The view from Chickies Rock: Little Pittsburgh on the banks of the Susquehanna River?
This view to the north from Chickies Rock toward Marietta on the Lancaster County side of the Susquehanna shows iron furnaces in the distance and other late 19th-century industrial buildings. The waterway is the former mainline canal, with the Pennsylvania Railroad to its right. This photo, and a close look at the furnaces below, come from Frederic H. Abendschein’s “Columbia, Marietta, and Wrightsville.” Also of interest: York County’s Wildcat Falls former peaceful Susquehanna River picnic venue and York County: It’s shaped like a horse’s …. and Chickies Rock braced for rush of Susquehanna’s waters
Everyone knows about Big Pittsburgh where those three rivers meet in western Pennsylvania.
But what about Little Pittsburgh in southeastern Pennsylvania – in Marietta, across the Susquehanna River from the York County’s Accomac Inn area.
Little Pittsburgh in Lancaster County?
“In the second half of the 19th and early 20th century there existed in the vicinity of Columbia, Marietta and Wrightsville an industrial complex which included eleven anthracite iron furnaces and canal and railroad facilities which served them and other furnace related structures.”
So says an informative website put up by Rivertownes PA USA.
The site is deep with information and packed with photos.
Here’s a summary from this neat site:
Chickies Furnace No. 2, formerly Eagle Furnace, opened in the Marietta area in 1855. This Columbia Historic Preservation Society photo appears in Frederic H. Abendschein’s book. “Nicknamed the ‘happy face building’ because of the appearance with windows for eyes, a round window nose, and a door mouth, the building is one of the few remaining structures from that era,” the author wrote in the Arcadia Publishing book.
This historic complex had local and regional importance during its period of major activity from about 1845 to 1900 as a producer of pig iron. The furnaces exemplified the technology of the period by their use of anthracite coal and hot blast for the smelting of iron ores, a process which dominated the iron industry for a brief time before the use of coke as a fuel became more important. Because northeastern Pennsylvania could supply a rich source of anthracite coal to areas which had none, anthracite fired furnaces, using locally available iron ores, were built throughout the eastern part of the state. These furnaces helped to make Pennsylvania a leader in iron production in the second half of the 19th century. Lancaster County ranked high in Pennsylvania in production of pig iron during this period, and the complex of furnaces in the river towns contributed significantly to that output.
Also of interest:
– Here is a link to another rich website put forth by Rivertownes about the Susquehanna river bridges.
– All York Town Square posts from the start. (Key word search by using “find” on browser.)