The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

First Iron Furnace

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Peter Tarr Iron Furnace

The first iron furnace west of the Allegheny Mountains was established by Peter Tarr on King's Creek, in Hancock County, near Weirton, WV. The exact date the furnace was built is not known, but is believed to be between 1790-1794. The capacity of the iron furnace was small, being able to produce no more than two tons per day. Pots, skillets, and other horsehold utensils were the typical products produced, but in the furnace was also used to cast cannon balls used by Commodore Perry during the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.

According to a plaque located at the site, the furnace was established by a man surnamed "Grant," though the operation failed. The property was deeded to Tarr in 1801 by settler James Campbell, and operations under Connell, Tarr & Co. commenced and continued until about 1840. The furnace was destroyed but reconstructed in 1968 by Daniel Jones, William Lauttamus, Frank D. Bowman, Alexander McIntosh, and stonemason Osvaldo DiBartolomeo.