre Furnace, Pennsylvania – now part of the City of State College
  • Clifton Forge, Virginia (1826) – population peaked in 1930 and is now half that size
  • Columbia Furnace, Virginia (1808) – unincorporated settlement – furnace operated until 1886
  • Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee (1793) – furnace operated until 1889. Post office remains.
  • Dover Furnace, New York – small hamlet in Dutchess County
  • Elizabeth Furnace, Virginia – now a ghost town within a recreation area
  • Franklin Furnace, New Jersey (1795) – now part of the Boro of Franklin.
  • Franklin Furnace, Ohio (1826) – 2010 population 0f 1,660 
  • Furnace, Indiana – now a ghost town
  • Furnace, Kentucky – small hamlet in Estill County 
  • Furnace, Maryland – now Furnace Town State Historic Site
  • Furnace Falls, Ontario (2 of them) – both are now ghost towns
  • Greenwood Furnace, Michigan – now a small settlement called Greenwood
  • Greenwood Furnace, Pennsylvania (1833-1904) – now a state park
  • Hopewell Furnace, Pennsylvania – now a national historical site
  • Junior Furnace, Ohio (1828)
  • Kent Furnace, Connecticut – unincorporated hamlet
  • Lemont Furnace, Pennsylvania – unincorporated hamlet with a 2010 population of 827
  • Longdale Furnace, Virginia (1827)
  • New Furnace, Michigan – now a ghost town
  • Ohio Furnace, Ohio (1824)
  • Old Forge, New York – unincorporated hamlet with a population of 756 in 2010
  • Old Forge, Pennsylvania (1899) – population peaked in 1930, but has dropped 40% since then.
  • Oliphant Furnace, Pennsylvania – unincorporated settlement
  • Pennsylvania Furnace, Pennsylvania – unincorporated settlement
  • Pigeon Forge, Tennessee – estimated population of 6,266 in 2019
  • Richmond Furnace, Pennsylvania – post office operate from 1872-1965
  • Scioto Furnace, Ohio (1828) – furnace operated until 1892 – post office still operating
  • Union Furnace, Ohio – unincorporated, but contains post office
  • Valley Forge, Pennsylvania – small settlement next to the national historical park


This entry was posted in archaeology, architecture, cities, commerce, geography, historic preservation, history, land use, place names, planning, Statistics, topography, toponymy, tourism, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Once roaring iron furnace or iron forge named towns

  1. Susan R Moriarty says:

    Not Pidgeon Forge, Tennessee?


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