Harford Furnace Historic District
Creswell (MD 543) & Goat Hill Roads, Abingdon, Harford County
The Harford Furnace Historic District consists of five standing structures and several archeological sites all covering approximately 30 acres of rolling land in rapidly developing south-central Harford County. The district side is both open and wooded and includes land on both sides of James Run, a small south-flowing tributary of the Bush River. Landscaping around the standing structures is informal. The noncultivated areas are wild and overgrown. The district includes all that is known to survive of Harford County's oldest industrial community which, in its prime, sprawled across the intersection of Creswell Road (MD Route 543) and Goat Hill Road, took in over 5,000 acres of land, and included a charcoal iron furnace and dozens of auxiliary structures to house workers and operations. Most of the original property has been altered beyond recognition. Current uses include post-World War II residential subdivisions, a private golf course and swimming pool complex, a horse breeding farm, gas stations, a college, etc. This nomination is intended to take in the relatively unaltered remains of the industrial complex, namely the c. 1845 charcoal shed (now adapted into a house), the c. 1845 store (also now a house), a stone barracks-like structure built much earlier as a glebe house but which housed workers in the Furnace era (also now a single-family dwelling), and numerous known archeological sites of industrial areas on the west bank of James Run.
The Harford Furnace Historic District is significant for its association with the 19th century industrial processes in Harford County and for its potential to yield information important in the county's history of industry. The district consists of standing structures and numerous identified archeological sites historically associated with the operation of the iron furnace which began about 1830 and continued to function until 1876.