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Photo's of Brownsport Furnace I and II

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The following photo's were taken by Jeff Kobiske, Decatur County Parks Director on 01/12/05 They may take time to load. To see them enlarged simply click on them. To return to this page use your browsers back button. We are searching for photos that might depict or show any of the buildings in the area before they all crumbled away. Contact us at 731-847-6225 or email us by Clicking Here if you have some or would like to help with restoration.

Jake Grice of the Parks Dept. and Michael Thomas Gavin with MTSU and the Historic Preservation Department pose next to the base of the first Brownsport Furnace located next to the Tennessee river and Brownsport Landing Another view of what remains of Brownsport Furnace I. The old timers say that Grants gun boats shelled and blew the furnace up while traveling south to Shiloh. Some evidence of this is found as pieces of the interior are littered all over the hill 60 yards behind it.

Judge Hardin Smith and other men in the county worked to get Brownsport Furnace listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. Today our current County Mayor Kenneth Broadway is also leading the way to preserve our history.

This is the view of the Furnace stack when standing on the south side of it. Notice the large Iron rails in it. This is the view of the Furnace stack when standing on the East side of it. Looking at the left side of the stack notice the five air vents missing the doors to them.

This is a view of the hillside behind the furnace. It shows the stone walls that were built as retainers and the area where the ramp went from the hill out over to the furnace.

This is another view of the hillside behind the furnace. At the top of this hill about 100 yards to the east, is the area that the miners dug the limestone and Iron ore out.
The photo above shows a close up view of one of the air vents or shafts on the outside wall of the furnace. There are five of these total running up the edge of the wall. above and below each are steel hinges that had iron or steel doors attached to the to control the flow of air. The photo shows one of two large bolts that are located near the base of the furnace. We do not know exactly what they were used for but suspect they held some sort of equipment in place. they are about three inch's thick and only threaded near the top. This is either the slag pipe or the iron pipe. there is a smaller pipe just to the lower left of this one. The pipe appears to be made of steel and is about 10 inches wide. the smaller pipe is about 6 inches wide. This is a photo of the basement area of a building that was located about 100 yards from the furnace. There are large corner stones, a deep basement with the walls still intact and lots of bricks lying lose all around the area.


The Photo above is of the Old General Store located at the Brownsport Furnace, Near Furnace town.




About our restoration efforts.


By Jeff Kobiske


Let us hope that efforts are successful in restoring The Brownsport Furnace area and buildings. We should thank Judge Hardin Smith and the other county leaders whom helped to get the site listed at the National Register. Thanks also should go to County Mayor Kenneth Broadway for adding the area to the county parks system and for his push towards revitalizing the area.


Under his direction current plan's are underway to rebuild the area into a tourist attraction for the county. Work is being done to gather research information on the area, its buildings and the people that lived and worked there.


There is a need for volunteers that would like to help with the project too. If you would like to help, maybe you have a picture, a letter, or any other piece of the past that involves the furnace or the company or area please let us know.

You can email us at or call us at 731-847-6225


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