Student and Class Visits

Student and Class Visits are Welcome

Lee Kellogg school 8th grade 2007 006_web_front
Above: an eighth grade class visiting Beckley Furnace — Ed Kirby providing an introduction to the site

Class visits are welcome at Beckley Furnace!!

We’re Connecticut’s only designated Industrial Monument, and we’re also the centerpiece of Housatonic Heritage’s Iron Heritage Trail.  So, it’s our responsibility to pass along this heritage and knowledge to future generations.  One way we do it is by welcoming student and camp groups as visitors.

Here are some of the schools, camps, and student organizations we’ve hosted in recent years:

  • Lee Kellogg School — 8th grade
  • Berkshire Waldorf School — 4th grade
  • Mt. Everett School — 8th grade (multiple visits)
  • Berkshire County Homeschoolers
  • Pittsfield High School (multiple visits)
  • Hotchkiss School (multiple visits)
  • North Canaan Summer Recreation Program and 8th grade
  • Salisbury Central School (summer program, 5th grade, and 8th grade)
  • (more to come)

Visits by student groups outside the normal school year are also very welcome.  We are frequently visited by summer camps, summer schools, and other summer programs.  (Even organized groups of teachers visit us most summers!)

More about the facility itself is here.

(We are sorry to say that we are not currently accepting requests for school visits.  Unfortunately, the two remaining volunteers who have run the visits in recent years are no longer physically able to conduct them.  We’ve loved welcoming student groups all these years, and we are always hoping that new volunteers who are more physically able to lead the visits will step forward.  Until then, please visit the facility on your own!)


Our experience is that kids find their school or camp visit to Beckley Furnace to be both instructive and fun.  Often parents come along as chaperones, and usually they report that they have both enjoyed the visit and learned something about our area and its industrial past as well.

We do have some suggestions:

–The more the kids know in advance about Beckley Furnace, iron making, and the history of the area, the less overwhelming the trip is and the more the kids learn.  While the teacher arranging the trip will likely prepare the students beforehand, we encourage you to discuss these topics in your home both before and after the visit. One of our founders, the late Ed Kirby, was responsible for creating a super introduction to iron in Connecticut’s Northwest Corner, and our friends at the Sharon Historical Society has made the video available on YouTube. You can view it here.

–Young people usually like to know how what they are seeing might be connected with something they are learning about in school or extracurricular activities, or other interests.  Our Connections to Learning page provides some linkages you might find useful.

–We know that kids are particular about what they wear.  However, since many will want to explore the slag heap, which contains colorful (and SHARP) slag fragments, we recommend long pants to help avoid cuts.  Watch our video about slag at Beckley Furnace.

–Be sure to let us know what your kids thought of the trip afterwards!  Feedback makes us better at what we do.

Here’s an easy way to open communications with us about a possible future visit!