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Dating back to1832, Etna Furnace was one of the original iron furnaces of the Hanging Rock Iron Region. The furnace produced iron until it went cold in 1887. This furnace was located on the old Iron Railroad system and was also part of Lawrence County's "Underground Railroad" as the furnace's owners supported hired many black workers, including those who were traveling on their way from slavery to freedom.


Located just south of Pedro, Ohio, and east of the OH 93 junction with the Etna-Waterloo Road, the old Furnace still stands on the north side of the road and has been uncovered by the US Forest Service. Records for the furnace remain and show that one of its teamsters in the 1870s was Calvin Sanders. Sanders was one of the Blacks manumitted by Sampson Sanders of Cabell County in 1849. Calvin went to Michigan with the others, but returned to Lawrence County which was as close as he could get to Cabell County, (West) Virginia without being arrested. He spent the rest of his live in Lawrence County, OH.

Eldridge, Carrie: An Empire for Freedom - The Manumission of Sampson Sanders Slaves

Eldridge, Carrie: Records of the Etna Iron Furnace

Federal Census Records: Lawrence County, OH 1860, 1870, 1880

Cass County, MI Deed Books