By Robert B. Gordon
This ebook examines the commercial ecology of two hundred years of ironmaking with renewal power assets in northwestern Connecticut. It specializes in the cultural context of people's judgements approximately know-how and the surroundings, and the sluggish transition they effected of their land from commercial panorama to pastoral countryside.
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Extra info for A Landscape Transformed: The Ironmaking District of Salisbury, Connecticut
Conclusion of the colonial wars with France saw increased demand for iron and for forged products that an ordinary smith could not easily make. Millwrights needed parts for new gristmills, sawmills, and fulling, paper, and oil mills, as well as repair parts for older ones. Shipbuilders wanted larger anchors as they ventured into making bigger vessels. Samuel and Elisha Forbes enlarged their skills and their works to fill all these needs through the 17608, thereby starting what would prove to be one of the district's most important industries (see chap.
New opportunities in the iron trade opened for them in the years before the Revolution. As they exploited these, they transformed the region's ironmaking into a key component of the colonial industrial economy. In 1739 Richard Seymour, a Hartford smith, started ironmaking in East Canaan by building a bloomery forge on the Blackberry River. He smelted iron ore from the recently-opened mine at Ore Hill and forged products needed by the area's settlers. A few years later he took on John Forbes, also a smith from Hartford, as a partner.
John Pell, the surveyor and Ore Hill proprietor, began buying them out with borrowed money, and in 1753 he made himself owner and 24 A Landscape Transformed manager. 5 tons of bar iron per year to his creditors, and Leonard Owen gained possession. Owen subsequently sold the forge to Ethan Allen and partners, who built their blast furnace on or near the site (see chap. 12 A later generation of bloomery entrepreneurs often managed their affairs better. Angus Nicholson, a Scot who settled in New Milford, purchased the site of a sawmill on the West Aspetuck River in 1768 for a bloomery forge.