FORGOT YOUR DETAILS?

Monday, 07 November 2022 / Published in News

The evenings of December 2—4, visitors to Joanna Furnace will be whisked away from the anticipation of their own Christmas season—back to the joyous celebration of the Christmas of 1872. Whether families come for unique holiday shopping, wonderful light holiday treats, to experience the candlelit 200-year-old furnace complex, to hear Christmas music, or even have the kids encounter the Belsnickel  . . . everyone is enthralled by the transformation of Joanna Furnace into a 19th-century-holiday experience.

Christmas 1872 was a grand time for the Smith ironmaster’s family and the residents of the Joanna Furnace community.  They celebrated the Holiday and gave thanks that the furnace was busy providing income to so many families. In fact, it was during this period of time that the ironmaking business was the most prosperous for the Smith family as they were operating two charcoal iron furnaces.  Nationally, suffragist Susan B. Anthony votes for the first time and fined $100 for being in defiance of the law, and Republican President Ulysses S. Grant just won his second term in office.   Visitors of all ages will be able to experience that long-ago time and gain a new perspective on their holiday celebration.

Candlelight illuminates the entire furnace complex.

The historic site takes on an entirely new radiance — over one thousand glowing luminaries warmly light various furnace walkways. Visitors are encouraged to explore the furnace complex by following the clearly defined pathways. All aspects of this nighttime event set the stage for an unforgettable family experience. Visitors are encouraged take pictures with their cell phone.

Also, carefully placed lighting illuminates the historic buildings’ exteriors to give visitors a new perspective of the furnace complex. Inside, each building is illuminated by lamps or candles to recreate an 1870s atmosphere.

The Joanna furnace Mule Stable is transformed into the parlor of the Victorian mansion of Iron Master L. Heber Smith and his wife Ella Jane Grubb Smith. As visitors enter the candle lit parlor, they will see and smell the pleasant aroma of the freshly cut cedar Christmas Tree.

In the parlor, the Smith family members have gathered to prepare for a beautiful family Christmas celebration complete with a dining room table set for their upcoming feast, playing parlor games, making crafts and sharing stories about past Christmases at Joanna Furnace by the fireplace. Guests are invited to interact with family members to learn more about the family and life in the iron furnace community.

Victorian dancing will also take place at the event in a large heated tent. The Hay Creek Trio will perform various old-time music while the Hay Creek Dancers will entertain visitors with period dances.  Guests are also invited to step onto the dance floor and participate in the period dancing.

Outside, in front of the stage, the largest of the roaring bonfires becomes the focal point of the furnace community. Here all can warm up by the fire and enjoy bonfire performances by local community organizations on the stage.  Near the holiday bonfire, from time to time, the Belsnickel has been known to appear and delight visiting children.

Traditional wagon rides and MORE give visitors of all ages an alternative way to explore Joanna Furnace. Rides are $2 per person and occur weather permitting.   The youngsters can also visit the Kid’s Santa Craft Workshop and face painting inside one of the heated tents. The Morgantown Arts Center will be providing various holiday craft activities for children in this workshop.  Plus, the Children’s Light Maze is always a favorite for guests at the event.

The historic buildings will be open for visitors to explore.  Visitors can take self-guided walking tours of the Joanna Furnace ironmaking complex and visit the Blacksmith Shop, Casting House, Wheelwright Shop and Office/Store.  NEW IN 2022 — Live metal casting demonstrations will take place each evening in the Casting House where visitors will see aluminum Christmas stars being poured.  These limited edition stars along with other unique traditional gifts will be for sale in the Joanna Furnace Office/Store building.

Savor festival foods
The Hay Creek Historians are proud to provide guests with a variety of delicious holiday foods. Enjoy such homemade foods as sausage sandwiches; hot dogs; hamburgers, pork and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes; macaroni & cheese, a pork barbeque & macaroni bowl, grilled chicken sandwiches, soups, chili; and homemade “Furnace” fries. Warm-up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, hot mulled cider and coffee.   Unique homemade Holiday cupcakes and freshly made kettle corn will also be available to purchase.

Visitors can enter the Christmas Gift Basket Raffle. The raffle contains gift baskets and certificates donated by area businesses and vendor participants at the Christmas event.    These items can be shared at holiday parties & social gatherings, given as gifts to friends and family, and enjoyed for your own personal use.

