Friday, 08 March 2019 / Published in News

MORGANTOWN, PA    The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a-wear’n the green!! So pick up an Irish Brogue . . . bring your clan and your appetite to a fabulous ‘Irish Breakfast buffet’ on Saturday, March 16 from 7:00 a.m. to noon. That morning Joanna Furnace, figuratively, turns green with the best Gaelic atmosphere and eating imaginable. And if the food isn’t enough to draw people to the furnace, the entire buffet will be enhanced by traditional Irish music performed by Hay Creek’s own Lady of Song, Phyllis Hummel.

Many of the early Joanna Furnace workers were Irish

This homage to Ireland will feature a hearty, traditional Irish buffet of Pancakes, French toast, County Sausage, Homemade Corned Beef Hash, Bacon, Scrapple, Creamed Chipped Beef, Scrambled Eggs, Country Style Potatoes, Baked Oatmeal, Fruit, Coffee, Juice and more.  The cost for the Buffet: Adults $9.50 Children (5-11) $4.50 Children under 5 FREE.  Most of the Irish, and some Scottish songs to be heard would have been familiar to the Scotch-Irish workers at Joanna Furnace and their families in the local community.  Reservations are not required to attend.

Mark Zerr, Executive Director of the Hay Creek Valley Clan and the historic site, says “We start the new year off with our February Valentine’s event which brings an end to the winter doldrums.   This is now followed by our upcoming March 16th  Irish Buffet.  It’s our way of bringing out the green in anticipation of spring for the families in our area communities. We want them to come out and see what’s new at Joanna Furnace. This event always previews of all the exciting events, programs and projects everyone can look forward to for the rest of the year.“

Learn about upcoming Hay Creek Valley Historical Association & Historic Joanna Furnace Volunteer Opportunities

March is the month when the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association opens up its doors and welcomes new volunteers to step forward and learn about being a tour guide at Joanna Furnace or taking a hands-on craft class on an early American trade.  This year’s course offerings includes:  March 12th – Learn to be a Joanna Furnace Tour Guide, March 16th – 19th Century Metal Casting, March 16th – Candle Making, March 19th – “Letters of a Daughter’s Devotion Preserved for Centuries”, March 26th – 19th Century Iron Production at Joanna Furnace, March 30th – Early American Cooking —  Colonial Chocolate, April 6th – School of Soldier, April 27th – Natural Dying.  For more information or to register for any of these classes please email

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the preservation and education of America’s iron heritage. Net proceeds from this event support the restoration and educational projects of The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association and Joanna Furnace, a historically significant 18th and 19th-century charcoal-fueled iron furnace.  Anyone wishing to find more information about the 2019 events or educational programs at Joanna Furnace can visit the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association website at  or call 610-286-0388.  The Joanna Furnace site is located three miles north of Morgantown, along Route 10.  For entrance turn at Furnace Road.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 / Published in News

“Enjoy the quiet historic destination, calming romantic music and delicious breakfast with your Valentine… we’ll fill the air with history and love”

MORGANTOWN, PA . . . The 12th annual all-you-can-eat Joanna Furnace Valentine’s Breakfast Buffet, with live musical performances, will be held Saturday, February 16, at Historic Joanna Furnace Iron Works. This first event of the year opens the Joanna Furnace museum for a tremendously exciting season. In 2019 there will be many things happening at Joanna Furnace. The 1791 iron-making community will be preparing for three major annual festivals, numerous programs for public schools and three significant restoration projects, plus the Monthly Saturday morning events.

The Valentine Breakfast Buffet, open from 7 a.m. to 12 noon., will feature a traditional and varied breakfast buffet. Families can enjoy fresh country sausage, ham, scrapple, bacon, creamed chipped beef, scrambled eggs, pancakes, pancakes with chocolate chips French toast, hash browns, fruit sauce, beverages (including whipped hot chocolate) and our delicious Joanna Furnace chocolate covered strawberries.

Denver area guitarist Phyllis Hummel will play acoustical guitar and sing a variety of romantic ballads throughout the event. Ms. Hummel has been performing for more than 20 years in the Tri-County area and has performed at many area establishments.

“We have something for everyone, including the kids,” says Mark Zerr, executive director for the Joanna Furnace Museum and the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association. “This year we are looking forward to attracting new families and retired people to join us in our quest to become an even more significant historical and educational center. At this event visitors will be able to get information on the opportunity openings we have in various committees and prospects available to learn so many special crafts, foods, technology and educational interest areas. ”

Reservations for the Valentine’s Breakfast Buffet are not required. Admission for individual adults is $9.50, Children are encouraged; ages 5 – 11 are $5.00 and those under 5 eat free.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a non-profit organization. Net proceeds from this event are used to support the educational programs and restoration of Joanna Furnace. This significant 18th and 19th-century charcoal-fueled iron furnace community is nestled in a valley just off Route 10 on Furnace Road—north of Morgantown.

