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Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site

Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site - BEST Places to Picnic

2 Mark Bird Lane
Elverson, Pennsylvania 19520

Phone
Visitor Information
(610) 582-8773

Explore How American Industrialization Began!

Hot, smoky, noisy --- these words describe how Hopewell Furnace looked from 1771 to 1883. Hopewell and other "iron plantations" laid the foundations for America's iron and steel industry. Today, the site stands as an example of America's development during the industrial revolution. The historic buildings stand, open and inviting -- testaments to the strength and endurance of Hopewell's people.

Things to Do

Visitor Center: First stop should be at the park's Visitor Center. Inside are museum exhibits, restrooms, a bookstore, audio-visual programs and staff who can inform and orient visitors to the site.

Self-Guided Tour: Visitors can take a self-guided walking tour of the historic furnace community, enter its many buildings and visit the animals on the farm.

Living History Programs and Demonstrations: Programs are presented during summer months and during special events at other times of the year.

Picnic: Eat under the trees in the park's picnic area or spread out a blanket in the historic apple orchard.

Hike: Walk the many miles of blazed trails and historic roadways that travel through Hopewell and neighboring French Creek State Park.

Watch Wildlife: Enjoy bird watching, deer watching or looking for some of the more reclusive animal species that reside in the park.

Become a Junior Ranger: Children may participate in the park's Junior Ranger Program. Each child receives a booklet in which they answer questions and find important items while they tour the park. Upon completion of the booklet, each child receives a Junior Ranger badge.

Pick Apples: During September and October visitors are allowed to pick from the many historic varieties of apples in the orchard. A charge is collected for the amount of apples picked.

History

The history of Hopewell Furnace spans two centuries -- from its untouched natural state as a part of the great eastern American forests -- to its rebirth as a recreational and cultural history area. In between are the stories of industrial development, technology, community, craftsmanship, and natural resources that together changed America. In this section of our web site, you can learn more about the many stories Hopewell Furnace has to tell of the history of our nation, people and land.

  • Bethesda Church
  • The Apple Orchard at Hopewell Furnace
  • Charcoal
  • Hopewell Furnace's Water Wheel
  • Hopewell's Iron Ore Mines
  • Hopewell Furnace in the American Revolution
  • African-Americans at Hopewell Furnace
  • The Miners of Hopewell Furnace
  • Woman's Work at Hopewell Furnace

Did You Know?
Early in the American Revolution, colonial ordnance inspector Daniel Joy conducted a sort of school for Pennsylvania ironmasters on the proper method of casting cannon. As a result, in 1776-77 approximately 100 "great guns" were cast at Hopewell Furnace and accepted by the Continental Navy.

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