Scenic USA - Massachusetts

Saugus Iron Works

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Saugus Iron Works NHS - Massachusetts

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   The discovery of iron ore in the Boston area lead to the New World's first successful iron manufacturing site during the mid 17th century. John Winthrop Jr., Old Iron Works House - Saugus Iron Works NHS, Massachusetts a student of metallurgy, formed the Company of the Iron Works of New England in 1641. After his initial efforts in Braintree failed, a new site on the Saugus River was chosen. The river area provided power for the blast furnace bellows, a transportation avenue for mill products, a rich woodland area for charcoal production, and a supply of gabbro rock and bog ore. Shortages of iron tools, nails, hinges, pots and kettles lead to early successes at the Saugus Iron Works, but by 1668, financial problems became insurmountable and the company folded.
   Today, this historic site offers visitors a full-scale working replica of the original iron works. The mill buildings allow interior views of a blast furnace, a forge, a rolling mill and slitting mill. The Old Iron Works House is the only remaining 17th century structure at Saugus. It's not certain, but some guesses place the company agent in the Broadhearth house. Rescue efforts of Broadhearth are attributed to Wallace Nutting. Purchased in 1915, Saugus Forge - Saugus Iron Works NHS, Massachusetts the Old Iron Works House (Broadhearth) was restored to its original appearance and eventually transferred to the National Parks Service. Authentic and reproduction furnishings complete its 17th century appearance, with several rooms open to the public. It's the Old Iron Works House that initially greets visitors when they enter the main gate. The Saugus furnace, forge and mills are tucked in a valley below, where a paved trail leads to all the manufacturing buildings.
   Self guided tours of the Sagus Iron Works are available from April 1 through October 31, open daily from 9 to 5. Visitors will leave Saugus with a deeper appreciation of a 17th century industry and perhaps a basic understanding of iron production.

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