The Blast Furnace
The archaeological vestiges of the blast furnace have been displayed in a way that may be initially surprising, if not actually disturbing. The framework of metal tubing was designed to provide a gauge of the exterior volumes of the various buildings which at one time surrounded the blast furnace, forming an intricate complex with the latter.
The blast furnace was the very heart of the Forges. For more than 150 years, thousands of tons of pig iron were produced on this site, in what amounted to an important first step toward producing castings and wrought iron objects.
Come on in! The inside is as surprising as the outside.
Inside The Blast Furnace
What raw materials went into the production of cast iron? How and where was iron ore to be found? Why were limestone and charcoal used?
Once you have finished exploring the blast furnace, head down to the lower forge, where the pig iron was converted into bar iron.
The Lower Forge
Chimney and remains of the lower forge.© Parks Canada / Pierre Ferrer
By taking the trail along the St. Maurice Creek, you will pass in front of the vestiges of the upper forge and of the flour and wood mill.
You will soon seen a very tall stone chimney, an amazing vestige rising almost 15 m above the ground. It is in fact the chimney of the lower forge, which was built a few dozen metres from the St. Maurice River.
An amphitheatre is now located on the spot. There, you may sit in comfort while the guides explain how ingots or pigs were refined and rehammered until forming bar iron.
It's a beautiful riverside site you won't want to pass up.