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Step Back In Time

Explore the unique Catoctin Furnace living history village. The Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, Inc. commemorates, studies, and preserves the rich history of this historic industrial village, including the architecture, cultural landscapes, lifeways and foodways of the enslaved Africans, free African Americans, and European immigrant laborers and families.


Museum of the Ironworker

The Museum of the Ironworker is open Wednesday – Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm. 

We are an all-volunteer organization, so if you would like to request to visit another day/time please phone:  240- 288-7396 ahead of time so that we may see if a volunteer can meet you. We look forward to seeing you!

The kitchen garden and trails open dawn to dusk. 

General admission to the museum is free but a donation is suggested.

Interested in booking a guided tour of the museum and village? Click here to learn more.

Level 2 Electric Car Charging Station 

First Energy and DNR worked with CFHS to install the EV station. While you step back in time at Catoctin Furnace, your electric vehicle can charge up at our brand new Level 2 charging station located in the furnace parking lot, 12698 Catoctin Furnace Road.

The charging station is located in the parking lot in front of the furnace. From the parking lot you will need to proceed down the African American Cemetery Interpretive Trail and follow the signs leading to the Museum of Ironworker. 

Overnight Rental

The Forgeman’s House is not a typical overnight destination. While it has a lovely modern bathroom with a shower, a gas fireplace, and the kitchen even boasts a dishwasher, as soon as you walk through the doorway and leave the modern amenities, you enter an 1820 home.

Learn More

September CFHS Meeting

Tuesday, September 10th,  12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

By tradition we do not hold an August meeting. 

We will hold a hybrid meeting. You may join us in person at The Museum of the Ironworker or on Zoom. 

Please register for the Zoom meeting using the link below where you can join via computer or telephone. If you experience any issues, please call 240-288-7396 and we will help you register.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You only have to register once, and once you are registered, you will be registered for the remainder of the meetings until January 2025. Your confirmation email from Zoom will send you a link that you can add to your calendar, and you will be able to join the meeting every second Tuesday of the month. We have switched to this format so that we do not have to send out a new link every month.

Click here to register to attend our monthly meetings

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

The Smithsonian Channel's "America's Hidden Stories: Forged In Slavery"

(Season 3, Episode 3) is streamable on the following services: fuboTV , Hulu (Premium), YouTube TV/YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Apple TV, Vudu and Amazon Prime Video

Read the press releaseWatch the episode: "Forged In Slavery"Featured article: "Smithsonian Channel to air new documentary about story of Catoctin Furnace ironworkers" by, Mikayla Newton, DC News Now

Network to Freedom Virtual Passport

“Visit” The Catoctin Furnace African American Cemetery Interpretive Trail.

Click the image to download your virtual passport stamp. Tag your “trip” on social media
Facebook: @PassportToYourNationalParks
Instagram: @PassportToNationalParks
Twitter: @ParksPassport

CFHS Featured

OUTDOORS MARYLAND Episode 3303 featuring Catoctin Furnace 

County Spotlight: Historical Grant- Recovering Identity Survey

Volunteer Hours Form

Did you volunteer for CFHS in June 2024? If so, please take a moment to fill out your volunteer hours form. 

Volunteer Hours June 2024

Articles and Podcasts: 

(Free links to Science journal articles can be accessed by following this link to our “In The News” section)

Science, “The genetic legacy of African Americans from Catoctin Furnace”

Science, “Community-initiated genomics”

Science, “DNA from enslaved Black workers at a 19th century iron forge links them to living descendants. But the research swirls with ethical questions”

Science Podcast, “Tracing the genetic history of African Americans using ancient DNA, and ethical questions at a famously weird medical museum”

The New York Times, “Enslaved African Americans in Maryland Linked to 42,000 Living Relatives”

STAT, ‘Ancient DNA’ tools and 23andMe database uncover African American ancestries of thousands

El País, El ADN de 27 esclavos muertos hace siglos identifica a 42.000 parientes actuales en EE UU

Harvard Magazine, “Tracing Slaves to Modern Descendants”

nature, “Ancient DNA reveals the living descendants of enslaved people through 23andMe”

23andMe, “Historical DNA Reveals Connection between Living People to Early Enslaved and Free African Americans”

23andME, “Ethics and the Study of Historic DNA of African Americans Buried at the Catoctin Furnace”

The Washington Post, “Old African American cemetery yields DNA links to 41,000 new ‘relatives’: DNA from 27 enslaved people buried near a Maryland iron forge was also tied to regions in Africa”

NPR Morning Edition, “A landmark study opens a new possible way for Black Americans to trace their ancestry”

Any Uak Media, “African American History Revealed through DNA Analysis of Enslaved People at Catoctin Furnace”

The Baltimore Banner, “DNA links remains of enslaved people buried in Maryland to nearly 3,000 direct descendants:The highest concentration of descendants is in Maryland, according to the study” published this week in the journal ‘Science’”

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