The Liberty Furnace

Location: On the road that runs from Jerome to Columbia Furnace, and is almost to the mountain. The property is four miles northwest of Jerome, Virginia.

Built: 1773


7 Nov 1826: Walter Newman by patent

11 Apr 1874: Benjamin P. Newman and Henrietta, his wife

22 Jul 1874: Henrietta J. Newman

30 Aug 1877: Mark Bird, Moses Walton, Henry C. Allen special commissioners to Benjamin P. and Henrietta J. Newman sold to Franklin Wissler.

9 Feb 1905: The Quaker City National Bank of Philadelphia, Joseph Jackson, John and Elizabeth Gaffney, the Monarch Blast Furnace Company, Incorporated, to Shenandoah Iron and Coal Company.

10 Jan 1916: E.D. Newman to Joseph T. Jackson

Description of the two stoves made at the Liberty Furnace

It has been learned that Isaac Zane made stoves at this furnace as early as 1775. They were of the fireplace stove variety. Two sides were inscribed in German from the verse in the Bible telling of the lion, leopard, calf and lamb lying down together; and above the inscription, is a picture of the same. On the back plate, which is facing the room, is the fig tree and the verse below it taken from the Bible, describing the peaceful scene of the man sitting under his own fig tree. The top of the stove is plain, and was used to bake hot cakes on. The front of the stove was open and was pushed against the back of the room fireplace which had an opening the size of the stove which opened into the kitchen fireplace. The wood was put in from there, which fed the fire.

A later model, which was made from this furnace, was called the Tin Plate Stove. This stove was set upon a fancy wrought iron frame about sixteen inches from the floor. On the top half and about the center of the stove is an oblong opening with a door on each side of the stove; this was used as the oven.

Historical Significance

The Liberty Furnace property was built before grants were given. The first deed to be found was dated 1826, and was a patent.

In 1905, a new boiler was installed at the furnace, by the Shenandoah Iron and Coal company, after they took over the property. The furnace was run only two years after that.

At Henrietta Furnace, there are two iron girders across each fireplace opening, which were made at Columbia Furnace; and are so stamped.

Liberty Furnace Property

In 1828, a large brick house was built by Walter Newman, at the top of the hill. This house was built in the old fashioned way. The walls are solid brick, a foot or more thick. The windows have twelve panes. The back part of the house is frame and was added later.

The old log house which sits to the right and back of the brick house was built when the furnace was first built. This house which originally had half windows, was used as living quarters by the white people until the brick house was built; then it was used as quarters for Mr. Newman's slaves, and slaves were sold from there. This house has been modernized as to doors and windows; otherwise it is (1937) as originally built. There is a large fireplace in the kitchen and one in another room downstairs. Upstairs is unfinished. The rooms are partitioned with wide boards.

Source: Virginia W.P.A. Historical Inventory Project, 1937

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Created October 19 2001