Catherine Furnace

Catherine Furnace (HMACN)

Location: Shenandoah, VA 22849 Page County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 33.465', W 78° 38.127'

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Underground Railroad for Union Soldiers

Built in 1846, Catherine Furnace was one of three Page County furnaces in operation during the Civil War. The 30-foot-tall main stack is nearly all that remains of the cold blast furnace and once-huge operation here, when 22,500 acres supplied wood for charcoal, iron ore, and limestone, and food. With labor scarce, local whites, free blacks and slaves worked here to furnish the Confederacy with pig iron.

Wagons transported the pig iron to Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, the "Ironmaker of the Confederacy" and largest such operation in the South. The furnace also produced solid cannon shot and perhaps a few cannon tubes. Furnace #2 on Naked Creek made cannon balls as well.

Ironmaster Noah Foltz, a secret Union sympathizer, helped Federal soldiers escape from Page County, across the Massanutten Mountain to Fort Valley. After he mistakenly helped Confederates disguised as Union soldiers "escape," however, Foltz was arrested but was soon released on bond to continue work at the furnace. The 1st Vermont Cavalry made the only known attempt to destroy the furnace on May 7, 1862. However, because of the ensuing engagement at Somerville Heights, the cavalry contingent never reached here.
Year Placed2003
Placed BySummers-Koontz Camp #490, with the help of a grant from the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 11:17am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 706032 N 4270352
Decimal Degrees38.55775000, -78.63545000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 33.465', W 78° 38.127'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 33' 27.90" N, 78° 38' 7.62" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3336-3348 Cub Run Rd, Shenandoah VA 22849, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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