Journey to Yesteryear: Hopewell Furnace’s ‘Iron Plantation Christmas’ offers a vintage holiday experience

The National Park Service invites the public to celebrate an “Iron Plantation Christmas” and stroll through the historic community of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site.

This free event will take place on Saturday, December 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature Christmas as celebrated during the 19th century at Hopewell Furnace. The program will be presented rain or shine.

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Visitors will have the opportunity to experience and engage with various Christmas traditions from the early/mid 19th Century. These activities include making gingerbread ornaments, creating holiday decorations out of greens and other natural sprigs, the traditions of writing holiday letters and cards, plus discovering the customs, foods, and traditions of the holiday season from an early American perspective.

Visitors will also get to meet Der Belsnickel, a mischievous character similar to Santa Claus, who rewards good children with treats. Support for these programs comes from park volunteers, the Berks and Chester County Master Gardener chapters, and the Friends of Hopewell Furnace.

Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site preserves the late 18th and early 19th century setting of an iron-making community, including the charcoal-fueled furnace, and its natural and cultural resources. This community illustrates the essential role of industrialization in the growth of the early United States.

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The park’s facilities are currently open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 am–5 pm. These facilities are closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Hopewell Furnace is located at 2 Mark Bird Lane, Elverson, PA 19520, about five miles south of Birdsboro, PA, off Route 345. For more information, call 610-582-8773 or visit the park website at

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