History of Eliza Furnace Historic Site

Eliza Furnace was constructed in 1845 and 1846. At its peak, the furnace employed over 90 people and utilized 45 mules to produce about 1,080 tons of iron a year.

The furnace was not a financial success, and operated only three years. Difficulties in transporting iron by teams of horses to Ninevah on the Pennsylvania Canal, poor-quality local ore, and a significant drop in iron prices sealed the furnace’s fate. Despite its early closing, Eliza Furnace helped bring the industrial revolution to the Black Lick Valley. A detailed history of the furnace is available here in PDF format. Additional information about Eliza Furnace and other iron furnaces in Pennsylvania can be found at the Industrial Archeology website.

For an overview of the operation of an iron furnace and information about Indiana County’s iron furnaces, see: Iron Furnaces of Indiana County.