The OES visited Hope Furnace on April 6, 2002. We had previously visited the furnace on March 30, 2002, to record for EVP but took no photographs at that time. We took plenty f photos on April's return trip. Hope Furnace was founded in 1854 by Colonel Putnam and some others. Hope Furnace may have originally been called Big Sand Furnace since there were two large rocks in front of the furnace that read, "BIG SAND FURNACE BUILT BY WH WILSON." The furnace remained in operation until 1875, producing some of the finest iron in the world in its day. Fueled by coal from nearby Moonville, Hope Furnace also manufactured various pieces of weaponry during the Civil War. On its best day, the furnace could produce up to fifteen tons of cast iron and operated 24 hours a day. But when the industrial revolution and the Civil War came to an end, so did Hope Furnace.
But some say that one worker has never left his post...enter the legend of Hope Furnace. During the furnace's operating days, watchmen were employed to oversee the furnace at night to tend the fires since the furnace was a 24-hour operation. The watchmen used lanterns to guide them along their rounds, which sometimes took them to the top of the furnace. One stormy night, a bright bolt of lightning temporarily blinded one of the watchmen as he was walking along the top of the furnace. Not being able to see where he was walking, the watchman fell into the furnace. The bubbling ore quickly melt his body away. It is said on stormy nights, a dark figure carrying a lantern can be seen walking around the top of the furnace until lightning strikes close by, at which time the figure disappears. We did pick up some strange things on the EVP recording during our night visit to Hope Furnace. We also recorded some higher-than-usual EMF readings in the area surrounding the furnace.