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ment did not confiscate the property, but took possession of it and appointed Dr. Joshua Porter, agent. The Council of Safety expended £1,450 in fitting up the furnace, and they put it into full operation with a corps of fifty-nine workmen, furnishing supplies for the Continental army. Cannon of various weights up to 32pounders were cast here, and shot and shell in abundance. These guns were carefully tested under the eye of famous leaders of the day, such as Jay, Morri Hamilton and Trumbull, and the shot fired at these times are still dug up occasionally. The guns which Commodore Truxton's ship, the “Constellation," carried, were cast at this furnace. The "Constitution," in common with many other battle-ships of the old navy, were equipped with cannon of Salisbury iron, and the guns of the battery at New York were also of the same metal. Probably many of them were cast at Lakeville.

This historic furnace was standing in the early thirties, and was then reputed to be the oldest in the region.

DIAGRAM OF THE FIRST BLAST FURNACE

BUILT IN CONNECTICUT.

of brown hematite became the site of the most famous mine in Connecticut. As a result of this discovery the first forge was built in 1734 at Lime Rock, some five miles from the ore-bed, by.“ Philip Livingstone of Albany, N.Y., and others.” About 1748 a forge was erected at Lakeville, "and in 1762 John Haseltine, Samuel Forbes and Ethan Allen, the latter of Ticonderoga fame, purchased the property and built a blast-furnace, which is supposed to have been the first blast-furnace built in the state.” Its location is said to have been at the outlet of Wononscopomus Lake, about three miles nearer the ore-bed than the forge at Lime Rock.

This furnace passed into the hands of Charles and George Caldwell of Hartford, who ran it until 1768, when they sold it to Richard Smith of the same city. In 1770 the furnace was rebuilt and, apparently, previous to the war of the Revolution, cast shot and shell for His Majesty's troops. On the breaking out of the war, Smith, who was a loyalist, abandoned his possessions and went to England. The Colonial Govern

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Though Lakeville was the site of the for the blowing-engines, and the timber first blast-furnace in Connecticut, there furnished an almost inexhaustible supply was built but little later and in the town of material for charcoal. With power of Salisbury another furnace, perhaps even and fuel at hand it was a matter of minor more famous—the furnace upon Mount consequence that ore and Aux had to be Riga. Mount Riga is the southern end carted some four miles up hill. The of a strong range starting in the north- finished products were hauled by oxen western portion of the town of Salisbury down hill again and across country to the and running in a generally northern direc- Hudson, where they were shipped to the tion far into Massachusetts. The range markets by water. attains its greatest height at Mount Everett in Massachusetts, with an elevation of 2,624 feet above the sea, and Mount Riga itself reaches a height of about 2,000 feet. Steep, rugged and desolate, it seems strange that it should have been selected as the location of such an industry.

Coriasarமோ Yet it was so chosen for reasons which will presently appear.

In 1781 a forge was erected on this range by Abner and Peter Woodin.

In 1785 one Daniel Ball came into possession, and from him the forge took the name of Ball's Forge. It was not till 1806 that work was begun on an actual blast-furnace. The enterprise was undertaken by Seth King and John Kelsey, but they were unable to carry it through, and in 1810 it came into the hands of the firm of NORTHWESTERN CORNER OF CONNECTICUT, Holley & Coffing. They com

(The chief iron region of the State.) pleted the furnace immediately and started it upon a long and famous About this furnace and the attendant

The furnace was situated on forges scattered along the stream the comWochocastigook Creek at an elevation of mercial and industrial life of Salisbury some 1,700 feet above the sea. All about centered for many years. Among the were acres upon acres of timberland, and articles manufactured here many anchors the creek and this timberland were the were forged for the government and were advantages which more than justified the duly tested on the grounds by navy ofselection of this strange site. The waters ficials, the masterpiece of Mount Riga of the creek, confined in Forge Pond by being the anchor of the “Constitution.” a dam, furnished abundant motive power One authority states that the furnace was

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career.

built as early as 1800, and was rebuilt in notably Chatfield's and Davis' beds in the 1845.

