The Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, Inc. will present the third annual Maryland Iron Festival online during the weekend of May 22 and 23, 2021. In partnership with Cunningham Falls State Park, Catoctin Mountain Park, Frederick County Public Libraries, Visit Frederick, and PopUp Frederick. This free event will “transport” you to the historic iron furnaces featured in our new Iron Road driving tour brochure and to Catoctin Furnace, Maryland where you will experience tours, demonstrations, lessons, music, artisans, craftspeople, archaeology, and history. The Maryland Iron Festival will commemorate the state as a center for the craft of ironmaking and explore the contributions of ironmaking sites from across Maryland and Pennsylvania.. The festival will feature traditional blacksmithing, period music, traditional food preparation demonstrations, garden and trail tours, artisan demonstrations, children’s activities, fascinating archaeology talks about the amazing discoveries at Catoctin Furnace, and more. There will be some Live and Interactive Sessions!
Visitors can also enjoy a virtual tour of the newly installed Catoctin Furnace African American Cemetery Interpretive Trail wayside panels. The trail links the furnace to the historic village and to an overlook near the Catoctin Furnace Cemetery. The Catoctin Furnace was built by workers owned or employed by the four Johnson brothers in order to produce iron from the rich deposits of iron ore found in the nearby mountains. At least 271 enslaved people of African ancestry made up the bulk of Catoctin Furnace’s earliest workers.