Richmond Iron Works (RIW) and Local History
Richmond Iron Works (RIW), Richmond Furnace, Massachusetts, USA
Principal Investigators - William (Bill) Edwards and Karl Danneil.  Bill is Chairman of the Richmond Historic Commission.  Both investigators are members of the Society for Industrial Archeology (SIA), Bill being a member of the Northern New England Chapter and Karl a member of the Southern New England Chapter.

The research on RIW has been done by unpaid volunteers who have contributed a great amount of personal time and considerable personal expense to preserve the historical record of the RIW as found in local community archives, personal papers, in other historical archives in Massachusetts and Connecticut and also to search the actual property for any remaining artifacts.

RIW Furnace Stack

RIW Furnace Stack surrounded by Limestone (Marble) wall remains of the 1830's factory. Roof of owners house at top.

National Historic District Registration - August 1999

 The district boundary includes the charcoal fired furnace that produced cast iron pigs, the surrounding factory remains consisting mostly of stone walls, the nearby iron ore mines and limestone quarries, the works Office and Iron Masters house, and several workers houses.

Richmond Iron Works (RIW) 1829 to 1923. Almost 100 years of Iron mining and smelting into pigs using charcoal for fuel and limestone for flux. The iron was used in Rodman Guns, in the iron cladding plates for the Monitor, and railroad wheels for many years. A 300 acre area surrounding the furnace stack and the iron ore mines is included in the proposed National Historic District.

Many local sources have been searched to provide information on RIW's operations and the history of the people who labored at the works. An extensive land survey using a Theodolite has been completed to provide a 3 dimensional accurate record of the area and the many archaeological features found.

Richmond Iron Works History

Richmond Iron Works Industrial Archaeology

T he Richmond Historic Commission greatly appreciates all the help the many SIA members have provided over the years in recording the many features of the Richmond Iron Works which has now culminated in the National Historic District Registration which was authored by Matt Kierstead and his compatriots at the Public Archaeology Laboratory of Pawtucket, RI.  The writing of the National District Nomination papers was funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Historic Commission with the help of Michael Steinitz.

Other Topics of Industrial Interest --

Limerock Furnace Restoration, Limerock, CT

Beckley Furnace Restoration, East Canaan, CT

Salisbury Connecticut Area Historic Activities
1998 Iron Masters Conference in Salisbury, CT
Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area

"Echoes of Iron in Connecticut's Northwest Corner" authored by Ed Kirby, Sharon, CT (a member of SNEC).).  Includes a field guide to the Iron Heritage Trail

"200 Years of Soot and Smoke" by Victor Rolando the State Archaeologist for Vermont

Edith Wharton "The Mount" Restoration, Lenox, MA   The Mount from the Gardens

The Mount form the Gardens at the rear of the house. 
The car contains Archaeology equipment - 
Ground Penetrating Radar and Plotter. 



Always Under Construction
October 31, 1999
Copyright October 1999 
Karl Danneil 
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