West Tennessee Treasures - Decaturville - Decatur Furnace

Laura Bannon

DECATUR COUNTY, Tenn. - During the 1800s, at about 1,682 degrees, blast furnaces were the main source of pig iron.

Marty McLemore said, "The furnace was actually built in 1840 and destroyed by battleship in 1862...they took the natural
metals in the ground to make pig iron and sent them out to the foundries for the south and war effort."

McLemore explained that this buried treasure was a major source of iron during the industrial revolution.

"A lot of people think of New York and Pennsylvania like that... but we actually were making our own metal here as an industrial
base... a lot of people don't think of the south that way."

This furnace is now under the care of the Sanderson family and they have worked to preserve what was originally there.

A project that has taken months, reveals something unique to project manager Marty McLemore.

"Seeing all the historical stuff coming out of it, seeing how people would have lived at that time, how it actually got manufactured
at the time, what really went in at this young age of industrial nation as it is now," said McLemore.


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