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Hopewell Furnace is an example of an American 19th century rural "iron plantation". The buildings include a blast furnace, the ironmaster's house and auxiliary structures including a blacksmith's shop, a company store and several workers’ houses. Hopewell Furnace was founded in 1771 by ironmaster Mark Bird. The site's most prosperous time was during the 1820–1840 period with a brief boom in production during the American Civil War. In the mid-19th century changes in iron making, including a shift from charcoal to anthracite rendered smaller furnaces like Hopewell obsolete. The site discontinued operations in 1883
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