For more information, visit the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association website at or call 610-286-0388.

Wednesday, 02 May 2018 / Published in News

An 1868 Historic Ironmaster’s Wedding . . . and you can be a guest!

Morgantown, PA. The Hay Creek Historians are honored to announce their most exciting historical reenactment event for 2018!

The invitation has just been issued inviting area residents to the wedding reenactment of the last Joanna Furnace Iron Works ironmaster L. Heber Smith and Ella Jane (Jennie) Grubb of Lancaster. This elegant Victorian Wedding, dinner and reception will take place Saturday, June 16, 2018 – 5 to 9 pm at Historic Joanna Furnace, near Morgantown.

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is proud to partner with Fecho Productions, LLC in cooperation with the Genesius Theater of Reading PA, to bring a one-of-kind historical theater/dining/dancing experience that will honor the last ironmaster of Joanna Furnace, L. Heber Smith and his bride, Ella Jane Grubb.

Theater master, Lawrence Fecho, and an all-star professional cast will bring the Smith and Grubb families to life. Fecho is currently the Artistic Director of Genesius Theatre, in Reading, Pennsylvania, where he began his theatrical career at the age of twelve. He started his professional career as a staff assistant for the late great Broadway Producer, Alexander H. Cohen, and consequently worked on the 1977 Tony Awards. Mr. Fecho has directed, produced and designed over fifty productions at Genesius Theatre and his company, Fecho Productions, produces the annual “A CHRISTMAS CAROL IN WEST READING,” murder mystery presentations, and corporate team building games up and down the East Coast.

This will be an evening of interactive historical theater, an elegant catered dinner, wines by Starving Artist Winery for a discriminating audience. It all happens under a wedding tent at Historic Joanna Furnace Iron Works near Morgantown, PA

This entire event gives new meaning to the concept of dinner theater. From the time the bride arrives in her elegant two-horse Victorian carriage, to the ceremony, then the dinner/reception and finally the dancing, attendees will become participants in an accurately depicted 1868 Victorian wedding. The horses and carriage are from White Chimneys Estate in Lancaster County. Weather permitting, after dinner, attendees can have a carriage ride for a nominal fee. Also, a photographer will be on hand to take photos of the wedding guests in the Victorian parlor. Photographer, Bill Swedas will then post files online and guests will be able to print out their photos in a period genre.

Nine Professional actors will take on the roles of the newlyweds and the Smith and Grubb families. To round out their 19th-century experience, members of the audience will be given 1868 period identities.

Guests to this summer social will interact with historical figures from 1868 and become part of the show!

Followed the wedding ceremony, before the dinner, butlered hors-d’oeuvres created by the HCVHA food service team, will be served. The appetizers include puffed pastry with crab, cheese salmon rounds and fruit skewers. A catered dinner by Shady Maple Catering will follow. The main courses feature herb baked chicken breast, slow roasted tender beef, green bean almandine, parsley buttered potatoes, tossed salad with lemonade, coffee then be served. A wedding toast to the new couple happens after the meal.

Dinner will be followed by the cutting of the beautiful Victorian Wedding Cake and then dancing as part of a traditional 19th -century wedding celebration. The Victorian Wedding Cake is created by Shady Maple Bakery. The 19th-century ceremony and dance music will be provided by Beck’s Civil War Brass Band. The Civil War period dance styles will be presented by the Civil War Dance Foundation. A dance master and floor managers will guide guests in dancing to the steps of the era. As an added benefit for people making reservations to attend this event, a free two-hour workshop will allow all those interested in learning 19th-century dance styles. This free pre-event workshop for reservation holders will be held on Thursday, June 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Joanna Furnace.

In keeping with the historical interpretation standards of the HCVHA, this event will be as accurate as possible to the social conventions of the 1860’s.

The Ironmaster’s Wedding takes place at Historic Joanna Furnace off Route 10, on Furnace Road, three miles north of Morgantown.

The June 16th wedding and celebration begins at 5:00 pm and ends at 9:00 pm.

Parking is free. The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Tickets are required to attend. Cost: $65.00 per person or $120 per couple.

To reserve tickets or for information about this once-in-a-lifetime celebration call, 610-286-0388 or email .

