SNOW HILL – Several new events at Furnace Town are aimed at welcoming visitors back to the historic site for the 2021 season.
After being closed nearly the entirety of 2020 because of the pandemic, the connections of Furnace Town are working hard this spring to renew interest in the 19th century Nassawango Iron Furnace and the village around it. A variety of new events have been created to bring people back to Furnace Town.
“It’s been a heavy lift,” said Claudia Nagle, Furnace Town’s executive director. “We’re really putting our faith on this season to put us back on track.”
Furnace Town, located on Old Furnace Road in Snow Hill, features the Nassawango Iron Furnace as well as a collection of 19th century buildings, including a blacksmith shop, broom house, church and one-room schoolhouse. The buildings have been moved there over the years in an effort to preserve local heritage.
“There’s a lot of history here,” Nagle said. “In addition to the furnace, we have a fine collection of historic buildings from around Worcester County. All have been moved to Furnace Town. See what life was like in the 1840s.”
In addition, visitors can explore the wooded trails around the historic site.
“There’s also a lot of nature, natural resources and hiking,” she said. “It’s just a really pretty place to come.”
Nagle said the historic site was offering special events this year to draw in visitors. Community days, such as Snow Hill Day and Berlin Day, have been scheduled to give residents of various municipalities the chance to visit for half of the site’s usual $8 entrance fee. People will be able to see the old furnace and the artisan shops as well as learn from exhibitors. Nagle said they’ll be able to see a blacksmith at work, talk with a woman who interprets family quilts and enjoy music.
“We have a lot of different events, large and small, to get people to come back to Furnace Town,” Nagle said.
Among the larger events planned for 2021 is Barbecue, Beer and Blues in July and a Renaissance Festival in August. A crab feast is being planned for October.
“We’re also looking at ways to work together with other nonprofits,” Nagle said.
She’s optimistic that the school tours, which have been a mainstay at Furnace Town in the past, will be able to resume soon. Furnace Town’s closure during much of the pandemic had a big impact on the nonprofit’s income.
“Gate admissions, school tours and events are the way we keep our doors open,” Nagle said.
Despite the challenges of the past year she’s looking forward to promoting the site so visitors can continue to get a glimpse of what local life was like in the 1800s.
“We really want to preserve the history and heritage of Worcester County,” she said.
Furnace Town is open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.furnacetown.org.