The Christmas Craft Market provides a showcase for visitors to shop for holiday gifts and home decorating items. Selected items available for purchase from the handpicked vendors include things such as baked goods, cookies and candy; assorted holiday décor items and crafts; hand-made wood Items; homemade soaps.  Other unique gift items such as hand-crafted blacksmith items, stoneware pottery, hand-knit scarves, jewelry, candles, fresh Christmas wreaths and more are available.  Rebel Hive Meadery from Reading, PA will also be at the event giving out samples and selling their delicious wines by the bottle.

Admission is $10.00 for adults, Children 12 & under are Free.  Parking is free on-site.

Christmas at Joanna” happens Friday December 2, from 5 pm to 9 pm and Saturday and Sunday, December 3 & 4, 4 pm to 9 pm at Historic Joanna Furnace Iron Works “Where the Spirit of Christmas Comes Alive”!

Joanna Furnace is located three miles north of Morgantown off Route 10. Look for signs and enter by turning on Furnace Road. Parking is available on site and along Furnace Road. A safely lighted, easily accessible parking area is located along Furnace Road. For the safety of visitors, all are encouraged to avoid parking along route 10.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a non-profit organization.  Net event proceeds support the education, research, restoration and preservation of the significant 18th & 19th century Joanna Furnace Iron Works, Tri-County Heritage Library and the Hay Creek Valley community. For additional information visit www.haycreek.org, friend Hay Creek Valley Historical Association on Facebook or call 610-286-0388.

Thursday, 11 August 2022 / Published in News

THE 46th ANNUAL HAY CREEK FESTIVAL RETURNS TO HISTORIC JOANNA FURNACE SEPTEMBER 9 – 11th

CONTACT: Mark Zerr, Executive Director, 610-286-0388 Email: mzerr@haycreek.org

Morgantown, PA . . . Organizers , sponsoring partners and almost 800 interpreters, craftsmen and volunteers are fine-tuning countless details for the opening of the 2022 edition of the Hay Creek Festival. Here festival-goers will witness what a day in the 19th century Joanna Furnace community would have looked like . . . and once again, this community event will indeed be a family experience for ages six to sixty.

Running Friday through Sunday, September 9-10-11, the 46th annual event is held on the grounds of the historic Joanna Furnace Ironworks, an 18th and 19th Century charcoal fueled iron furnace and community. Here visitors travel through time and experience life in a rural industrial iron-making village. The interpretation timeline runs from the beginning of the furnace in 1791 up to the 1950’s. Visitors will experience the sights, sounds, aromas and activities which have long since disappeared from contemporary life.

The Festival runs each day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is free on the festival grounds on Friday.
Free continuously running shuttle buses will be provided from an offsite parking area from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The Hay Creek Festival is truly a one-of-a-kind “living history adventure”. The exhibits and demonstrations include traditional early American crafts, a contemporary craft market, living history presentations and interpretations, vintage industrial revolution era working equipment, threshing demonstrations, a working sawmill, children’s hands-on activities, a traditional four-square kitchen herb garden, Civil War and World War II encampments, antique vehicles, steam engines and tractors, traditional folk music presentations, homemade festive foods . . . and more!!

The “Early American Crafts” area includes domestic and village industry demonstrations of skills which were necessary for a self-sustaining rural industrial community through the 18th and 19th centuries. Open fire cooking, bake oven demonstrations, butter & sauerkraut making will take place throughout the weekend. Samples of these early American foods will be available.

This year’s “Creekside Crafts Market” will include such items as redware pottery, ceramics, hand blown glass, dolls cloths, soaps & lotions, jewelry, woodcrafts, antiques and many home décor items. Rebel Hive Meadery of Reading will also be present selling their honey wine.

In the Mechanical Technology area, visitors will see an assortment of early gas and steam engines, models, antique cars & tractors, sawmill and threshing demonstrations and a line shaft powering 100-year old industrial machinery in the Joanna Furnace Mechanical Technology Building. A newly expanded World War II encampment will also be featured in this area.

The Civil War Encampment will celebrate how soldiers lived and trained in the mid-nineteenth century. Visitors can chat with Civil War era soldier and civilian re-enactors to learn more about that epic 19th-century time. Reenactors will also offer a mini skirmish each day at the festival.

