Elkridge Furnace Complex

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Elkridge Furnace)
Jump to: navigation, search
Elkridge Furnace Complex
Elkridge Furnace House, September 2009
Elkridge Furnace Complex is located in Maryland
Elkridge Furnace Complex
Location 5730 and 5741-5745 Furnace Ave., 5735 Race Rd., Elkridge, Maryland
Coordinates 39°12′47″N 76°42′12″W / 39.21306°N 76.70333°W / 39.21306; -76.70333Coordinates: 39°12′47″N 76°42′12″W / 39.21306°N 76.70333°W / 39.21306; -76.70333
Architect Unknown
Architectural style Greek Revival, Federal
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 90000635[1]
Added to NRHP June 28, 1990

The Elkridge Furnace Complex is a historic iron works located on approximately 16 acres (6.5 ha) at Elkridge, Howard County, Maryland.


It comprises the six remaining buildings of an iron furnace which operated from the 18th century into the 1860s. Included are a large 2 12-story Federal/Greek Revival house constructed about 1835 as the residence of the furnace owner; a frame dwelling of approximately the same date which probably accommodated a manager or clerk; a 2 12-story company store and hotel or dormitory for furnace workers; two 19th century outbuildings, possibly slave quarters; and a mid-19th-century brick duplex worker's dwelling.[2] It is now operated as a restaurant and banquet facility.[3]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.[1]


The banks of the Patapsco River had been unearthed to mind for iron stone, which resulted in the displaced sand and earth being dumped into the river, affecting its navigability. In 1753 a law was enacted to prevent the further filling in of the Patapsco River's shipping channel at Elkridge Landing and up to Baltimore.[4]

Caleb Dorsey, an ironmaster aware of iron ore found in the Patapsco River valley, established Dorsey's Forge. It ran on water power; Water was diverted to a water wheel through a water race. The turning waterwheel drove a gear shift that powered the bellows that fanned the forge's fire. Dorsey's Forge and made nails and horseshoes. During the American Revolutionary War he made cannons and bayonets. As of 1787 there were 9 or more slaves that worked his operation.[5]

Benjamin, Jonathan, Elias, George, Charles, and Thomas Ellicott from Pennsylvania became the owners and incorporated the site as the Avalon Iron Works in 1822 and manufactured nails and rolled and split iron.[5][6] Pig iron was used to create nails using waterpower at the forge in the 1800s. More than 100 people worked at the complex by the 1850s. The forge, factory and mill were destroyed in a flood in 1868. Two structures that remained are in the Patapsco Valley State Park.[5]



  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ "Maryland Historical Trust". Elkridge Furnace Complex, Howard County. Maryland Historical Trust. 2008-11-21. 
  3. ^ Elkridge Furnance Inn History Elkridge Furnace Inn. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  4. ^ Maryland Act of 1753 Chap. 27. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Elizabeth Janney. Elkridge. Arcadia Publishing; 8 July 2013. ISBN 978-0-7385-9927-4. p. 16-17.
  6. ^ Chapter 199. Session Laws of Maryland, 1822. vol. 627. p. 123 Maryland State Archives. Retrieved January 25, 2014.

External links[edit]