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Brownsport Furnace
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Old Newspaper Stories
Brownsport Chronology
Furnace Vocabulary List
Decatur Furnace
Iron Furnace Trail
Tennessee Iron Furnaces
Tennessee Furnace Links

Iron Furnace Trail Project

The history and legacy of Tennessee’s nineteenth century iron industry, especially on and around the Western Highland Rim, is both intriguing and elusive.  Touching at least fourteen counties along or in proximity to the Tennessee River, the existing resources include the remnants of the furnaces, the archaeological sites, the documentary evidence, and oral traditions.

 

The Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU in cooperation with the Buffalo/Duck River Resource Conservation & Development District, with funding from the United States Forest Service, is beginning a project to explore and interpret these resources both individually and collectively.

 

Under the working title of the “Iron Furnace Trail Project,” we are in the process of collecting research and photographing these sites this spring.  We are well aware, from a conference held on this topic at Montgomery Bell State Park last April, that many individuals and groups are also interested in this topic and have information associated with specific furnaces.  We would very much appreciate your assistance as we collect this varied research into a useful and accessible compilation.

 

The purpose, then, of this research phase is to have a collection that will support public awareness and permit the development of media products, such as brochures and a web site, to connect and interpret these resources.  In the fall of 2005, three workshops will be held to invite public participation and planning for these and other products, activities, and other efforts related to the “Iron Furnace Trail.”

 

We are interested in any additional information that you may have on the Brownsport or any other furnaces that you may know about. Please contact me if you would like to help us with this project.

 

Michael Thomas Gavin, Preservation Specialist,
Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area

Some of the information on this site is credited to Michael Thomas Gavin. His help has been outstanding and Decatur County appreciates it very much. Mr. Gavin is a staff member of the Professional Services and Outreach program of the National Heritage Area which provides assistance to communities, agencies, and organizations in planning and conducting interpretive, education, and heritage development projects. The National Heritage Area is a partnership unit of the National Park Service and receives federal and state funding. All counties qualify for this free assistance, though priority is given to projects in communities located along historic rivers and trails. Mike is currently working to help create the Iron Furnace Trail here in the Western Highland Rim of Tennessee and his efforts stretch throughout the entire region.

Michael Thomas Gavin, Preservation Specialist
Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area
P.O. Box 80
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37132
direct: 615-898-5877; main: 615-898-2947

mtgavin@mtsu.edu

Jake Grice (left) of the Parks Dept. and Michael Thomas Gavin (right) with MTSU and the Historic Preservation Department pose next to the base of the first Brownsport Furnace located next to the Tennessee river and Brownsport Landing

 

 

 

 

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