Historic Joanna Furnace a restored 19th-century iron-making community near Morgantown, Berks County, has expanded the number of historic interest classes for spring 2021.

Joanna Furnace was a major iron producer from 1791 to 1898 and supported a largely rural community in southern Berks County. The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association explores this community’s industrial and domestic life over the 107 years of active iron production.

Open to Berks, Lancaster and Chester county-area residents ages 16 and older, the 2021 classes are designed for everyone with any level of skill or interest. The content is suitable for anyone with a solid or a casual interest in history and may be considering becoming part of the Historic Joanna Furnace Education/Interpretation Team or Tour Guides or individuals who are simply looking for a new hobby or craft.

Fifteen classes, live on-site, covering an array of focused subject matter will be offered. The one session classes are scheduled on specific dates from April to August. This year’s class titles include:

• Three Classes on Joanna History held on Tuesday Evenings: History of the Joanna Furnace (April 13), Letters of a daughter’s devotion — letters from the ironmaster’s daughter to her father (April 20), Learn to be a Joanna Furnace Tour Guide (April 27).

• One Class on Metal Casting Process: Historic 18th & 19th-Century Metal Casting Process as used at Joanna Furnace offered on one Saturday, May 1, hands-on class.

• Two Classes on Early Cooking: offered on Saturdays: Open Fire Cooking part 1, hands-on, May 15 and Bake Oven Demonstration, hands-on, May 22.

• Nine Hands-on Craft and Art Classes offered on Saturdays: Basics of Watercolor (May 8), Design Your Redware Plate (June 5), Make a Braided Wool Rug (June 12), Make a Penny Rug (June 19), Make a Toothbrush Rug (July 10), Make a Wooly Christmas Tree (July 24), Make a Snowman Plaque (July 31), Make a Round Basket with Wooden Base (August 14), Make Six Redware Ornaments (August 21).

These educational classes will be packed full of intriguing details through demonstrations, discussions and some hands-on activities to engage you in understanding the people and times when iron was king in the Hay Creek Valley.

The instructors are familiar to Joanna Furnace visitors. They are all experienced Hay Creek Educators who have had many years of experience in the area they are teaching.

The open enrollment for the 2021 series begins now. Class sizes are capped, so potential students are encouraged to register early. Reservations are required. The registration deadline is one week before the stated class date.

Note that space is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. Most classes will be held outdoors, undercover, following COVID-19 requirements of masks and social distancing.

Details on the specific class information, content, tuition and the registration form are available online at www.haycreek.org.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. All event net proceeds go to the Joanna Furnace programs of restoration, research and education. For more information email mzerr@haycreek.org or call the office at 610-286-0388.

comments powered by Disqus