Beckley Iron Furnace is maintained, researched and interpreted by the Friends of Beckley Furnace, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, in the State of Connecticut. Beckley Furnace is Connecticut’s only designated Industrial Monument, and is a Connecticut State Park.
Located on Lower Road in East Canaan, Litchfield County, CT, the site is open to visitors during daylight hours, 365 days a year. When guides are not available, informative signage directs the visitor to the restored furnace stack, various artifacts of the iron making process, a Hercules-type turbine that powered the furnace, the dam in the Blackberry River that provided the water power for the dam, and a variety of other features of the site.
There are picnic tables for a quiet lunch, the pool below the dam is a popular site for getting one’s feet wet (NO lifeguard on duty), the fishing in the Blackberry River is said to be excellent, and a hiking trail leave the site headed up nearby Canaan Mountain. There are no public sanitary facilities. More about the facility and services available is here.
During summer months, the site is staffed on Saturdays from 10 AM until 2 PM by docents who are also members of the Friends of Beckley Furnace and who can provide extensive information about the site, its history, and its place in the historic iron industry of the Upper Housatonic Valley.
Need to contact us at The Friends of Beckley Furnace? Drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
About this website:
Starting in the fall of 2013, two Girl Scouts named Eleanore and Helen visited Beckley Furnace, and decided that while it was definitely interesting, it could be a lot more appealing to younger visitors. They told us a lot of their thoughts and then it dawned on them that they could actually do something about making them actually happen. So, to earn their Girl Scout Silver Awards, they set forth on a path that included replacing the antique Beckley Furnace website with a new one written in WordPress (one that’s also usable on mobile devices). They also created a Welcome video, which you can see on the home page, and did a post about making that video.
They also started creating new material about Beckley Furnace and the historic iron industry of the Upper Housatonic Valley for it. Helen and Eleanore then transitioned back to being 8th graders, and they’re now getting ready to enter 10th grade, but the website they conceived and created continues to grow and expand. Some of the growth is in directions they correctly anticipated, and some is in entirely new directions.
The Friends of Beckley Furnace are indebted to Eleanore and Helen for their insights and for all their hard work on this project. We seriously hope that you — both of you — continue your involvement in Beckley Furnace and that you will accompany us in learning about and interpreting our historic iron industry. You are the future!!
(See also our “About this Project” post, written when we initially introduced the new website.)
It’s autumn now, and the girls who created this website are back in school, but on an early September Sunday afternoon the girls paused for a look out the window of the ironmaster’s office toward the furnace itself. No doubt, back when the works was operational, the ironmaster — and likely visitors, including the management of Barnum Richardson Company — looked out this window themselves. We’ll have a post shortly about the administration building — fascinating in itself!