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Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site
Preservation and Reconstruction
The oldest remaining building from
the original Saugus Iron Works, the Iron Works House (built circa 1680) was
purchased in 1915 by photographer Wallace Nutting, who restored the building at
the urging of William Sumner Appleton. Appleton founded the organization which
became Historic New England, and had a family connection to the Iron Works.
Local residents, particularly women (including the local chapter of the
Daughters of the American Revolution), advocated for historic preservation of
the site, and formed the First Iron Works Association to organize their
efforts. After fundraising efforts led, in part, by Louise Hawkes, the Town of
Saugus purchased the property in 1944. Archaeological excavations funded by the
American Iron and Steel Institute during the 1940s-50s, under the supervision
of Roland W. Robbins. Archaeological findings were incorporated into the
reconstruction process, and artifacts displayed in the museum. Opened to the
public in the early 1950s, the site was added to the National Parks System in
The Saugus Iron Works Today
Today, the Saugus Iron Works
consists of features including a visitor's center with tours; a museum focused
on archaeology, ecology and industrial development, and the history of the
area's Native Americans and the Massachusetts Bay Colony; the Iron Works House,
which can be toured; the blast furnace with its original 17th century water
wheel; the forge, with an original anvil base and hammer; a 17th-century herb
garden; the rolling and slitting mill; a blacksmith shop with live
demonstrations; a warehouse and dock; and a nature trail along the Saugus
River. The park around the site contains more than 200 plant species and 74
bird, 11 mammal, 4 reptile and amphibian, and 11 fish species.
SourcesNational Park Service. "Saugus Iron Works." 2015. Accessed July 13, 2018. https://www.nps.gov/sair/index.htm.
Saugus, MA 01906
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