Our Story

Nassawango Iron Furnace

From 1828-1850 the Nassawango Iron Furnace was in its heyday. Many workers – miners, sawyers, colliers, molders, draymen, and bargemen – labored to make iron. They gathered bog ore from Nassawango swamp, brought clam and oyster shells up the canal via the Pocomoke River from the Chesapeake Bay, and made charcoal in the Pocomoke Forest.

These raw materials were loaded into the Iron Furnace from the top, heated to 3,000 degrees, and the two resulting liquids were drawn off at the bottom of the furnace. Slag was cooled and tossed into the swamp. Iron was poured into molds and loaded onto barges which were towed down the canal by mule to waiting ships for transport to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York.

Maryland Iron Company

Furnace Town (also called Nescongo or Nasseongo) was a company town built by the Maryland Iron Company. About 300 people lived and worked here. Families tended gardens, hunted for sustenance, kept house, cooked, and cleaned. Children did chores, went to school (sometimes), and played. Contemporary reports paint a picture of small neat yards and flowers in bloom amid the noisy industry. There were blacksmiths, broom makers, wainwrights, wheelwrights, bakers, cobblers, coopers, and weavers among the skilled workers.

By 1850 bankruptcy was declared. The sale advertisement listed 7,000 acres embracing immense beds of iron ore. Included were the furnace, the grist mill and saw mill, the ironmaster’s mansion, houses, store, barns, buildings, tools, 21,000 bushels of charcoal, and 1,650 tons or ore.

Nearly all of the residents moved away to seek employment. A few families stayed on to run a boarding house and the grist mill. By 1929, only the foundations of the buildings and the furnace remained. All of the wooded structures had rotted away.

Restoration work began with the Worcester County Historical Society in the 1960’s. In 1982, Furnace Town Foundation Inc. was formed to own, operate, and interpret the museum historic site.

Board of Directors

Doug Glascox
Board President
Cedars B&B

Ron Geesey
Board Vice-President
Community Leader

Eric Tobiassen
Treasurer
Wilkinson & Tobiassen Accounting Corp.
 

Carol Dorman
Secretary
Community Leader
 

Jeff Bacon
Community Leader

Russell Blake
Pocomoke City Manager, Ret.

Bill Buchanan
Worcester Co. Educator, Ret.

Whitney Carmean
Community Leader

Melissa Fehrer
Community Leader

Josh Fradel
Worcester Co. Board of Ed.

Joe Laque
Community Leader
 

Denny Mecham
Community Leader

Diane Savage
Community Leader

William Shettle
Philadelphia Investments

Doug Westfall
Attorney

Ron Wilson
Worcester Co. Educator, Ret.

Ron Wilson
Worcester Co. Educator, Ret.

How does your support help?

With your support, Furnace Town makes history come to life by preserving, sharing, and stewarding the legacies of our nation, regional, and local cultural heritage. Your support ensures that our stories, and those of our ancestors, are told for generations to come.

Help us:

  • Preserve our collection of historic nineteenth century buildings and artifacts which provide a unique historical experience
  • Engage students of all ages through our educational outreach and Folk School
  • Share our rich cultural heritage through our interpretive programs that provide a direct connection to our shared past

Every gift is tax-deducible, with an impact that reaches more than 3,000 school aged children and 10,000 visitors every year, and thousands more that visit online.

Furnace Town is a private nonprofit 501(c)3 organization with tax-ID: 52-1223314.

 
Membership

Become a member of Furnace Town

and

help preserve our historic village.

Along with the hands-on experience of the buildings, workplaces, artifacts, landscape, and community of Furnace Town, your membership support will help us give visitors a sense of continuity and connectedness with our shared cultural and historical experience.

Depending on your membership level, benefits include free admission, select discounts in the company store, discounted pricing for events and classes, exclusive offers, and VIP access.

Becoming a member online is safe and secure. Simply click the Membership button and fill out the form to make your secure donation. A confirmation email will be sent when you complete your donation.

Want to mail in your Membership contribution instead? Print and complete this form and then mail it with your payment to: Furnace Town, PO Box 207, Snow Hill, MD 21863.

To become a member by phone, call us at 1-410-632-2032. Our office is open Monday-Saturday, 10AM – 5PM; Sunday Noon – 5 pm.

Thank you for becoming a Member!

