While it may have appeared that the furnace complex outside our lost city was concentrated within a small area, there were still a good amount of scattered remains sitting about to find. Thanks to the nicely manicured lawn that surrounded us, the first of those remains that caught our attention were the various trestle footings that could be found nearby – including the samples seen above. Most likely this particular trestle was used to deliver raw materials to the furnaces, perhaps iron ore itself.
Nearby we find an abutment to that very same trestle, now partially overgrown with trees.
Further down the hill we discovered a second abutment for another rail spur. This one sat down behind the machine shop, and made it’s way right up alongside the casting building. This line could have been used to ship out finished iron, but most likely the final product was shipped out by boat considering the adjacent harbor.
As interesting as those trestle remains were, the real interesting item sat down along a large stone wall that extended out from the furnace complex.
From above the oddly shaped structure looked to be a squat conical pyramid. It was built out of brick and featured a small circular opening at its top. We decided to head back down to the lower level to get a better look.
From ground level these brick pyramids look even more impressive. From this perspective we could make out a large doorway located along its base.
The presence of the doorway suggested that the identify the odd structure was that of a charcoal kiln, used to convert wood into charcoal, charcoal would then be used next door as fuel in the furnaces.
Next door stood the remains of a second kiln, helpfully supported by a wood framework. Besides these two examples we could make out scattered remains of several more nearby. Most likely – in order to supply the massive amount of charcoal required by the furnaces – there were once quite a few of the kilns located here.
As we looked for evidence of even more kilns, we ended up discovering yet another interesting structure sitting down alongside the neighboring limestone cliffs. From afar it looked to be a large stone smokestack base, but our recent experiences gave us pause in making such a rash judgment. A closer investigation was in order.
As we got closer It sure looked like a smokestack base, but the arched stone opening in its face was far too large to be for a flue. There was also the fact that we could find no evidence of any type of structure nearby. This guy was a stand alone structure – just like the kilns we explored earlier.
Taking a look inside its maw we were presented with a brick lined opening blocked by another iron cage. If not a base to a smokestack our next guess was another type of kiln, either a newer model or one designed for a different type of material. Its location right alongside the limestone cliffs made us think it might have had something to do with that.
Speaking of those limestone cliffs, we stepped away from the new kiln to head down to the shore and take a look down their impressive expanse. In addition to those cliffs the remains of a massive dock sat at our feet. Most likely a wharf that was used to ship out the furnace’s final product.
Those dock remains continue along the shore for some distance, making their way up the doorstep of the furnaces themselves. Such an expansive old dock made you think of the activity that once went on here, complete with large schooners docked here awaiting their iron cargo.
At that point the cloudy skies that had threatened us all morning finally opened up and came crashing down on our heads. It looked like our tour had finally come to an end. We made our way back up to the path that led us here, and were amazed to find a scattering of other people steaming down into the city – all with cameras.
How quickly did word of this place leak out?