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St. Charles Furnace


The St. Charles Furnace was built in 1854 by Clement Brooke Grubb, an ironmaster from the prominent Grubb iron mining and manufacturing family.  Grubb also purchased the nearby Henry Clay Furnace. Together, these two furnaces had an annual capacity of over 20,000 tons of pig iron, which was well known for its quality for boiler plate, bars, nails, and foundry work.  In 1863, Grubb built a large iron ore roaster, the first of its kind in Lancaster County, to remove sulfur from the local ores used in the furnaces.  The St. Charles Furnace was remodeled in 1879-80, but only six years later it went out of blast for the last time and was dismantled in 1897.

The square stack support and stone walls of the ore roaster building still remain along the Lancaster County Northwest River Trail north of Columbia.

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