Founded in 1771 by ironmaster Mark Bird, of Birdsboro, who played a critical role in the American Revolution, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site is one of the finest remaining examples of a massive 19th century “iron plantation,” where all of the ingredients including iron ore and forests for charcoal were right at hand. After providing shot and cannons for General Washington, production was changed to stoves and later to pig iron. Today, the restored structures of Hopewell Furnace and village are surrounded by 848 acres of reforested land, French Creek State Park and State Game Lands, comprising the nearly 8,000 acres of the original iron plantation.
As a visitor to Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, you are welcome to step back in time and learn about the furnace and it’s time period. The iron plantation was founded in 1771 and operated until 1883, helping to lay the foundation for the transformation of the United States into an industrial giant. Visitors can learn about the history in the visitor’s center/museum, watch a theater program, and take a self-guided walking tour of the community. The tour includes the entrance to several buildings, such as the kitchen to the ironmaster’s house and the blacksmith buildings. During the summer months, living history programs and demonstrations are offered to depict the cooking of the time period, the methods of iron ore mining, the making of charcoal, and other historic and specific skills. September and October visitors are invited to pick apples during the harvest season from the park’s orchard.
Step back in time and gain knowledge and an appreciation of the work of the people of Hopewell Furnace. With no admission fee, no parking fee, and wheelchair accessibility, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site is a great way for people of all ages to spend an afternoon!
Outside of the historic site are many hiking and biking trails for Big Woods.
Hours of Operation
Summer season: open 7 days per week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Winter season: Wednesday through Sunday, 9.a.m. to 5.p.m.