On May 20th the Union Forge Heritage Association kicked off a year long calendar of events celebrating the 250th anniversary of the historic Union Iron Works of Hunterdon county with their “Forged with Fire”event at the associations 1760 Joseph Turner House and museum. Pictured are Ryan (left) and Tony of the NJ Blacksmith Association demonstrating various applied forging techniques while local historian Doug Pitchell (pictured with firearm) lectured about the French and Indian War and demonstrated a mock firing of an antique black powder rifle. Three centuries of antique firearms were also on display and discussed by professional firearms expert James Carten. Various displays of Iron Works artifacts, historical informational boards and one of the last remaining circa 1742 Iron Ingot were on display.
The Union Iron Works was founded by Philadelphia investors William Allen and Joseph Turner in 1742 and encompassed over 10,000 acres in todays Union Township, High Bridge, Clinton and Lebanon Township. The Works produced on average 500 tons of pig iron per year that was used to create products for the farm, home and cannon balls during the Revolutionary War. The Union Iron Works Continued with the formation of the Taylor Iron and Steel Company in 1803 with Robert Taylor. The Union Iron Works is the oldest continually operating foundry in the United States and the nations second oldest business.
The Joseph Turner House and museum is located at 117 Van Syclel’s Road, Hampton NJ. The Union Forge Heritage Association is a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving and protecting the rich history and natural environment of Hunterdon County and the State of NJ. Visit the Union Forge Heritage Association at unionforgeheritage.org for more information and upcoming events.
Michael Gronsky Jr.
President, Union Forge Heritage Association