Friday, November 20, 2009

The final leg of our journey

I’m so glad you could all come with me on my tour of the old village of Hopewell Furnace in southeastern Pennsylvania. This is the fourth leg of our journey and if you’re interested, you are welcome to read the three previous posts on the subject, explaining how this village came to be.

After a hot cup of coffee for my husband at the NPS office, we headed over to where the charcoal was made.

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If’s off to the right, down this path behind the ironmaster’s home.

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In the center left of this photo, just to the left of the fence, you will see the remnants of an old anthracite furnace. This furnace turned out to be a failed attempt at hotblast technology. The charcoal area is just to the left now.

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This gives us a good idea of where we are. With Valley Forge only 25 miles away, you can understand why General Washington had the Continental Army camped there. It was to protect the furnaces along the route that were supplying much needed ammunition to the army and navy.

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Here we have another endeavor that went south. This is all that’s left of the charcoal kilns that were built in the mid 1800’s in an attempt to modernize the charcoal making process. Below is a photo of what it looked like when it was in operation.

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Hundreds of hearths were located up on this hill, where workers turned 5,000 to 6,000 cords of wood a year into charcoal to heat the furnace. They sort of looked like small teepees made of thatch.

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The stream is directed to the water wheel which drove the blast machinery.

We continue on down the hill, passing the cast house and the blacksmith shop (seen in previous posts), traveling along the Horseshoe Trail which cuts off to the right here where the tenant houses are located. I didn’t get any photos here because there were a few families who were exploring in the houses. I waited until they were all inside to shoot the photo below.

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We’re going to take a right here, and head back into the woods, traveling along Hopewell Lake through French Creek State Park and eventually to our parking spot.

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But before we enter the woods, I take one last look at Hopewell Village and my favorite Robert Frost poem comes to mind.

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village, though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

 

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sounds the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

 

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

~ Robert Frost

Thanks for coming along on the journey with me. I loved walking on this historic property with you and hope you’ll come with me for future hikes.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

28 comments:

Golden West said...

A delightful journey - thank you!

Mary said...

Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for taking us along. :)

Jo Whitehurst said...

I love it when you take us traveling with you! I have read each post, and the photography is breathtaking!
Thanks, Kate!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Delightful to be able to see this all through your lens. Thank you.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Gorgeous and very informative.

I can't get over how the trees have lost every single leaf. Here we're still clinging to a some even after the storm.

So, we've been hiking a while now. When's lunch?

Thank you, as always, for this sanctuary that you provide.

beth said...

thanks for taking us along on your beautiful journey....wow, I love nature and the outdoors...

Sweetpea said...

That was all sooooo splendid. Thank you!

Donalyn said...

Loved the whole series! Have you ever been to Old Sturbridge Village or Plimouth Plantation? You would love them both.

tainterturtles said...

Thanks for the interesting tour. And I didn't even have to leave the comforts of my home!

Sugar Creek Beads said...

It has been a wonderful trip and I am so happy you took us with you. Your photos were terrific, so many of them reminding me of Andrew Wyeth paintings of the landscape of PA. I'm ready when you're up to traveling again. Thank You, Jeanne

Char said...

lovely tour of this place and i love your words (and Frost's poem)

excellent

alphabet soup said...

Thanks for that tour; for me another insight into a small portion of American history.
Ms Soup

Scriptor Senex said...

That's my favourite Robert Frost as well - how appropriate for this posting!

Dessa Wolf said...

Thank you so much for taking us along. This is what I love about the blogging community--getting to "visit" places I may never actually get to "visit". I love that Robert Frost poem as well...

Riet said...

What a beautiful country and I love those houses.

troutay said...

Lovely tour! Thanks for being our guide.

tj said...

...This was pure perfection in every sense of the word! Thank you Kate!

...Blessings... :o)

The Japanese Redneck said...

Loved the journey. Take us on many more.

thanks,

Linda said...

I just love traveling with you! Thanks so much!

Daryl said...

That was so nice .. lovely

CarlaHR said...

I stopped for a cup of tea before visiting and so was not first in line but had a great time anyway. You have a great eye for beauty - I'm sitting with my cup of tea looking out at almost barren trees, a still green golf course and a grey sky - looks almost as if snow is on the way - but it is beautiful in its own way. Have a great weekend.

Nezzy said...

Thanks so much for gettin' this Ozarks farm chick off the Ponderosa for a few moments. I enjoyed the tour and the pictures are priceless.

Ya'll have the best weekend filled with many blessings and time to enjoy them!!! :o)

Hilary said...

You do some fine work here between historical subjects and your vintage finishes. Nicely done.

Farmchick said...

A wonderful field trip and I hope you will take us on more.

DesertHen said...

I so enjoyed this walk and tour! Thank you for taking me along. The poem was the perfect way to end the journey! Happy Weekend to you.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I would love to visit this place! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos and one of my favorite poems also! V.

Jerry Jones said...

Incredible beautiful scenery.
I think I could be happy and content in such a lovely place.

Oliag said...

I finally got a chance to sit down and take a hike with you to Hopewell Furnace...and I'm glad I did, it has been lots of fun and the photoed scenes have been spectacular:)

In my hometown there is a road named Hope Furnace Road...there used to be an iron furnace on that road but it no longer exists...now I know what it must have looked like...

This poem, "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" was one of my father's favorites and was read at his memorial service...I do love Frost...