Furnace was a remote and isolated area on Richland Creek about one mile southeast of Bloomfield in Richland Township.  It received its name in 1840 when pioneer Andrew Downing had the initiative to construct and operate a blast furnace with which to separate pig iron from iron ore.  There were plenty of iron ore in the hills nearby.  At its peak, about one-hundred men were employed and as the workers settled around the blast furnace and businesses opened, the settlement became known as Furnace.  The Town of Furnace was larger than Bloomfield and had a bank, a flour mill, a saw mill, and several stores.  For 19 years, the blast furnace prospered, but their downfall was inadequate transportation for delivering the iron products to their destinations.  While the blast furnace discontinued operations around 1860, the Furnace Flour Mill continued for many years.

Provided by Mildred “Milly” (Coleman) Uland