Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

088-0074 Tubal Furnace Archaeological Site

Tubal Furnace Archaeological Site
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 05/18/1982

NRHP Listing Date 10/19/1982

NPS property number 82001825

The Tubal Furnace site contains the remains of the earliest archaeologically identified iron furnace in Virginia. Constructed ca. 1717 under the direction of Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood, the furnace was operated by skilled black slaves, a pioneering use of slave labor for a technological industry. In 1732 William Byrd II visited the furnace and wrote that it was built of rough stone and that an overshot wheel, twenty feet in diameter, powered its bellows. Water was conveyed from streams by wooden pipes. The industry continued under the direction of Spotswood’s descendants for two generations with operations ceasing in the early 19th century.


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

Updated November 15, 2018