1830: Harford Furnace formed
On Nov. 5, 1830, an indenture was drawn up between Samuel Irwin, John Kirk and John Withers, three entrepreneurs from Pennsylvania who sought "to carry on and work a furnace on James Run called the Harford Furnace." With $18,000, the partners purchased 1,947 acres on which to construct the furnace and outbuildings. In 1833, two of the partners sold their shares and the ironworks became known as Harford Furnace Co. At its peak in the late 1850s, Harford Furnace comprised 5,000 acres with 48 buildings, including a library, post office, general store, chemical building, warehouses, mills and residences. By 1878 the company had largely declined, leaving only a few houses and the post office. The Harford Furnace School, however, operated until 1948.