Beckley Furnace is staffed by knowledgeable personnel on Saturday mornings during the summer months, when we see most of our visitors.
We try to ensure that there will be at least one member of the Friends of Beckley Furnace board of directors — and, when possible, two or more — on site at these times. This helps us keep in close contact with our visitors, and also provides our visitors with direct contact with experts in various aspects of the historic operation of the Salisbury Iron industry.
The table below provides the Saturday mornings when we will be staffed in 2014 and the names of the directors who will be on site that day.
FOBF SATURDAY DUTY ROSTER 2014
REVISED AS OF REQUESTS SUBMITTED BY MAY 15
Dick Paddock and will be present each Saturday; Intern ( and board member) Chris Allyn will be present each Saturday through August 23; Ed Kirby will be part time most Saturdays. From September 6 through October 11 staffing will be announced on our Facebook page when available.
Cliff Waldo will act as a substitute if something comes up on your scheduled Saturday.
Clara M. Beckley was the granddaughter of John Adam Beckley and her papers are some of the only works that may exist from the time of the iron industry relating to it.
A native of New York, Clara’s main research concern was her family’s genealogy and and the development of her grandfather’s iron business in New England. She was a librarian, genealogist, and a historian. Her date of birth was January 5, 1880 and she died sometime after 1958.
The Clara Beckley Papers are divided into to two series, the first containing the her genealogical research and the second containing the documents relate to the day-to-day business transactions of the Beckley furnaces
*The papers are part of the Connecticut Historical Society’s collection. For more information go to our References page.*
This website began as a portion of a Girl Scout Silver Award Project undertaken in 2013 by two then-seventh grade girls named Eleanore and Helen.
The project began when they visited Beckley Furnace the summer before they entered seventh grade. They were fascinated by Beckley Furnace, and they thought that other people would be as well. The Friends of Beckley Furnace, the not-for-profit organization that restored, maintains, and interprets Beckley Furnace, paid attention. The interests of the girls and the interest of the Friends coincided perfectly; for years the Friends of Beckley Furnace have been trying to better inform people about Beckley Furnace and also about the iron industry in general.
While the girls originally proposed create a smartphone app to make the old Beckley website more portable and accessible, for a variety of reasons, including time constraints and the cost of building an Apple app as well as an Android app and maintaining them, the idea of creating a new website that would be as usable on mobile devices as on laptops and desktop computers emerged as a better alternative.
The girls started with the original Beckley Furnace website, and from there they created an all new website based in WordPress and providing both the desired mobile capability and the capability of building educational and research resources that would be helpful to teachers, students, researchers — as well ordinary people who simply want to learn more about Beckley Furnace and the historical iron industry of the Upper Housatonic Valley.
The project quickly became more than “just a Girl Scout project.” Based in part on the girls’ vision and their diligence, the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area undertook, with the aid of CT Humanities, a planning study about use of local history landmarks in teaching social studies (with Beckley Furnace as a case example). Who knows where it will all lead!
The Girl Scout project that Eleanore and Helen conceived in 2013 has mushroomed to become a regional effort, with state and national support and participation — and we have only begun!