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 Friends of Beckley Furnace welcome Pittsfield HS

Pittsfield (MA) High School visit -- October 1, 2004

Throughout the Spring, Summer, and early Fall, Beckley Furnace is often the destination of groups interested in all aspects of the historic iron industry of the Upper Housatonic Valley.  With sufficient notice, the Friends of Beckley Furnace can usually turn out a number of knowledgeable (and in some cases, expert) guides and lecturers to inform our visitors about the site -- and the historic iron industry.

On October 1, we were pleased to welcome an 11th grade American History class from Pittsfield, MA, High School.  They were a great group to work with and genuinely interested in the subject matter -- and quite possibly very happy to spend a beautiful early Autumn day learning American History in the field instead of in the classroom. 

Here are some photos from that visit.  Click on any of the pictures to see a larger image.


 History teacher introduces students to the site

The History teacher introduces the site to the class

 Ethnology of the charcoal burners

One of the experts gives us some ethnological background of the charcoal industry workforce

 Students taking notes

Yup, it WAS school, and notes WERE taken...

 Students taking mental notes

...at least by many of the students.

 Making charcoal from wood

Now, a demonstration of making charcoal from wood.

 In a test tube

We're doing it in a test tube, although in real life it was done in large earth-covered charcoal pits in the woods were the trees were cut

 Heating wood in an oxygen-poor environment

Heating the wood in the absence of oxygen.


The smoke coming out is really a complex of products that, when refined, had a real market value.


And, the smoke is flammable, too.

 The casting arch at Beckley Furnace

The class views the casting arch of Beckley Furnace.

 Learning more about the iron making process

Hearing more about the iron making process

 Hot in there!

When the furnace was running, it was 3000 degrees Fahrenheit in that bosh!

 Fun on the slag pile!

The slag pile was very popular -- and so was the opportunity to take home samples.

 Inside the office building - now the education center

Inside the one-time office building for the furnace complex.  (Thanks to the students who suggested ways we could improve it!)

 After the tour was over

More discussion after the tour.

 Viewing a salamander

Discussing a salamander with our charcoal expert.

The Friends of Beckley Furnace welcome visitors to the State of Connecticut's only official Industrial Monument! 

Friends of Beckley Furnace to go to the Friends of Beckley Furnace!


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Between the Lakes Group is located at 372 Between the Lakes Road, in Salisbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut.  More specifically, we're in Taconic -- a hamlet  in the Twin Lakes area of the Town of Salisbury.  Questions about us or about our products?  Go to our Frequently Asked Questions page.  

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          Taconic, CT  06079-0013
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