The Fire of 1896
The fire of 1896 put Beckley Furnace out of commission for three full years. Interestingly, this may also have been when the decision was made to raise the height of the furnace to 40 feet. We do know that Barnum and Richardson encountered many difficulties in getting the furnace back in commission.
Friend of Beckley Furnace Richard Paddock has studied the Fire of 1896 in considerable depth. In addition to more readily available sources, he searched the local newspapers of the time for events occurring during the period the furnace was out of commission. You can read his complete report by clicking on The Fire of 1896
Thanks to Dick for this study! We will be following it with additional studies that are intended for those who are interested in Beckley Furnace, the Barnum and Richardson Company, and the iron industry in the Upper Housatonic Valley at a level that goes beyond the casual.