Olive Furnace is located 20 miles north of Ironton on State Route 93. The cemetery is located at the top of the hill behind the furnace.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
This furnace is one of the few remaining in Lawrence County, is in pristine condition and was built by the founder of Ironton — John Campbell, who was an avid abolitionist. We need all the help we can get keeping Olive around for future generations. Just recently, half of the only remaining arch collapsed. The cost to repair it will be astronomical. I’m working on grants but we need the community to rally together to help us come up with matching funds.
You can donate money to any US Bank location in care of the “Mt Olive Furnace Park Corporation”…it’s a non profit corporation (which is needed to apply for grants and for legal purposes). Donating this way gives you the assurance of KNOWING where your money is going. Alternately you can give me your donation or another officer your donation. However you choose to give, know that money in this account can only legally be used for the furnace. After you donate, shoot me an email and let me know the amount so I can confirm (email@example.com) along with your mailing address. I’ll send you a receipt with our EIN to be used for your tax deduction.
Spread the word and invite your friends to help us out!
The Mt. Olive Furnace Park Corporation is planning to proceed with the restoration of the buildings surrounding the old stack and arch. The first building to be restored will be the Charging House which sits on top of the furnace and arch. Olive Furnace was built in 1846 by John Peters, Sr., John Campbell, Madison Cole, William Clements and J.L.Thompson. The furnace is located 20 miles north of Ironton on State Route 93.
Olive Furnace is listed as Number 07000299 on the National Register of Historic Places.
Above photo is from Sally Neely dated 1914 – 4 years after it shut down
Morning Irontonian, November 18, 1915 – OLD OLIVE FURNACE SOLD. – Salle Bros., have bought of Mr. E. Beman, receiver for the Olive Furnace the old furnace and will begin in a few days to dismantle it for scrap iron.
Underground Railroad conductor James Ditcher was interviewed by the Ironton Register on October 31, 1878:”From 1855 to 1860,” says he, “I was largely connected with the underground railway. I must have taken through nearly 300 slaves in that time. The route we’d take was to Olive Furnace, or to Squire Stewart’s in Symmes Township, then over to Noah Nooks at Berlin cross roads, and from there to Wilkesville, in Vinton County. I would take them from Ironton to Olive or Symmes, and then there would be another fellow who would take them to the next station.”
The full interview can be read HERE.
Olive Furnace Cemetery
Olive Furnace Cemetery is behind the furnace on the hill. The road is steep but maintained by Washington Twp Trustees. A partial list of interments can be found HERE.
Excerpt from “The Friend: A Religious and Literary Journal,” Volume 29. 1856.