Within this Roxbury, Connecticut, forest stands an enormous cold blast furnace. This is known as Mine Hill Preserve, a 19th-century ironmaking complex that was in operation from 1865 to 1872, turning ore into steel.
In addition to the blast furnaces, there resides a rock quarry off one of the trails. Roxbury was known for its light-gray stone. The material built churches, bridges, and beautiful homes from New York City to New Britain.
The furnace and mining operation closed in 1905, and the rock quarry in 1935. It was added to the National Registry of Historic Places on June 24th, 1979. Now, the remnants of this gigantic furnace, sister furnaces, and quarry remain for visits dawn until dusk.
Know Before You Go
Mine Hill Preserve is on a land trust and therefore open to the public from dawn until dusk. There is a parking area on Mine Hill Road that provides access to all the trails. There is a very short loop path leading to the main area where the blast furnaces are located, and a longer 3.5-mile trail that loops through the areas where the 18th and 19th-century mining activities took place. Placards are placed around the site for those interested in the history of Mine Hill.