BUCKEYE FURNACE

                     Our annual trip to Buckeye Furnace takes
                    students back in time to the Hanging Rock
                    region of Ohio and Kentucky.  In 1851, during
                    the heyday of the charcoal iron furnaces, Buckeye
                    Furnace was built.  It produced a maximum of
                    12 tons of iron per day.
                         Charcoal was the fuel used to smelt the iron.
                     It would be mixed with iron ore and limestone,
                    then placed in the top of the furnace.  This
                    mixture was called the burden and was dumped
                    into an already hot furnace, which would ignite
                    the charcoal.  The ore and limestone were
                    melted and the mixture slowly descended to the
                    bottom of the stack.  The impurities were
                    trapped in the melted limestone.  When they
                    were removed from the furnace and cooled,
                    it formed a glass-like product called slag.

                            After a significant amount of iron collected
                    at the bottom of the furnace, workers removed a
                    dam stone from the opening, allowing the
                    molten iron to pour out into pre-dug, sand
                    molds forming what was called "pig iron", so
                    called because they looked like baby pigs
                    suckling on their mama.  This was called "tapping
                    the furnace."

                            Students learn about the company store as
                    well.  A replica of the store is located on the
                    property as well and includes various items that
                    would have been purchased and available at
                    that time.  References are made to the company
                    towns, script, and the working conditions with
                    which the people dealt.

                           Once again - look for pictures within the next few weeks!