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The New Yorker

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Catoctin Furnace and its hallowed African American cemetery are mentioned in The New Yorker this week. Jill Lepore’s article, “Unearthing Black History,” explores conflicted views surrounding efforts to rescue African American remains. This is an important and timely read. Thank you to Jill and The New Yorker staff for exploring this subject. We will endeavor to do the right thing at Catoctin Furnace, searching for the descendant community while expanding our collective kinship.

Click here to read: “When Black History Is Unearthed, Who Gets to Speak for the Dead?”

Catoctin SlaveSpeak viewable online

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On Juneteenth 2020, and in observance of Emancipation Day, the Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET) presented a live reading of Catoctin SlaveSpeak by Elayne Bond Hyman.  Catoctin SlaveSpeak is a collection of narrative poems in the voices of enslaved Africans, as well as their enslaved descendants, who were imported to work at the Catoctin Iron Furnace in Thurmont, MD.   

Elayne Hyman
Rona Mensah
Ray Hatch
Kimberly (Zoe) Donahue-Rick
Richard Johnson
Zachary Leo Harris
Julie Herber
Tad Janes

To view this performance, click here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Response

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Catoctin Furnace’s outdoor spaces, including the furnace ruins, historic kitchen garden, and commemorative cemetery trail

are open and offer space for quiet reflection while maintaining social distancing.

Please note our historic buildings and exhibits are closed.

Catoctin Furnace is respecting and abiding by Governor Hogan’s guidelines of March 30, 2020 for the

closure of non-essential businesses and the stay at home directive.

Engaging in outdoor recreation while maintaining a safe distance is allowed,

therefore we are still making our grounds available to our community for that purpose.

Our buildings are closed.

Please contact Elizabeth Comer at if you have questions. 

This is a changing situation. As our country confronts COVID-19 with its uncertainty and consequences,

all of us at Catoctin Furnace wish you and your family health and safety.

Please practice social distancing.  For the safety of others please stay home if you have any symptoms.