Furnace Town Living Heritage Village

Membership

In Memoriam
Laurel Anderson
Mary R. Bell
Anne O. Blank & Soren Peterson
Ruth Bowie
Louis P. Johnson

 

Lifetime ($1000)
Randy & Ann Coates
John & Linda Lynch
Robert & Glenda Clarke
Joshua & Rosalyn Fradel
Jack & Martha Graham
Karen Prengaman
Ricks & Diane Savage
Dr. Mark E. Williams
Kemp Wills


Supporter ($150)
Grace A. Ayers
Caerlaverock  Farms
Bob & Kathy Fisher
Martha Fulton


Champion ($100)
Jeff & Melissa Bacon
The Corner Shoppe
Mary Anne Freeman
Barbara & Kirk Hudson
Larry & Susanne Knudsen
Rick & Sophika Smith
Calvin B. Taylor Bank


Patron ($75)
Howard & Barbara Cash, Jr.
Susan & Hugh Cropper III
Ron Geesey
Ellen George
Thomas C. Henon
Susan Jackson-Stein
Phillip & Rue Johnson
Gerry & Jan King
Alice Tweedy
John & Bonnie Waltz

Family ($50)
The Age Family
Jon & Laurie Andes
Hal & Pat Arata
Jeffrey & Barbara Banks
Alexander & Andrea Bragg
Russell & Lynn Blake
Nancy O. & Martha M. Blank
Richard & Vera Bolen
Chuck & Ruth F. Bowie
Brahosky Family
William Buchanan
Laurel Campbell & Scott Dahlberg
Skip & Jackie Carey
Michael & Annette Conger
Creek Point Farm
Debbie Darden & Richard Segars
Delmarva Coins & Precious Metals
Rico & Faith DiMattia
Barbara & Patric Dittrich
Charlie & Carol Dorman
Theo & Charlie Ewers
Lloyd & Deborah Flood
Doug & Sherry Glascox
Tom & Kelley Gravenor
Ed Haile
Carl & Joyce Hale
Lorraine & Harold Heidrich
Sandy & Bruce Hornung
HVAC Services Unlimited
Laura & Buddy Jenkins
Kyle Johnson
Thomas & Rosemary Keech
Bill & Joleen Killinger
Margie & Tony Labesky
Daniel M. & Barbara C. Long
Stephanie McAllister
Virginia N. McIlroy
Joseph & Susan Moore
Richard & Anne Morris
Geren & Claudine Mortensen
Jack & Elizabeth Moyer
A.W. & Jennie Owen
Janet Owens
Roger & Sandra Pacella
Kate Patton & Steve Farr
Harry & Cordie Pearson
Ron & Pat Pilling
Cathy Potter
William & Pamela Riley
Patrick Rofe & Simone Myree
JoAnn Shoemaker
Richard & Ann Smith
Sandy Stevens
Kenneth & Arlene Thom
Linda & Frank Tobat
Paul & Anne Twining
Emme & Bill Villaume
George & Patricia Ward
Frank & Joyce Warren
Llyod & Betty Whitehead
Robert & Diane Wilson
Dorothy Wilson
Jeff & Bonnie Wolfersberger
George & Carol Zaiser, II

Blacksmith Guild ($35)
Charles Alicks
Nathan Douse
Sean M. Evans
Larry Furst
Biazzio Giordano Jr.
Thomas C. Henon
Andrew Johanson
Kelly Johanson
Aaron McGee
Bob Paden, Jr.
Edward Tudor
Steven Twilley Jr
Brian Wilson
Dr. Mark E. Williams
Elisiah Wolfersberger


Individual ($25)
Avery W. Hall Insurance
Gary Lee Beauchamp
Jacob Bell
Mary Ann Bennett
Margaret Bortz
Kirk Burbage
Dr. Marisa Carey
Chesapeake Artworks
Carey Chiropractic
Raleigh (Jay) Cathell
Lee & Kathryn Chisholm
Maureen Cody
Debra J. Davis
Dean & Donna DeFino
Donald  Dezso
Penny Dixon-Gumm
Sharon Doss
Glenn R. Esham
Joseph & Kimberly Fehrer
Melissa Fehrer
Ann & Ernie Gibb
Nancy Goldsmith
Bob & Nancy Gribbon
Dency Y. Hanna
Nancy G. Hickman
Hileman Real Estate
Sharon & Larry Himes
John Jordan
Noel Justice
Barbara Kambarn
Mark Keyes
Kim A. Klump
Louise Littleton
Kim M. Lynch
Gary Marine
Judith Menavich
Hunter Nelms
Barbara C. Nelson
Gloria P. Nolan
Richard Norman, Jr.
Douglas & Suzanne S. Parks
Steve Parris
June Pettit
Jennifer Porter
Michael R. Pruitt
Richard & Nancy Roberts
Sharon Roeble
Judith B. Rutkiewic
Ralph & Joyce Shockley
Susan J. Stevenson
Mike & Grace Tartaglia
Mary Joyce Townsend
Janice Ward
Joseph & Shirley White
Ron Wilson

We Love Our Volunteers!

