Katahdin Iron Works State Historic Site
From 1843 until 1890, the Katahdin Iron Works transformed wood, water and ore from Maine into iron for tools, machine parts and railroad wheels. This remote industrial settlement, in the heart of the North Woods, had boarding houses, a town hall, a company store, hay farms for company horses and even a luxury hotel.
Flames from the Iron Works lit up the sky. Up to 10,000 cords of wood per years were burned in kilns, which created charcoal. This, in turn, was fed into blast furnaces that smelted iron into ingots. Wagons first hauled the freight; a railroad came later.
Rising costs and competition from outside Maine finally shuttered the Iron Works. Almost all of it has disappeared. A blast furnace and charcoal kiln remain, their fires long extinguished.