This is the top of what I assume is a chimney. It is located to your right, on the bank, as you enter the road that leads to the Cinder Dumps. If uncovered completely, I assume it would look just like...
...this one. This one is located to your left, across the creek, back into the woods a bit. The road grade at the top of the picture is the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The whole area these 2 chimneys reside in, near the main entrance of the Cinder Dumps, is sometimes referred to as "Furnace Dam". A small dam once spanned the river here, and from what I'm told, was part of the operation of the Earlston Furnace, though I have no idea what it's role was. The furnace itself is on the other side of the turnpike grade.
A hole has been punched in the bottom of the chimney. As a child, myself and friends were able to enter the hole, and climb ladder rungs embedded into the concrete to the top.
Here is a view directly inside the hole, revealing the ladder rungs. What can't be seen in this picture, is how the chimney almost always has water in the bottom, and the rungs descend into it. Over the many years I've visited the chimney, even at very low water levels, I've never seen the true bottom of this thing, and the ladder rungs just keep on going. Despite the look of the picture, the hole is rather small, and while I seemed to have been able to fit into it with ease as a child of 11 or 12 years of age, I couldn't even fathom it now! ;-)
Here is a view of the top of the chimney. Eyelets can be seen, which look to have been used as hinges for a large door/cap for the top of the chimney. This is where myself and friends would climb to and sit as kids. I estimate that the chimney is about 15' high, but that's just a guess.
To this day, I still do not know what the purpose of these chimneys would have been in relation to the furnace. Were they somehow connected to the dam? Were they somehow connected to the furnace on the other side of the grade? Just how deep do they go? There is no evidence of soot inside, so it is doubtful they were for smoke.I also learned recently that the "Furnace Dam", was strictly an earthen dam, so it's doubtful that these things were related to the operation of the dam either, unless it was part of some sort of system of getting water up to the furnace. It's also been suggested to me that they may have been overflows for the dam, but I highly doubt that the water would have ever gotten this high, and even back then they would have known this.
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