Visitors will also want to tour the 18th & 19th Century Joanna Furnace Ironmaking complex. Hay Creek interpreters will be giving various presentations and demonstrations during the weekend in the Blacksmith Shop, Wheelwright Shop, Office/Store, Charcoal Storage Barn & Museum and the Casting House. A 22-minute introductory video on the History of Joanna Furnace will take place each hour in the Blowing Engine House. New this year — visitors will be able to see part of the Ironmaster’s mansion stone foundation. This past summer the Association partnered with the Kutztown University archaeology students for a 4-week field school program. During this time the students conducted ground penetrating radar on the Joanna Furnace site to look for anomalies in the ground and uncovered the northern basement wall of the ironmasters home. The mansion privy was also excavated where various artifacts were discovered.

Once again Hay Creek’s Tri-County Heritage Library will have a special exhibit at our festival. This year the group will display various vintage and antique quilts from the community. Looks for this special attraction in the Joanna Furnace Mule Stable.

Friday, September 9th is designated “Student Day” at the Hay Creek Festival. In past years, as many as 1,000 students have taken advantage of Student Day activities and attended on a single Friday. Public school, private school and home school groups and co-ops are invited to participate in this fun, learning historic experience. (A Student Day registration form can be downloaded from the festival website at www.haycreek.org.)

There will be children’s activities galore throughout the weekend, including archaeological segments, candle and papermaking, early American games, Civil War marching and drilling ….. and much more. Children should pick up their “chores list” at the festival gate which will feature all the hands-on activities at the event. Upon completion of a variety of tasks children will be rewarded with a free wagon ride!

Then there is the food . . . truly a feasting paradise for festival goers! The wide menu is prepared and served by Hay Creek volunteers and community non-profit organizations . . . and includes chicken pot pie, hamburgers, hot dogs, turkey and roast beef sandwiches, sausage sandwiches, festival-favorite Mabel’s open fire cooked soups, breads, hand-dipped ice cream, funnel cakes, French fries, fresh baked goods and so much more. The festival will also feature homemade corn pie and stuffed bell peppers for visitors to enjoy. Freshly pressed apple cider will be made daily in the Joanna Furnace cider mill. Many of the festival foods are also available to purchase to take home.

Our family-friendly admission is $10 for adults, $2 for children ages 6 to 12, FREE admission for children 5 and younger.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association’s Joanna Furnace site is located three miles north of Morgantown on Route 10, with close access to both the Pennsylvania Turnpike Morgantown Interchange 298 and Route I 176.

Free continuously running shuttle buses move visitors effortlessly from the parking area to the Festival grounds and back. Buses run Saturday and Sunday only from 9:30 am to 6 pm. (All parking on Friday is on the Joanna Furnace site.) For the safety of visitors, all are encouraged to park safely on the easy access lots just off Route 10. Main Festival events occur 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days. For more information, visit www.haycreek.org .

Thursday, 04 November 2021 / Published in News

The evenings of December 3—5, visitors to Joanna Furnace will be whisked away from the anticipation of their own Christmas season—back to the joyous celebration of the Christmas of 1871. Whether families come for unique holiday shopping, wonderful light holiday treats, to experience the candlelit 200-year-old furnace complex, to hear Christmas music, or even have the kids encounter the Belsnickel . . . everyone is enthralled by the transformation of Joanna Furnace into a 19th-century-holiday experience.

Christmas 1871 was a grand time for the ironmaster’s family and the residents of the Joanna Furnace community. They celebrated the Holiday and gave thanks that the furnace was busy providing income to so many families. Additionally, this year, the ironmaster and his wife are celebrating their fourth Christmas together. Visitors of all ages will be able to experience that long-ago time and gain a new perspective on their holiday celebration.

Candlelight illuminates the entire furnace complex.

The historic site takes on an entirely new radiance — over one thousand glowing luminaries warmly light various furnace walkways. Visitors are encouraged to explore the furnace complex by following the clearly defined pathways. All aspects of this nighttime event set the stage for an unforgettable family experience. Visitors are urged to bring cameras.

Also, carefully placed lighting illuminates the historic buildings’ exteriors to give visitors a new perspective of the furnace complex. Inside, each building is illuminated by lamps or candles to recreate an 1890s atmosphere.

