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The Virginia Furnace was an iron smelting operation that ran in Monroe County in the early 19th century. The owner, Randolph Ross of Virginia, was initially optimistic of the quality of iron that could be mined and processed, but the lack of an adequate transportation mechanism doomed the venture to failure. The railroad, which came through a few years later, could have made the business a success.
Built in 1839 on 156 acres of land, it was also known as the Virginia Iron Works or the Ross Iron Works. The iron ore was hauled by horse-drawn wagon to the top of the furnace, and the resulting molten iron was poured into molds.
The business employed as many as 20, but Ross declared bankruptcy and closed the iron works in 1844.