Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hurricane Furnace

Some of our forgotten past history is kept alive today by our Historical Highway Markers scattered throughout the county at historical places of interest.

On Hwy 135 in the western part of the county is the Hurricane Furnace marker.

The history of the furnace is told on the markers.

According to history of the area, the first important mining venture of the county seems to have been that of a company headed by President Andrew Jackson, which undertook development near the site of the present Columbia mines, in Crittenden County in 1835.   

Soon after President Jackson retired from the presidency, he bought hundreds of acres of land in this part of the county and mined iron, to handle which he built and operated a big furnace.  Jackson himself did not give his personal attention ot this ventue, but placed it in the hands of his adopted son.

For years the ore was dug and the furnace operated, being one of the populous and busy places in all the region.  The pig iron was made at the furnace site, loaded on carts and hauled to the Ohio River for shipment on barges. 

But the deposits of the metal finally gave out, the furnace was abandoned and now it is only a memory preserved on this marker.

The furnace was actually located in the woods off of the Hurricane Church Road.  Huge pieces of iron ore that were used are still visible today if you have someone to show you were they are.  The owner of the farm they were on has passed away now and a stranger owns the land.  Perhaps he doesn't even know the history of the land he owns.

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