BUCKEYE FURNACE STATE MEMORIAL
Buckeye Furnace is a reconstructed charcoal-fired iron blast furnace with original stack, typical of those operating in southeastern Ohio's Hanging Rock Iron Region more than a century ago.
Visitors to this 270-acre site can see the furnace, originally built in 1852, which went out of blast for the last time in 1894. Attached to the furnace is the reconstructed casting shed. Above the furnace is the charging loft where iron ore, limestone, and charcoal were loaded into the furnace, and the engine house which contained a steam-powered compressor. The reconstructed company store serves as a visitor orientation area. There are two nature trails.
Buckeye Furnace State Memorial is located in southeastern Ohio, in Jackson County. It was established in 1972 as a historical site to commemorate and preserve the history of the Buckeye Furnace, which played a crucial role in the early iron industry of the region.
The Buckeye Furnace was built in 1852 by the Buckeye Iron and Brass Works Company. It was designed as a blast furnace and was one of the several furnaces built in southeastern Ohio during the mid-19th century. These furnaces primarily produced pig iron, which was essential for the growing industrialization of the United States.
In its early years, the Buckeye Furnace produced large quantities of iron that were used for various purposes, including the manufacturing of cannons, stoves, and machinery, among other things. It was known for its high-quality iron, which made it quite popular in the market.
During the American Civil War, the iron produced at Buckeye Furnace played a vital role in supporting the Union Army's war effort. The furnace produced iron for cannons and other military equipment, aiding in the Union's fight against the Confederacy.
However, with the advent of the steel industry and the decline in demand for pig iron, the Buckeye Furnace went out of operation in 1894. It was abandoned and left to deteriorate over the years.
In 1966, the Ohio Historical Society acquired the property with the aim of preserving the furnace site and its historical significance. The site underwent restoration and was opened to the public as Buckeye Furnace State Memorial in 1972.
Visitors to Buckeye Furnace State Memorial can explore the preserved remains of the blast furnace, which stands as a testament to Ohio's iron industry legacy. The memorial includes a reconstructed casting shed, charging house, and other associated structures. Interpretive exhibits and informational plaques provide insights into the furnace's operation and the challenges faced by those working in the iron industry.
Buckeye Furnace State Memorial serves as an educational site, offering visitors the opportunity to step back in time and learn about the early iron industry and its impact on Ohio's history.