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“Nice day trip” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site

Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
2 Mark Bird Lane, Elverson, PA 19520
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Ranked #1 of 5 Attractions in Elverson
Type: Historic Sites, National Parks, Cultural
Attraction details
Swedesboro, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Nice day trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2012

It was a nice day trip for us. A good place for families. With the national park right there , there is a lot to do. Best to go online to see what type of activities would suit you. We went on a nice spring day in March, not very crowded.

Visited May 2011
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53 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Hopewell, not just a furnace.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2012

It is no fun knowing what to expect in a place like this, so I will be minimal. We enjoyed it very much. There is so much history that I picked up, with some pertaining to the Revolutionary War.

That last sentence, if it wasn't important, I wouldn't have said it.
Take your camera along, for some creative photography. Try some panoramic photos.

Make sure that you see the movie, in the main building at the parking lot.
We got there early in the morning, when it opened, and there was still a mist floating in the lower section of the field. Sun was hidden by the clouds, giving it a more "stepping back in time" look.
We spent around 2 hours walking around, and inside every building we could.

That is all that I will tell you, and it's not that I don't want to.
I just want you to enjoy it, just as we did.

Make this part of your camping experience at French Creek State Park. And it is only a half mile away.

The best to all of you.

Jerry and Barbara

Visited May 2011
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philadelphia area
Top Contributor
277 reviews 277 reviews
128 attraction reviews
Reviews in 130 cities Reviews in 130 cities
242 helpful votes 242 helpful votes
“Perfect stop in the middle of a hike...educational and compact.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2011

We visited on a chilly Sunday afternoon in November. With us were our boys (8,6, and 2), our daughter (6 months), and our niece (3).
There's a small museum and a short video that inform you of the origins of the plantation. In a nutshell, it was a village that converted iron ore to pig iron along with pots, pans, stoves, etc. Sounds simple but its a long, arduous process that employed hundreds of people. It made the owner a fortune but he was bankrupted funding the American side during the Revolutionary War.
The Junior Ranger program here is really simple. Its a great starter to give kids a sense of accomplishment and a badge with minimal effort. Some ( like Gettsyburg) are not only long but really boring. This you will have done in a half hour.
Because of it being "off-season", not all the houses were open but you can get a sense of the know-how and time it took to melt iron ore. If I survive a zombie apocolypse, I will obviously return to a caveman existence because even making coal looks exhausting.
The youngest in our group didn't appreciate the historical nature or the iron process but there are sheep and chickens that kept them entertained. A very friendly horse will patiently eat every blade of grass your child shoves in its face. They also enjoyed going into the houses because there are kids' toys from the period.
This is located in French Creek State Park and is accessible from a few of the trails. Its free, there's bathrooms, there's vending machines and you might learn something. To me, a perfect combination.

Visited November 2011
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Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
97 attraction reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
230 helpful votes 230 helpful votes
“Quaint Village with costumed guides”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2009

This is a village that was an iron-producing center from pre-revolutionary days until the 1880's. There is a working furnace (including waterwheel) that produces aluminum replicas of iron parts for wood stoves on summer weekends. Every few months they build a specialized wood pit that they turn into charcoal (which was used to fuel the furnace) over a period of 2 weeks. In addition to the furnace building there is a large home belonging to the owner of the furnace, a barn,a coldspring building, a company store where you can buy iron items produced on site as well as period appropriate gifts, several tenant homes,and a blacksmith house/shop, as well as a park service visitor center with small museum and intro video. The furnace has costumed guides in the summer during days that show how they produced a mold for the iron( and ask for audience participation, too.) The blacksmith and storekeeper are also costumed and working on summer days. In spring, they shear the flock of sheep. In the fall, they sell apples grown in the orchard. There are several other special events through the year. We spent 3 hours here, but it could be done in less. Educational, well done, and yet interactive enough that my 11 year old son gave it a thumbs-up. Would be a nice addition to a trip to Valley Forge which is about 25 miles away. The Daniel Boone Homestead is only about 5 miles away as well. If you enjoy camping, French Creek State Park is adjacent and while we didn't get there, I think it has campsites available. I saw people riding horses on our way into the park. It looked like there were bike riding trails, too.

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