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Feel the Heat at Catoctin Furnace

Mar 5, 2024

Centrally located between Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, you’ll find Frederick County, Maryland, the perfect place to deepen understanding of American history and culture.

Dig deeper into our past with a visit to Catoctin Furnace, an 18th Century iron furnace with ties to the American Revolution just 20 miles from Gettysburg National Military Park. The recently opened Museum of the Ironworker shares the story of the workers, enslaved and free, who operated the furnace from 1776 to 1903. The museum, filled with artifacts, occupies an 1820s worker’s home in the historic village.



The museum pairs perfectly with a tour of the iron furnace site, part of Cunningham Falls State Park, and a visit to the African American Cemetery Trail. This trail ends at the site of a rediscovered cemetery where enslaved people from the village were interred in the late 18th and early 19th century.

The village also contains other buildings that are open for tours, including a recently constructed, fully operational Blacksmith Shop, including an early bellows used during the 19th century to funnel air into the forge to make metal tools.

Catoctin Furnace inspires a better understanding of our nation’s complex and fascinating story.

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Photos courtesy of Visit Frederick.