The stone walls of this old building have withstood the adversities of time and people to stand in mute testament of historical events that helped shape a nation.
Built in 1837, partners John Paxton and Thaddeus Stevens erected a blacksmith shop along the Chambersburg Pike as part of the Caledonia Iron Works. Following the Battle of Gettysburg only the stone walls remained. The shop was rebuilt and operated until 1895, twenty years after the iron furnace closed.
Thaddeus Stevens, businessman, lawyer, congressman, and father of the 14th Amendment, is perhaps the most famous unknown person in American history. During the Civil War it was Stevens who kept pressure on President Lincoln to use African-Americans as soldiers and to free the slaves.
Following the burning of Steven's Caledonia Iron Works, now the site of Caledonia State Park, Stevens provided support for the unemployed families for as long as three years.
A Virginian, West Point graduate and state legislator, Jubal Early voted against secession, but returned to the army in defense of his state. Against direct orders not to destroy private property during the invasion of Pennsylvania, General Early, finding in his way the iron works of Congressman Stevens, who was advocating the most vindictive measures of confiscation and devastation against the south stated, "I [am] determined to destroy them." On June 26, 1863, Early put the Caledonia Iron Works to the torch.