Blast from the Past 

Buckeye Furnace provides a glimpse into the historical role of metalworks in Appalachia 

Buckeye Furnace stands as a testament to the legacy of iron production in Jackson County, a place once known as the “Hanging Rock Iron Region.” The Furnace, comprised of a reconstructed casting house, engine house and charcoal house, is one of only three reconstructed furnaces in the United States. 

One of 46 original iron blast furnaces in Ohio, Buckeye Furnace produced eight to 12 tons of pig iron per day until its disuse in 1894. The iron was used for common household goods such as cooking pots, as well as in the hulls of “ironclad” warships. Iron furnaces were a major source of infrastructure and income in Southeast Ohio before they lost profitability at the end of the 19th century.  

Jim Meachum, site manager at Buckeye Furnace, says the furnace’s important history was one of the reasons the Ohio Historical Society, now the Ohio History Connection, chose to rebuild it. 

Buckeye Furnace has transformed into an interactive facility with additional recreational opportunities, and even offers guided tours during the summer months.  

“We have approximately 270 acres here,” Meachum says. “We have not only the furnace, we have a nature area and trails to hike on. We have picnic facilities here, it’s a beautiful setting.”