|Split Rock Village Furnace|
Led by noted New Jersey historians Joe Macasek and Bierce Riley, we had the opportunity to participate in a walking tour of the Village of Split Rock, including the forge and furnace, and learn about some of the history of the area.
[Bierce Riley is actively involved with the Society for Industrial Archeology. Joe Macasek is vice president of The Canal Society of New Jersey and has written Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County.]
Joe distributed several documents to help illustrate the story he and Bierce shared about Split Rock Village. I was able to scan three of them; the others were too big.
Splitrock Furnace Track gives you a sense for the large tracks of land created in the 1770s specifically for the purpose of creating iron which required water, woodland and iron ore. The Splitrock tract consisted of 3,000 acres which included the Durham Forge, the Splitrock Forge and Furnace and the Cobb mines.
Rockaway hones in on the Rockaway area and the location of various iron mines and forges.
Finally, The Village of Splitrock Furnace lays out
|Joe Macasek holding up 'pig iron'.|
Furthermore, "... it took approximately an acre of woodland to supply enough charcoal to run the furnace for one day... The operation ran continuously with two crews, each working 12 hour shifts to keep the furnace running smoothly."
Joe and Bierce regularly conduct historic hikes for Industrial Heritage Walkers. The most recent one was the Mt. Hope Mineral Railroad Walk. If you're interested, I suggest you contact Joe Macasek directly at macgraphics1 [at] verizon.net.
Here are my photos of Split Rock Village and Furnace and the hike we took afterward when we hooked up with Tom Kline for a vigorous 3.9 mile hike. Our original destination was the Wildcat Ridge Hawk Watch - which wound up being too ambitious for the morning. However, the kids spotted both a bear and a blue-spotted salamander [see photos].
You may enjoy this detailed article on Wildcat Ridge. It helps put the area into perspective.
Finally, here is our trail map.
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For details on a more intense hike, including a video, visit Four Birds Trail - Wildcat Ridge from NJHiking.com.
We still need to make it to the Hawk Watch.... Hike anyone?