Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Come October ...

"There is no season when such pleasant
and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce
so pleasant an effect on the feelings, 
as now in October."
                    ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
                                      ~ 1804-1864

Shades of a looming October sunset
dance on a picturesque scene at the historic
Hopewell Farm.

The farm is part of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site in southeastern Berks County near Elverson, Pennsylvania, an example of an American 19th century rural "iron plantaation."
The buildings include a blast furnace, the
ironmaster's house and auxiliary structures
including a blacksmith's shop, a company store
and several worker's houses.

Hopewell Furnace was founded in 1771 by 
ironmaster Mark Bird for whom Birdsboro was named. The site's most prosperious time was 
during the 1820-1840 period with a brief boom in production during the American Civil War.
In the mid-19th century changes in ron making, including a shift from charcoal to anthracite
rendered smaller furnaces like Hopewell obsolete.
The site discontinued operations in 1883. 

Today, Hopewell Furnace consists of 14 restored 
structures in the core historic area, 52 features on
the List of Classified Structures, and a total of 848 mostly wooded areas. Hopewell Furnace National
Historic Site is located in the Hopewell Big Woods and surrounded by French Creek State Park on three sides and the State Game Lands
to the south which preserves the lands the furnace
utilized for its natural resources.