Glenwood Furnace

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NRHP Reference Number


Glenwood Furnace was built in 1849 for Judge Francis T. Anderson and Botetourt County lawyer David Shanks. The iron furnace complex at Glenwood, located near Natural Bridge in Rockbridge County, included the iron furnace and its support facilities, as well as facilities necessary to support the workers and animals who operated the furnace. Iron ore mines were located in the close vicinity. The original cold-blast charcoal stack was 38′ high, and 9′ across the bosh. The furnace was constructed of dry-laid limestone and sandstone, with a brick chimney. The inner chamber, which contained the fire, was covered with fired clay to protect the outer walls. The Glenwood Furnace was originally connected to the ridge to the south by a charging bridge over which iron ore, limestone flux, and charcoal were wheeled and dumped into the central, brick-lined cavity. A casting house where molten iron was formed into pigs and sows by the sand molding process was located west of the furnace. The tub bellows were powered by a waterwheel set close to the stack. A race ran from Elk Creek to the waterwheel. Charcoal was produced on the mountain sides where timber was abundant. Approximately 5,000 acres were logged to supply coal to this furnace. The furnace was rebuilt and reconditioned in 1874 as a warm blast furnace. In the late 1880s Francis Anderson’s grandson sold the estate to the U.S. Government. The Glenwood Furnace (also known as the Cassandra Furnace) was abandoned in 1887.
[VLR Listed Only]

Last Updated: April 29, 2024

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VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

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