Bellefonte Forge House
The Bellefonte Forge House, also known as the John Dunlop House, is located just south of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, in Spring Township, Centre County. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, due to its connection with prominent figures in the iron industry of the early 19th century and because of its domestic architecture influenced by the Federal style. It was built in 1803 by an ironmaster, John Dunlop, who lived there with his wife and four daughters until he was killed in an iron mine collapse in October 1814
Backstory and Context
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Bellefonte became the center of a large iron industry. John Dunlop was one of the most energetic and prosperous of those that went into that business, building Harmony Forge (1795), Belle Font Forge (1797), Logan Furnace (1797), and Washington Forge (1810). It was his father, Lt. Col. James Dunlop, and his brother-in-law, James Harris, who actually laid out the town, now a Borough, of Bellefonte from land that John Dunlop owned. After John Dunlop's death, his iron business was rented, then bought by ironmasters in the Valentine family 1815–1879. This home represents the wealth of those ironmasters as the Valentines added the Victorian porches in the 1860s.
The Bellefonte Forge House was continuously used until 1994 when it became vacant and was damaged by vandals and animals. However, after 2001 it was restored to its past condition by Michael C. Immel. Today, the Bellefonte Forge House still overlooks the water of Logan's Branch where John Dunlop started his Belle Font Forge in 1797.
Linn, John Blair. History of Centre and Clinton Counties, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: Louis Everts, 1883.
"Forge House." Bellefonte Historical & Cultural Association. Accessed August 11, 2018. http://www.bellefontearts.org/Virtual_walk/Forge_House.htm.