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
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!