The Joanna furnace Mule Stable is transformed into the parlor of the Victorian mansion of Iron Master L. Heber Smith and his wife Ella Jane Grubb Smith. As visitors enter the candle lit parlor, they will see and smell the pleasant aroma of the freshly cut cedar Christmas Tree.

In the parlor, the Smith family members have gathered to prepare for a beautiful family Christmas celebration complete with a dining room table set for their upcoming feast, playing parlor games and will be sharing stories about past Christmases at Joanna Furnace by the fireplace. Guests are invited to interact with family members to learn more about the family and life in the iron furnace community.

Victorian dancing will also take place at the event in a large heated tent. The Hay Creek Trio will perform various old-time music while the Hay Creek Dancers will entertain visitors with period dances. Guests are also invited to step onto the dance floor and take place in the period dancing.

Outside, in front of the stage, the largest of the roaring bonfires becomes the focal point of the furnace community. Here all can warm up by the fire and enjoy bonfire performances by local community organizations on the stage. Near the holiday bonfire, from time to time, the Belsnickel has been known to appear and delight visiting children.

Traditional wagon rides give visitors an alternative way to explore Joanna Furnace. Rides are $2 per person and occur weather permitting. The historic buildings will be open for visitors to explore on self-guided walking tours of the complex. Visitors can visit the Blacksmith Shop, Casting House, Wheelwright Shop and Office/Store.

Savor festival foods
The Hay Creek Historians are proud to provide guests with a variety of delicious holiday foods. Enjoy such homemade foods as sausage sandwiches; hot dogs; hamburgers, pork and sauerkraut & mashed potatoes; macaroni & cheese, soups, chili; and French fries. Warm-up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, hot mulled cider or coffee.

Visitors can enter the Christmas Gift Basket Raffle. These baskets contain valuable items and certificates. All the baskets together contain over $2000 worth of gifts and gift certificates donated by the area business community.

The youngsters can visit the Kid’s Santa Craft Workshop and face painting inside one of the heated tents. The Morgantown Arts Center will be providing various holiday craft activities for children in this workshop.

The Christmas Craft Market provides a showcase for visitors to shop for holiday gifts and home decorating items. Selected items available for purchase from the handpicked vendors include things such as baked goods & breads, cheese cakes; assorted holiday décor items and crafts; hand-made wood Items; homemade soaps. Other unique gift items such as hand-crafted blacksmith items, hand-knit scarves, beeswax manager scenes & ornaments, jewelry, candles, fresh Christmas wreaths and more are available. Rebel Hive Meadery from Lancaster, PA will also be at the event giving out samples and selling their delicious wines by the bottle.

Admission is $10.00 for adults, Children 12 & under are Free. Parking is free on-site.

Christmas at Joanna” happens Friday December 3, from 5 pm to 9 pm and Saturday and Sunday, December 4 & 5, 4 pm to 9 pm at Historic Joanna Furnace Iron Works “Where the Spirit of Christmas Comes Alive”!

Joanna Furnace is located three miles north of Morgantown off Route 10. Look for signs and enter by turning on Furnace Road. Parking is available on site and along Furnace Road. A safely lighted, easily accessible parking area is located along Furnace Road. For the safety of visitors, all are encouraged to avoid parking along route 10.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a non-profit organization. Net event proceeds support the education, research, restoration and preservation of the significant 18th & 19th century Joanna Furnace Iron Works and its community. For additional information visit www.haycreek.org, friend Joanna Furnace on Facebook or call 610-286-0388.

Thursday, 19 August 2021 / Published in News

THE 45th ANNUAL HAY CREEK FESTIVAL RETURNS TO HISTORIC JOANNA FURNACE SEPTEMBER 10 – 12th

CONTACT:     Mark Zerr, Executive Director, 610-286-0388  Email: mzerr@haycreek.org

Morgantown, PA . . . Organizers , sponsoring partners and almost 800 interpreters, craftsmen and volunteers are fine-tuning countless details for the opening of the 2021 edition of the Hay Creek Festival.  Here festival-goers will witness what a day in the 19th century Joanna Furnace community would have looked like . . .  and once again, this community event will indeed be a family experience for ages six to sixty.

Running Friday through Sunday, September 10-11-12, the 45th  annual event is held on the grounds of the historic Joanna Furnace Ironworks, an 18th and 19th Century charcoal fueled iron furnace and community. Here visitors travel through time and experience life in a rural industrial iron-making village. The interpretation timeline runs from the beginning of the furnace in 1791 up to the 1950’s. Visitors will experience the sights, sounds, aromas and activities which have long since disappeared from contemporary life.

