Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Off the Beaten Path: Airdrie Iron Furnace

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY—For this week’s installment of Off the Beaten Path, iSurf News would like to present a well-hidden landmark that outdoors lovers, historians, adventure seekers, and curious locals can all appreciate: Airdrie Furnace.

Located in Muhlenberg County on a section of untamed shoreline adjacent to the mighty Green River, the Airdrie Furnace stands as a quiet testament to mid 19th Century engineering. In addition, the remains of the forest-bound historic site looks like something straight out of an Indiana Jones flick. What’s more is that the site carries behind it a history that is well worth regional interest.

The hand-built furnace tower was erected in 1855 by Sir Robert Alexander, a Kentucky-born descendant of a titled Scottish family. At a young age, Alexander purchased around 17,000 acres of land stretching along the Green River where a hefty deposit of native iron had previously been discovered. Soon afterward, Alexander employed the services of several miners and furnace workers from his family’s native Scottish lands in an attempt to develop the area. After their arrival, Alexander and his crew, which has been reported to include a number of prison workers, constructed houses for the workers as well as the approximately 70 foot tall iron-shell stack. In addition, the workers built a three-story sandstone structure made for housing furnace blast machinery and rolling mills. This housing structure still stands adjacent to the tower today and clearly displays an imprinted stone on its façade, which reads, “Airdrie: 1855.”

However, after a number of failed efforts to keep the furnace in operation, as well as an overall loss of approximately $300,000, the project and village of Airdrie (which was named after the Alexander’s Scottish homeland) were completely abandoned by Alexander and his men within a short span of just a few years.

Interestingly enough, not one single pound of salable iron was ever produced from the furnace due to the fact that the native iron ore of Kentucky required a metallurgical treatment that was unfamiliar to the Scottish iron workers.

From old-world archways, a three-story set of hand-laid stone steps, as well as the furnace tower and machinery building, visiting the now overgrown and long-abandoned structures is truly awe-inspiring.

In addition to the included photos and brief historical background, well-known local author, Lisa D. Piper, has recently released a historical fiction novel based on the area, its history, and some of the people involved. The book is entitled, “One Mile Below Paradise,” which is partially in reference to a once neighboring town to Airdrie actually called Paradise, and is now available for purchase. To purchase a copy of the book, visit www.lisapiper.com. The novel will soon be available at Readmore Bookstore in Madisonville’s Parkway Plaza Mall as well.   

Luke Short
iSurf News
Historical information provided by www.oldindustry.org and www.waymarking.com.

Click on the slide-show player below for more pictures iSurf reporters captured while visiting the historic Airdrie Furnace site.

 

 

 



 

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
2/18 - 553 clicks
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
2/18 - 553 clicks
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
2/18 - 553 clicks
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
2/18 - 553 clicks
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 15, 2014 15449

UPDATE- U.S. Bank Robbery, Bomb Threat…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 11, 2014 5291

Sheriff's Office Rounds Up Three in Drug…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 14, 2014 5059

U.S. Bank Hanson on Lockdown Due to Bomb…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 14, 2014 4859

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 11, 2014 4338

Greenville Police Confirm Official…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 14, 2014 4859

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 13, 2014 4156

One Dead in Two Vehicle Head On Collision

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 11, 2014 3758

Couple Charged for Trying to Use Funny…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
April 12, 2014 2649

One Injured in Two Vehicle Accident in…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 11, 2014 2447

Hopkins County Crime Stoppers Tip Leads…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 14, 2014 1042

Grow Garden Grow - Spring Has Sprung

in News by Barbara Cecil Russ
April 13, 2014 798

Two Daviess County Men Busted for…

in Top Stories by Scott Gibbs
April 11, 2014 706

Business Spotlight: Local Entrepreneur…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 11, 2014 467

Daviess County Student Honored in KDA…

in Top Stories by Ted Sloan
April 14, 2014 437

Owensboro Health Hosts Tours for…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 11, 2014 5291

Sheriff's Office Rounds Up Three in Drug…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 11, 2014 4338

Greenville Police Confirm Official…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 11, 2014 3502

Meteorologist Hart Shares Weather Tips,…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 13, 2014 2077

Muhlenberg 4-H is Buzzing

in Top Stories by Janie Culton
April 14, 2014 1425

MCC Staff Shares Good News with…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03