Christmas at Joanna Furnace is a 19th-century Victorian Christmas family destination.
From Dec. 6 to 8, visitors to Joanna Furnace near Morgantown will be whisked away from the anticipation of their own Christmas season back to the joyous celebration of the Christmas of 1869.
Whether families come for holiday shopping, light holiday treats, to experience the candlelit 200-year-old furnace complex, to hear Christmas music, or even have the kids encounter the Belsnickel, everyone is enthralled by the transformation of Joanna Furnace into a 19th-century-holiday experience.
Christmas 1869 was a grand time for the ironmaster’s family and the residents of the Joanna Furnace community. They celebrated the holiday and gave thanks that the furnace was busy providing income to so many families. Additionally, this year, the ironmaster and his wife are celebrating their second Christmas together. Visitors of all ages will be able to experience that long-ago time and gain a new perspective on their holiday celebration.
The historic site takes on an entirely new radiance — more than 1,000 glowing luminaries warmly light various furnace walkways. Visitors are encouraged to explore the furnace complex by following the clearly defined pathways. Also, carefully placed lighting illuminates the historic buildings’ exteriors. Inside, each building is illuminated by lamps or candles to recreate an 1890s atmosphere.
In the mansion parlor, Iron Master L. Heber Smith and his family members gather to prepare for a family Christmas celebration complete with Victorian dancing. Visitors can watch the festive holiday celebration or interact with family members to learn more about life in the iron furnace community and take part in the period dancing.
Outside, in front of the stage, the largest of the roaring bonfires becomes the focal point of the furnace community. Here all can warm up by the fire and enjoy Bonfire Performances on stage: Friday at 6 p.m. Twin Valley Bible Academy, Saturday at 6 p.m. High Point Baptist Church and at 7:30 p.m. the Lukens Steel Brass Band; and Sunday at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Morgantown Community Church Men’s Choir.
Near the holiday bonfire, from time to time, the Belsnickel has been known to appear and delight visiting children.
The event also includes holiday foods like sausage sandwiches and hot mulled cider, traditional wagon rides (weather permitting), self-guided walking tours, visits to the Blacksmith Shop and Casting House, Christmas Gift Basket Raffle, Kid’s Santa Craft Workshop by The Morgantown Arts Center, and The Christmas Craft Market featuring hand-crafted holiday items.
Admission is charged. Children 12 and under are free. Parking is free on-site.
Christmas at Joanna happens Dec. 6, from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7 and 8, from 4 to 9 p.m. at Historic Joanna Furnace Iron Works, three miles north of Morgantown off Route 10. Look for signs and enter by turning on Furnace Road. Parking is available on site and along Furnace Road. A safely lighted, easily accessible parking area is located along Furnace Road. For the safety of visitors, all are encouraged to avoid parking along Route 10.
The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a non-profit organization. Net event proceeds support the education, research, restoration and preservation of the significant 18th & 19th century Joanna Furnace Iron Works and its community. For more information visit www.haycreek.org, friend Joanna Furnace on Facebook or call 610-286-0388.