town of Salisbury, a bed at Indian Pond Finally the introduction of steam trans- in Sharon, and one in Kent. In connecportation and the exhausted condition of tion with these deposits, as well as with the woodlands upon Mount Riga caused that at Ore Hill, furnaces sprang up. In the decline of the industry, till in 1847 his geological report of 1837 Shepard the famous old furnace was abandoned mentions the furnace of the Salisbury Iron and the seat of the industry descended Company at Mount Riga, Chapin furnace again to the lowlands. At the present at Chapinville, the furnace of Canfield, day nothing is left but the gray stack and Sterling & Co., on the Housatonic, that of the weather-beaten heaps of slag. A few Holly & Co., at Lime Rock, the two furhouses still stand in the vicinity, and far- naces of the Cornwall Iron Company and ther down the stream irregular lines of the Cornwall Bridge Iron Company, in stones mark the sites of the old forges. the western part of Cornwall, the furnace

of Messrs. Brinsmade, Wolcott & Smith, in Sharon,

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THE OLD STACK AT MT. RIGA.

naces at Canaan, and several furnaces in the vicinity of Kent. These last may be rightly considered to be Kent furnaces proper, the furnace at Bull's Bridge and the furnace at Macedonia.

Of the furnaces mentioned in this

list, Chapin furnace The stack, which is pierced for only a stands about half a mile north of Chapinsingle twyer, is a small one, not more than ville station in the town of Salisbury. It twenty feet high, an insignificant thing was probably built by one Chapin about when compared with the great Pennsyl- one hundred years ago, and had as subsevania furnaces of to-day, but through its quent early owners the Landon Iron Comcrumbling arch which looks across the

pany. The furnace was rebuilt about mountains to the rising sun, has flowed 1870, and was in blast more or less reguthe iron which has helped to male the larly until November, 1897, when the history of the nation. Mount Riga fur- blowing engine broke down. At that nace has done its work. Peace to its

time it was run by J. J. Morehouse, who memory

also carried on business at the furnaces It is not to be supposed that these were at Copake and Chatham in New York. the only points in the town of Salisbury Chapin furnace, which in former years where iron-smelting was carried on. Other smelted ore from Ore Hill, had of late deposits of brown hematite were opened, years obtained its ore at Amenia, N. Y. The break in the machinery was serious, and some ten years later built a furnace and it was considered unwise to incur for re-melting pig iron. From this enterthe expense of repairs. Most of the oven prise sprang a firm which, with various pipes were removed to the Copake fur- slight changes of name, has existed ever nace, and the works, though in good re- since and now, as the Barnum, Richardson pais, are at present closed.

Company, controls the entire business of Probably furnaces were in operation at inining and smelting iron in western ConCanaan prior to 1776, and it is in this necticut. In 1858 they purchased the town, at East Canaan, that the industry Beckley furnace at Fast Canaan, and four

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centers at the present day. Samuel Forbes, years later they purchased the neighboring who was associated with Ethan Allen at the Forbes furnace of the Forbes Iron ComLakeville furnace, had a forge, slitting mill pany. In 1872 the company constructed and anchor works at this place, and it is another furnace known as the “New" said that here was forged a portion of the furnace, the three furnaces being theregreat chain which was stretched across the after designated as No. 1, No. 2 and No. Hudson during the war of the Revolution. 3 respectively. Of these, "Forbes fur

In 1810 Milo Barnum of Dover, Duch- nace" No. 2, has not been running for ess County, N. Y., settled in Lime Rock, sixteen years. About 1895 "Beckley fur

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nace" No. 1, was seriously injured by fire, the company bought all the rights of the and since that time has been undergo- mine at Ore Hill and reorganized the ing extensive repairs and improvements. business. The wisdom of this step is Within a few months it has gone into already apparent, for since that time Beckblast, and this and the “New” furnace ley furnace has gone into blast and it is No. 3, which is now also in blast, are con- expected that soon smelting will be residered to be as modern as any charcoal sumed at the Lime Rock furnace. The furnaces in the country.

remaining furnace of the five, that at In 1883 there were eight furnaces in Sharon Valley, shut down temporarily, operation, all controlled by the Barnum, perhaps a coup!e of years ago.

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Richardson Company, namely, “three at It should be remembered that these East Canaan, one at Lime Rock, one at furnaces (with the exception of the last Millerton, in New York State, one at Sha- one, which smelted a great deal of Sharon ron Valley, one at Cornwall Bridge, and ore), smelted for the most part ores from one at Huntsville." During the next fif- the Ore Hill and associated beds. Going teen years there was a distinct decline in southward, however, into the town of the industry until in the summer of 1898, Kent, we find another smaller group of of the five furnaces owned at that time by furnaces centered about the Kent ore-bed. the company, there was but one furnace

Perhaps the best known of these furnaces in blast, No. 3, of East Canaan. In 1898 is “Kent furnace," standing on the east

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