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“Awesome tour” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cornwall Iron Furnace

Cornwall Iron Furnace
94 Rexmont Road, Cornwall, PA 17016
717-272-9711
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State College, PA
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Awesome tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

We had a great tour of the furnace and grounds. The tour guide was very passionate and knowledgable. After just seeing furnace stacks scattered across Pennsylvania, it is neat to see all of the buildings intact at Cornwall that would have surrounded these stone giants elsewhere.

Visited March 2012
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26 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Newton, NJ
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Very Interesting Tour and Tourguide”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2012

We thought this would be another "ho-hum" tour and only planned it to fill our last day in the area on Sunday when many other attractions were closed. We were pleasantly surprised by how well maintained the buildings and furnace were and kept to their original appearance. I must admit though that our tourguide certainly made the tour interesting, informative and enjoyable. Her knowledge of the history of the furnace was impressive and her use of a laser pointer and her upbeat sense of humor kept us engaged. We were surprised to see that this giant 20 foot diameter wheel used to provide air to the bellows was working and made for a great visual. So instead of boring, we're really glad we went and for the opportunity to learn more about the history of this area and the role this site played in one of the early ironmaking/manufacturing operations.

Visited April 2012
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Washington, D.C.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Interesting place to visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

This was an interesting visit for my family, which has 2 teenagers and a husband who like all things engineering. They enjoyed seeing the furnace and equipment and, given their short attention spans, it was just the right amount of time - not too long. Also, we lucked out in our timing: we came late in the day so hardly anyone else was there, so we had the tour guide all to ourselves. She was a lot of fun and had some good stories to tell.

Visited April 2012
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gettysburg, pa
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Wonderful if you like history or science”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2011

Cornwall Iron Furnace is small, but quite informative. I've seen many furnace stacks around Pennsylvania, but I never really understood their significance, much less the process of making iron. I wasn't sure what my husband or my children, 12 and 7, would think about Cornwall Iron Furnace as an outing, but we decided to give it a try.

We started by viewing the exhibits. They were nicely written and had several items that the kids could touch, such as iron ore and finished iron products. After paying for the tour ($20 for the four of us), we watched a video about the site. Now, I've seen many videos for historical sites, and this one was nicely produced. It helped me to understand some of what I had read about, such as a collier's hut and casting iron.

The tour guide took our family around the furnace. He was knowledgeable and helped us to understand how the place worked. In some of the rooms, he turned on some of the machinery so that we could see it in a semblance of action. The kids really enjoyed the tour. The narrow staircases, working machinery, and dark corners made it feel like we were going back in time. We were actually in the old furnace, and able to see everything from the process. For the first time I understood the term "pig iron" and why water power is useful in the iron-making process.

It was excellent--IF you like history and/or science. Both of my children have seen other parts of the iron-making process before, from charcoal making at Pine Grove Furnace to the blacksmith at Williamsburg, so they liked it. ("That was fun!" the youngest said at the end--totally without prompting from me.) The architecture of the furnace is lovely too, and I imagine it would be even prettier on a summer day.

Visited December 2011
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
81 attraction reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
“A Site of “Transcendent Significance””
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2011

This is how Robert Vogel of the Smithsonian Institution described Cornwall Furnace. I could not have described it any better myself. Cornwall Iron Furnace is America’s most complete charcoal fueled ironmaking complex and a unique survivor of the early American iron industry. It is here where blast equipment, and related buildings still stand as they did over a century ago. Visitors can explore the rambling Gothic Revival buildings where cannons, stoves, and pig iron were cast, and where men labored day and night to satisfy the furnace’s appetite for charcoal, limestone, and iron ore.

Visited September 2011
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