The National Park Service (NPS) invites the public to join Mark BirdRevolutionary & Civil War Soldiers, 19th century furnace workers, and a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps in celebrating the 75th birthday of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. Mark Bird is the founder of Hopewell Furnace. The park’s Establishment Day-- Fueling the Furnace—will be commemorated on Saturday, August 3, at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, according to Superintendent Edie Shean-Hammond.
At 11 a.m., dignitaries will gather at the park’s Connecting Shed for a brief program before the “Lighting of The Pile” signaling another year of producing charcoal following a 5,000 year old tradition . The public is invited to join the festivities which include historic casting demonstrations, jewelry making, quilting and a birthday cake. The program is free and open to all.
“Since August of 1938, this national park has been a model of conservation as well as a tourist attraction,” stated Superintendent Shean-Hammond.
“For 75 years, the National Park Service has protected and preserved more than 200 years of American achievement at Hopewell. We invite the public to reminisce with some venerable historical characters as well as learn plans for the park’s future,” she added. On August 3, 1938, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Administration created Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site as the second National Historic Site in the National Park System.
Throughout the day Hopewell Village will host environmental education fun with free games, posters, and information. Living history activities will include children’s games as well as ample time to “pound sand” with Hopewell’s moulders. The ancient art of charcoal making will continue through August 10. The pure carbon charcoal along with other hand made goods will be available for sale at the Village Store.
Hopewell Furnace is the pre-eminent example of an American Iron Plantation. Park visitors can walk its pathways of history, exploring structures such as the cast house, ironmaster’s mansion, blacksmith shop and barn. Livestock at the park’s farm includes horses, chickens and sheep reminiscent of the types that were used to support the work force when the furnace was an active business and community.
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site preserves and interprets the story of an early American industrial landscape from extraction to enlightened conservation. Showcasing an iron plantation and its surrounding village, the park restrooms and grounds, including miles of hiking trails, are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The park stays open Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day and is closed other federal holidays. Hopewell Furnace is located five miles south of Birdsboro, Pa. off Route 345. For more information stop by the national park’s visitor center, call 610-582-8773, visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/hofu or contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.