The Lackawanna Valley seemed to have all the advantages for an ironworks - raw materials, waterpower, and topography.
"This is a marvelous place. Only two years ago it was a wilderness... But the eye of speculation and improvement was on it, and a furnace was erected between the hills and upon the stream. The mines for coal to be used in this establishment, are within a biscuit toss of the doors of the furnace, and the ore is obtained on the opposite hill. The lime stone is less easily obtained..."
Wilkes-Barre Advocate, September 4, 1844
Ore was first mined from the hill across Roaring Brook. However, this ore was difficult to extract and mines were opened on the south sided of Moosic Mountain. Coal was poor in quality; so new mines were opened on nearby mountains. Mules brought the coal and ore to the furnace.
Anthracite fueled iron furnaces require a blast of hot air to smelt the iron ore. A dam and waterwheel were constructed on Roaring Brook to provide power to the bellows blowing air into the furnace. The blast furnaces were built on the side of a hill so they could be loaded from the top. The ore, coal, and limestone were dumped into an opening in the chimney. The slag, or waste, and the molten iron were tapped from openings at the base of the furnace. Slag and ash from the furnaces were used to fill in the marsh, in today's downtown Scranton.