Hopewell Furnace invites the community to participate in the annual sheep shearing and spring coal burning on Saturday, May 7th.

Visitors will be able to observe the technique of shearing sheep of the 21st and 19th centuries from 12.00 to 15.00, in the rain or in the sun.

At 11 a.m. volunteers in the park will light up and begin the spring burning of coal to demonstrate the process of turning wood into charcoal in the 19th century.

Hopewell Furnace Park volunteers will begin spring coal burning to demonstrate the process of turning wood into charcoal in the 19th century. (Photo sent)

The burning of coal will last 7 days around the clock, the conclusion will take place on Saturday, May 14.

Support for these programs comes from the National Historic Site Friends of Hopewell Furnace. Along with these demonstrations, park staff and volunteers will be present to discuss and demonstrate the art of fiber, blacksmithing and gardening ever since. All programs are open and free.

The Hopewell Furnace was established as a national historic site on August 3, 1938 and preserves the late 18th and early 19th century iron community settings, including charcoal stoves as well as its natural and cultural resources. This community illustrates the essential role of industrialization in the growth of the early United States. The furnace was established in 1771 by iron master Mark Byrd and operated as a furnace for the next 112 years.

The park facilities are currently open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hopewell Furnace is located at 2 Mark Bird Lane, Elverson, PA 19520, about five miles south of Birdsbour, near Route 345. Admission to the park is free. For more information, call 610-582-8773 or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/hofu.

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