The Festival runs each day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is free on the festival grounds on Friday. 
Free continuously running shuttle buses will be provided from an offsite parking area from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

The Hay Creek Festival is truly a one-of-a-kind “living history adventure”.  The exhibits and demonstrations include traditional early American crafts, a contemporary craft market, living history presentations and interpretations, vintage industrial revolution era working equipment, threshing demonstrations, a working sawmill, children’s hands-on activities, a traditional four-square kitchen herb garden, Civil War and World War II encampments, antique vehicles, steam engines and tractors, traditional folk music presentations, homemade festive foods . . .  and more!!

The “Early American Crafts” area includes domestic and village industry demonstrations of skills which were necessary for a self-sustaining rural industrial community through the 18th and 19th centuries.   Open fire cooking, food preservation and bake oven demonstrations will take place throughout the weekend.    Samples of these early American foods will be available.

This year’s “Creekside Crafts Market” will include such items as redware pottery, ceramics, dolls cloths, soaps & lotions, jewelry, woodcrafts, antiques and many home décor items.

In the Mechanical Technology area, visitors will see an assortment of early gas and steam engines, models, antique cars & tractors, sawmill and threshing demonstrations and a line shaft powering 100-year old industrial machinery in the Joanna Furnace Mechanical Technology Building.  A newly expanded World War II encampment will also be featured in this area. 

The Civil War Encampment will celebrate how soldiers lived and trained in the mid-nineteenth century.  Visitors can chat with Civil War era soldier and civilian re-enactors to learn more about that epic 19th-century time.  Reenactors will also offer a mini skirmish each day at the festival.

For the first time, visitors will be able to see Hay Creek’s latest restoration project – The Joanna Furnace Wheelwright Shop.   This “from the ground up’ restoration project began in 2019 and was completed in the spring of 2020. This new historic building houses the Parke Fleming wheelwright tool collection from Geigertown. The wheelwright shop will be used for live interpretation of the wheelwright’s activities. This building has been underwritten by an anonymous donor family of the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association.

The festival will also have a new exhibit in the Joanna Furnace Mule Stable.  Hay Creek’s new Tri-County Heritage Library committee will exhibit various artifacts and displays from the community including Grace Mines,  Col. Jacob Morgan’s home, World War II veterans and more local relics.

Friday, September 10th is designated “Student Day” at the Hay Creek Festival. In past years, as many as 1,000 students have taken advantage of Student Day activities and attended on a single Friday. Public school, private school and home school groups and co-ops are invited to participate in this fun, learning historic experience. (A Student Day registration form can be downloaded from the festival website at www.haycreek.org.)

There will be children’s activities galore throughout the weekend, including archaeological segments, candle and papermaking, early American games, Civil War marching and drilling ….. and much more.  Children should pick up their “chores list” at the festival gate which will feature all the hands-on activities at the event.  Upon completion of a variety of tasks children will be rewarded with a free wagon ride!

Then there is the food . . . truly a feasting paradise for festival goers! The wide menu is prepared and served by Hay Creek volunteers and community non-profit organizations . . . and includes chicken pot pie, hamburgers, hot dogs, turkey and roast beef sandwiches, festival-favorite Mabel’s open fire cooked soups, breads, hand-dipped ice cream, funnel cakes, French fries and so much more.  The festival will also feature homemade corn and shepherd’s pie for visitors to enjoy.  Freshly pressed apple cider will be made daily in the Joanna Furnace cider mill.  Many of the festival foods are also available to purchase to take home.

Our family-friendly  admission is $10 for adults, $2 for children ages 6 to 12, FREE admission for children 5 and younger.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association’s Joanna Furnace site is located three miles north of Morgantown on Route 10, with close access to both the Pennsylvania Turnpike Morgantown Interchange 298 and Route I 176.

Free continuously running shuttle buses move visitors effortlessly from the parking area to the Festival grounds and back. Buses run Saturday and Sunday only from 9:30 am to 6 pm. (All parking on Friday is on the Joanna Furnace site.)  For the safety of visitors, all are encouraged to park safely on the easy access lots just off Route 10. Main Festival events occur 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days. For more information, visit www.haycreek.org .

TOP