Sheep Shearing and Spring Charcoal Burn planned at Hopewell Furnace May 13

Hopewell Furnace invites the public to attend its annual sheep shearing and spring charcoal burn on Saturday, May 13. Visitors will have the opportunity to observe both 21st and 19th century techniques for shearing sheep from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., rain or shine.

At 11:00 a.m. park volunteer colliers will light and begin the spring charcoal burn demonstrating the process for converting wood to charcoal in the 19th century. The charcoal burn will last 7 days around the clock with the conclusion occurring on Saturday, May 20.

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Support for these programs comes from the Friends of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. Along with these demonstrations, park staff and volunteers will be present to discuss and demonstrate fiber arts, blacksmithing, and gardening techniques from the time period. All programs are open to the public and free of charge.

Hopewell Furnace was established as a National Historic Site on August 3, 1938 and 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. The furnace was established in 1771 by Ironmaster Mark Bird and operated as a furnace for the next 112 years.

The park’s facilities are currently open Wednesday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Hopewell Furnace is located at 2 Mark Bird Lane, Elverson, PA 19520 about five miles south of Birdsboro, PA, off Route 345. Admission to the park is free. For more information, call 610-582-8773 or visit the park’s web site at

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