Thank you for your help!

Your time and talent can make a real difference. Volunteers are vital to Furnace Town and bring expertise, experience, and passion to the work that they do.

There are one-time and recurring opportunities for youth, families, groups and individuals.

Click the button below to sign up as a volunteer at Furnace Town and help bring history to life!

Sponsorship

Help make history come to life!

Each year Furnace Town welcomes more than 10,000 visitors and 3,000 schoolchildren making it one of the busiest living heritage museums in the region - with thousands more that visit online. They come to see its artisans, historic buildings, and attend signature events like the Chesapeake Celtic Festival. 

There are a number of ways for visitors to learn about our region’s cultural heritage that include guided tours, classes in the Furnace Town folk School, family friendly events and our very own archaeology, nature, and history programs. 

We’re always happy to work closely with our sponsors to ensure that their needs and objectives are met. Some of the benefits of sponsorship at Furnace Town are:

Brand Visibility

Logo and company name listed on website, marketing materials, social media, and prominently displayed during events and in the Visitor Center.

Recognition

We are grateful for the support we receive from local businesses. We make sure that we thank our sponsors before, during, and after every event and throughout the year.

VIP access to Furnace Town

Depending on your level of sponsorship you may host a corporate retreat or other event at Furnace Town, receive complimentary tickets to events, and discounted or complimentary admission. Benefits include:

  • Free and discounted admission
  • Free and discounted ticket to events
  • Logo and company name listed on marketing materials and website
  • Special Access to Furnace Town for client and corporate entertaining or training
  • An affiliation with a nationally recognized historic museum

Thank you for considering a corporate sponsorship at Furnace Town Living Heritage Village.

With your support, Furnace Town brings history to life by preserving, sharing, and stewarding the legacies of our national, regional, and local cultural heritage. Your support ensures that our stories and those of our forebears are told for generations.

Help us:

  • Preserve our collection of historic nineteenth century buildings and artifacts that  provide a unique historical experience
  • Engage students of all ages through our educational outreach and Folk School
  • Share our rich cultural heritage through our interpretive programs that provide a direct connection to our shared past

Every gift is tax-deductible, with an impact that reaches more than 3,000 school aged children and 10,000 visitors every year, and thousands more that visit online.

Furnace Town is a private nonprofit 501(c)3 organization with tax-ID: 52-1223314.

To become a sponsor, please contact executive director, Patrick Rofe, to discuss how your business can benefit from sponsoring Furnace Town Living Heritage Village.

Furnace Town Sponsors

Thank-You!

Apple Discount Drugs
Avery Hall Insurance
The Bank of Delmarva
Baxter Enterprises
Blue Dog Café
The Cedars B&B of Snow Hill
Charles Brown Glass Co.
Chesapeake Bay Farms Dairy
Claudia Nicholls State Farm Insurance
Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore
Concord Pet
The Corner Shoppe
The Country Flag Shop
Delmarva Coins & Precious Metals
Delmarva Discovery Center
Delmarva Shorebirds
E.D. Supply Co.
Eastern Shore Distributing

Farmers & Planters Co.
First Shore Federal
Food Rite of Snow Hill
Gary Marine Photography
Goody Hill Sand & Gravel
Harrison House Snow Hill
Harvest Moon
Howl Naturale
Humphrey's Foundation
Johnson's Feed & Seed
Julia A. Purnell Museum
Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Council
Maryland State Arts Council
Midway Chevrolet Buick Cadillac
OC Pets
Ocean City/Berlin Optimist Club
Paul Jones Lumber Co.
Pause for Paws
Paws & Claws

 

PepsiCo
Perio Solutions
Pesky Grass Creative
PetCo
PetsMart
Pocomoke River Canoe Company
Progressus Therapy
River Gem Bed & Breakfast
Salisbury Art Institute & Gallery
Salisbury Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine
Salisbury University
Sam's Club
Tails 'N Tubs
The Mayor & Council of Snow Hill
Tractor Supply
Verus Holistic Pet Foods
Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art
Worcester County Arts Council