Price: $5/person; Free for WCHS members and children 12 & under
What was the life of an iron worker like? Learn more about their daily tasks and lives in this new exhibit! Explore for yourself the stories of the Catoctin Furnace iron workers through clothing, photographs, documents, and other artifacts.
For over 100 years, Catoctin Furnace was a thriving iron-making community at the base of the Catoctin Mountains in northern Frederick County, Maryland. Like many of Washington County's furnaces and forges, it began as a family-owned and operated business in 1776. The labor force, relying on the iron plantation for jobs and the necessities of life, consisted of enslaved African-Americans and free black and European immigrant laborers.
While much is known about the owners of the furnace, as well as their families, very little is known about the slaves and laborers who lived and worked at Catoctin Furnace. During an initial period of renovation in May 2015, an exciting new discovery was made in the northeast corner of the Forgeman’s House. Dangling from a crack in the attic’s ceiling was a scrap of fabric. Eventually, more than 150 different pieces of fabric were recovered, which comprised a minimum of 102 separate items of clothing and household linens. See these incredible artifacts on display for the first time in a new exhibit at the Miller House Museum.