Lucy Selina Furnace

Lucy Selina Furnace (HM21FS)

Location: Clifton Forge, VA 24422 Alleghany County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 48.619', W 79° 40.816'

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Alleghany Iron for the Confederacy

You are standing near the site of the Lucy Selina Furnace, which supplied the Confederacy with pig iron for the production of cannons, munitions, and rails during the Civil War. In 1827, two Scots-Irishmen, Col. John Jordan and John Irvine, built this charcoal-fired, cold-blast furnace on Simpson's Creek and named it after their wives, Lucy Jordan and Selina Irvine. The furnace remained in operation until 1852, when the new hot-blast furnace technology and the high cost of using charcoal instead of bituminous coal made it uneconomical to operate.
The outbreak of the Civil War changed everything. The supply of iron from Northern furnaces was suspended, and the Confederacy became desperate for iron. Lucy Selina Furnace reopened in 1863 and sold pig iron to the Confederate States Nitre and Mining Bureau. Like nearby Australia Furnace, a hot-blast operation, Lucy Selina's pig iron supplied Richmond's Tredegar Iron Works—"Ironmaker to the Confederacy." Union raiders threatened both Alleghany furnaces in 1862 and 1864, but unlike some Virginia ironworks, they escaped destruction. Because many white ironworkers left for the Confederate armed forces, slave labor kept the furnaces operating. Work here was extremely arduous, and food supplies were scarce, which encouraged many slaves to flee. Iron production never lived
up to expectations.
After the war, William Firmstone bought Lucy Selina in May 1870 and converted it to a coke (processed bituminous coal) furnace as part of the Longdale Furnace Company. Nothing remains of Lucy Selina Furnace, but the Longdale Furnace ruins are still standing today a few hundred yards west of here.
For visitor information please contact the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism at 540-962-2178 or visit our website at The Visitors Center is located at 110 Mall Road, Covington, VA.
Lucy Selina Furnace, ca. 1890 Courtesy Alleghany County Historical Society
Lucy Selina Furnace, 1872 - Courtesy National Park Service
Longdale Furnace, ca. 1890 - Firmstone Bed & Breakfast
Longdale Furnace ruins, 2013 - Courtesy John Strott
HM NumberHM21FS
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 at 7:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 616169 N 4185589
Decimal Degrees37.81031667, -79.68026667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 48.619', W 79° 40.816'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 48' 37.14" N, 79° 40' 48.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6309 Longdale Furnace Rd, Clifton Forge VA 24422, US
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