Wednesday, 02 May 2018 / Published in News

MORGANTOWN, PA . . . Start May 19th with the Hay Creek Classic Car Show & Plant Sale
Celebrate May with the historians of the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association. On Saturday, May 19 from 7 am to 2 pm; families are invited to a day of many things to do at Joanna Furnace Iron Works. This means numerous engaging historical activities to meet everyone’s fancy.

The Pancake and Sausage Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., $6.50 for adults, $4 for children aged 6 to 11, five and under eat free. The menu includes fresh country sausage, pancakes, orange juice, coffee and will be served in the Mule Stable Dining Area.

Other foods will be available throughout the day.

Plant and Flower Sale Plus Historical Herb Garden
A large variety of spring and summer flowers, shrubs and decorative items for the home will be available to purchase. Plants will be available for sale on a donation basis.

Anyone wishing to donate plants and garden supplies for the sale shall drop them off on Friday, May 18th at Joanna Furnace.

The Hay Creek herb specialists will be in the Joanna Furnace Herb Garden where visitors can also learn about the 18th & 19th Century “4 square” herb garden. Here visitors will learn about the medicinal and culinary uses of herbs found in the Joanna Furnace herb garden which is just like those found at homesteads of early Joanna Furnace workers.

May Hay Creek Flea Market
After breakfast, the entire family can shop for that special basement or attic treasure in the HCVHA flea market, which is open from 7:00 to 2:00. Anyone interested in having a stand in the flea market is more than welcome. Space reservations are not required. Flea market set up begins at 6:00 a.m. Vendors with car parts, mechanical technology items, antiques, child or household items are welcome to participate.

To register for a booth contact Kathleen at 610.914.8152. The stand fee is $10, and stands are available on a first-come basis. Previous flea markets have included household, antique and vintage items, tools, books, children’s clothing, toys and more.

Hay Creek Classic Car and Motorcycle Show
The historic site will be transformed into a wide-ranging display of classic and antique automobiles plus motorcycles. Any proud owner of a restored vehicle is invited to show his pride and joy. Persons wishing to show a car, truck or motorcycle should plan to arrive between 7 and 11 a.m. For more information about the vehicle show please contact Cliff at 484-529-9078.

The classic car and motorcycle exhibit will be enhanced by other technology exhibits, a hill climb and prizes for show winners. The hill climb at Joanna Furnace this year will have two classes – antique cars & show cars. The timed competition will require vehicles to climb the old Furnace Road and make two stops to “plant and cover a potato in a basket”. Awards will be given to the hill climb winners. At 1:15 pm the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association will offer a special parade at the event to honor all military personnel. All veterans and current servicemen are welcome to be a part of this parade.


Historic Site Self-Guided Tours
The introductory 20-minute video on the history of the Joanna Furnace industry and community will be shown beginning at 9 am in the Blowing Engine House.

Self-Guided tours of the 200-year-old iron furnace site will be on-going after 9 am. Interpreters will be greeting guests in the restored Blacksmith Shop, Casting House, Office/Store and Charcoal House Museum.

What’s Next at Historic Joanna Furnace
These monthly Hay Creek events are designed to have visitors learn about specific aspects of Historic Joanna Furnace and the Hay Creek Valley . . . the history and importance to 18th, 19th and early 20th-century life in the tri-county area. For 2018, May’s Third Saturday event will be the last of the season.

The next big event will be the Ironmaster’s Wedding Historic Dinner Theater event on June 16th. This event is a dinner theater program commemorating the wedding of the last Joanna Furnace Ironmaster L. Heber Smith and Ella Jane (Jennie) Grubb in 1868. The program will consist of a professionally acted wedding ceremony, an elegant sit-down wedding dinner, and a reception with dancing to post Civil War music. The wedding will be a “by reservation” event only. The HCVHA is proud to be partnering with Fecho Productions, Genesius Theater and Shady Maple Catering and Bakery. Other event partners include Zerbe Retirement Community, Knights Rental, Masthoff Press, Knies Insurance and White Chimneys Estate. For more information, check out

The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the preservation and education of America’s iron heritage. Net proceeds from all events support the research, restoration and educational initiatives of Joanna Furnace, a regional historically significant charcoal-fueled iron furnace.

The Historic Joanna Furnace Iron Works is three miles north of Morgantown, on Route 10. Turn on Furnace Road. Admission and parking are free for these monthly Saturday morning events

Anyone wishing to find out more information about any of the programs at Joanna Furnace can visit the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association website at or call the HCVHA Office at 610-286-0388.