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Rathbone Blast Furnace

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Catalog Information

Title
Rathbone Blast Furnace
Accession Number
2017.024.0022
Type
Historic Building
Gift of
Robert Underhill
Collection Title
Misc
Collection Description
Misc
Format Description
*
Search Engine Type
Place

Iron ore deposits found in Vermont led to the development of blast furnace operations to extract iron from the ore for use in manufacturing items such as stoves and tools.  The cover photo (courtesy of Phil Mandolare 2018) shows the ruins of a blast furnace in the Chippenhook part of town that was owned by Wait Rathbone Jr. (1773-1847) and Abner Perry (1772-1844). 

This blast furnace was in operation by 1805 as evidenced by an 11-2-1805 Rutland Herald advertisement stating "all kinds of machinery will be cast on the shortest of notice". 

Below is a photo (Phil Mandolare 2018) of the foundation of the bellow structure and below that a drawing of what a historic bellows might have looked like.  At the very bottom is a photo of these ruins from "Vermont's 18th and 19th Century Blast Furnace Remains" by Victor R. Rolando, published 1992. 

Wait Rathbone Jr was born in Stonington, CT and was living in Middletown Springs by the mid-1790's where he built the Valley Hotel.  By 1805 he was living in Tinmouth where he remained until sometime in the 1830's when he retired to Rutland.  He is buried there in the West St. Cemetery.  He first married Betsey Carr (1780-1805) with whom he had 5 children and then married Elizabeth Frances (1788-1849) with whom he had another 5 children. 

There is no record of Abner Perry living locally in this timeframe.  He did own a blast furnace in Lenox, MA and at the time of his death in New Lebanon, NY he had extensive land holdings in MA and NY.  It is not known what his relationship with the blast furnace in Chippenhook was.  Abner, born in Easthampton, MA,  was married to Fanny Waldo (1786 - 1863) and had 6 children.  Note that there were numerous Abner Perry's in this timeframe and all of the published family tree's reviewed confused one Abner Perry for another. 

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