Photo by Loy Elliott

Fuller Lake at Pine Grove Furnace State Park

The lake before you is Fuller Lake, over 50 feet deep. Once an open pit, this was the site of an iron ore quarry during the days of iron production between 1764 and 1895. The land surrounding Pine Grove Furnace was not only rich with iron ore, but the other resources (ingredients) it took to successfully produce iron. Charcoal made from trees of the surrounding forest was used to heat the furnace. Water from the nearby stream was used to turn a water wheel, which powered bellows, heating the furnace over 1600ºF. At this temperature, rock would turn to liquid as iron would separate from the impurities in the rock. Limestone, which was culled from a separate quarry, was used as a “flux” that gathered together the impurities. This unusable by-product, “slag”, would float on top of the liquid iron and be drawn off before the iron was tapped. The metal was then poured into sand casts.

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