Today, Saturday, October 11, is the last scheduled Saturday this year for our experienced guides to be at Beckley to show you around, explain how things worked (and occasionally didn’t), and answer your questions about Beckley Furnace, the historic iron industry of the Upper Housatonic Valley, and the ways it affected our nation and the world.
However, it’s a little chilly, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s also raining. If it keeps raining through the 10 AM – 2 PM period we normally staff the furnace, we suspect we’ll stay home. If the rain moves on — and it well may do that — likely you will find a guide there to help you.
We do need to say that even though regular staffing by our experienced volunteer guides ends today, Beckley is still a great place to visit when weather permits. First of all, unlike its appearance when it was a working blast furnace, it’s a beautiful spot — and a Connecticut State Park! Secondly, there are many explanatory signs scattered around the Beckley site that provide explanations and diagrams. (Yes, occasionally our guides DO get informed by visitors that they would rather do it themselves, using these signs!) And finally, you can get additional information while you’re visiting via this website! We don’t have the site blanketed by wifi (that’s coming in the future) but there is a strong cell signal everywhere on the site, so you can look things up via your smartphone or tablet.
We continue to welcome school groups and other groups — there’s information elsewhere on this website about how to arrange for a group visit — and can produce guides who can present material tailored to your group’s interests and level of sophistication.
Watch this website (and our Facebook page, http://facebook.com/beckleyfurnace) for more news and plans for the future of Beckley. And, of course, we’ll be back in the spring!