MG-175. PINE GROVE FURNACE COLLECTION, 1785-1914.
Records of the Pine Grove Furnace, Cumberland County, as well as records of business concerns connected with the operation of the furnace, covering the period 1785 through 1914. The furnace was originally built by George Stevenson, Robert Thornburgh and Joseph Thornburgh in 1782. By the early nineteenth century, Michael Ege became sole owner of the furnace, which continued to be operated by members of the Ege family until 1838. In that year it was sold to C. B. Penrose and Frederick Watts and operated successfully under the management of William M. Watts from 1845 until 1864, when it was sold to William G. Moorehead, who in turn deeded the furnace to the newly organized South Mountain Iron Company. In 1877, the iron company folded and the Pine Grove property was purchased by Jackson C. Fuller, who in the same year transferred the property to South Mountain Mining and Iron Company, whose major stockholders included John M. Butler, Jay Cooke, Edward J. Williams, Barclay J. Woodward, and William H. Woodward. In 1891 several tracts of Pine Grove land in Adams and Cumberland Counties were conveyed to the Fuller Brick and Slate Company, Ltd., which manufactured bricks up to around 1913. In about 1895, the Pine Grove Furnace ceased operations. The following is a sample list of volumes which have entries pertaining to African Americans:
Day Books, 1790-1882. Volumes used in bookkeeping that contain daily records of receipts and expenditures in the order of their occurrence. The following are typical entries on African Americans: "December 24, 1779: Sundries Debited to Peter Coleman: Negro Ben for soling 1 pair shoes own leather"; "Furnace Debited to Sundries: To Negro Ben for 12 mon work at 37/6."
Journals, 1789-1911. Daily records of financial transactions of the Pine Grove Furnace. Journal entries are in order of their occurrence. Typical entries for African Americans are: "Jan. 19, 1799: Sundries Debited to Store: Negro Jonathan for 3 1/2 yards Dowlas [and] 1 pair Shoes"; "Feb. 9, 1799: Sundries Debited to Cash: Negro Ben paid Fistle"; "Feb. 23, 1799: Sundries Debited to Cash: Negro Ben paid for Sundries"; "Feb. 23, 1799: Sundries Debited to Store: Negro Jonathan for 2 Twists Tobacco"; "April 20, 1799: Sundries to Debited to Store: Negro Bob for 1 pair Shoes."
Provision Books, 1811-1848. Volumes used to record provisions purchased by workers on credit at the company store. African Americas documented in the entries are: "Negro Stephen, Negro Sampson, and Negro Lewis."
Time Books, 1803-1914. Registers used to record the days worked by individuals at Pine Grove Furnace. Information includes the name of the employee, the type of work (in some cases), and whether he or she worked on a particular day. African Americans whose workdays are documented are: "Negro Isaac, Negro Stephen, Negro Ben, Negro Lewis, and Negro Venis."