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Described in 1878 as a “recently erected, modern, two-story house, occupied by a member of the [Curtins & Co.] firm”; home of James B. Curtin (ironmaster, postmaster, grandson of Eagle Iron Works founder Roland Curtin), his wife Virginia Elizabeth (“Jennie”) Holter, and their children until James’ death in 1890; occupied in the mid-twentieth century until July 1986 by the family of Hugh Laird (“Bud”) Curtin Jr., son of Eagle Iron Works' last ironmaster, H.L. Curtin Sr.

Manager's House, 2008.

Plant, Building, Window, Tree

Eagle Iron Works and Curtin Village formed the hub of a 900-acre iron plantation employing as many as 200 full- and part-time workers annually throughout much of its 112 years of operation. Founded in 1810 when Irish immigrant Roland Curtin Sr. and Cumberland County native Moses Boggs established Eagle Forge along Bald Eagle Creek downstream from Milesburg, the charcoal-fueled and water-powered Iron Works was expanded through the addition of Eagle Furnace in 1818 (a mile southwest of Eagle Forge), a rolling mill near Eagle Furnace in 1830, and Pleasant Furnace beside Eagle Forge in 1848. Following his purchase of a gristmill tract beside Eagle Forge in 1825, Roland Curtin (by then the Works’ sole proprietor) began laying out a workers’ village on the European model, with single-family cabins arranged around an oblong village green. Just east of this “Curtin Village” Roland erected an elegant ironmaster’s mansion for himself and his large family in 1830-31. Upon his retirement in 1848 and return to Bellefonte (where he died in 1850), several of his sons took over the business, which they and their descendants managed with uneven success until fire destroyed the Pleasant Furnace complex in 1921, leading to the closure of Eagle Forge the following year. In its final days, Eagle Iron Works featured the last operating cold-blast charcoal furnace in Pennsylvania. Restoration and reproduction efforts beginning in 1971 give visitors rare views into the lives and labors of central Pennsylvanians who helped propel the region into the forefront of American iron production in the early decades of the 19th century.

Eagle Iron Works and Curtin Village Self-Guided Walking Tour. Produced in 2019 by the Roland Curtin Foundation for the Preservation of Eagle Furnace, Inc.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Roland Curtin Foundation Collection