Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hope Furnace Revisited


The Hope Furnace is near Zaleski, Ohio at Lake Hope.


In the 1850’s the furnaces were used to  produce iron for the nation’s growing railroad system. The railroads in turn provided transportation for iron exports linking the southeast Ohio to distant markets that could be reached by way of the Ohio River, or the Great Lakes. During the Civil War the furnaces provided iron for canons and other military equipment used by the Union Army, including the iron plating that sheathed the army’s famous iron-clad warship, the Monitor.

Hope Furnace closed in 1874 and the last of the furnaces closed in 1916. The forest’s around the furnaces provided  wood to fire the furnaces and provided jobs for this area of the state. Though it provided jobs for the area and towns grew around the Furnaces the homes  and stores built there  were owned by the companies that paid the workers with company script. The script was suppose to be used to purchase over priced goods from the company owned stores but in fact the script was worthless and could not be used in the stores.