Iron History

In 1791 Samuel Miles and John Patton, two Revolutionary War officers from south-eastern Pennsylvania, established Centre Furnace in the iron ore rich Nittany Valley. A self-sufficient community developed around the ironmaking operation, with the furnace and ironmaster’s mansion at its center. Approximately fifty years later two local men, General James Irvin and Moses Thompson, took over the ownership and operation of Centre Furnace until it shut down in 1858.

  •  Charcoal Iron Furnace/Forge Locations in Centre County

    (In some cases dates approximate)

    Furnace/Forge Location Owners Remains Municipality Centre Furnace(1792-1809;1826-1858) Thompson Run (Willy Brook)East College Avenue and Porter Road (1) John Patton& Samuel Miles(2) James Irvin& Moses […]

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  • bar iron: a smaller size of raw iron than a pig, easier to handle by blacksmiths. Some bar iron also went to rolling mills, which rolled the iron into much smaller thicknesses, or slitting mills, which made iron rods for […]

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  • Read about the descriptions of what people did, and who did those jobs in the Iron industry in Centre County.

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  • The documented history of the region began when original land warrants, tracts of land conveyed by William Penn’s domain, were transferred to private ownership. By 1774-75 twenty-three tracts at the foot of Mount Nittany had been surveyed and conveyed. Five […]

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