|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Christian Shunk, who had made the manufacture of iron a specialty and by his close and varied observation become a good judge of suitable locations, in 1851 selected the site of Stewardson Furnace and the adjacent lands containing the requisite material for that manufacture. He, Alexander Laughlin and William Phillips erected this furnace and purchased various tracts of land. William and Robert McCutcheon conveyed to them 2,601 acres and 123 perches of the Wallis-Duncan-Stewardson lands. This furnace was situated about 375 rods slightly north of east in an air line from mouth of Mahoning, in a deep northern bend of this stream. It was built for coke in 1851, but was not then successful, and was changed to a charcoal hot blast until the spring of 1855, when coke was successfully substituted. Its first product of pig-iron was in 1852.
The furnace was burned down in September, 1858. It was soon rebuilt and went into blast in January, 1859. Its stack was forty feet high, the distance across the bosh being eleven and a half feet. This furnace produced in thirty-two weeks, in 1856, 1,147 tons of pig-metal-120 tons of which were by coke-out of limestone carbonate ore from the coal measures two miles around. The number of dwelling houses for proprietors and employees was forty, nearly all frame, one and a half story. The Sawmill on Scrubgrass run was erected in 1866-7. It was operated until the modern methods of operation and the cheap Lake Superior ore caused its suspension, 1880.
The Stewardson Furnace Cemetery sits high atop the hill, on an escarpment overlooking the bends of the Mahoning Creek and not far from where the furnace once was alive with activity. Although the woods have grown up, substantially, since it was established and, today, one would be hard pressed for a view of the river and creek because of the large trees. As near as I can tell, it was established sometime in the mid 1800's, most likely circa 1854. Today, this cemetery is in great disrepair, the graves are overgrown with brush and briars and there is a large Oak that recently crushed a number of markers when it fell. The older gentleman, who lives there, attempts to keep the brush and weeds in check, but the cemetery does not lend itself to mowing because of the terrain and weed whacking is arduous, to say the least, and his ill health is working against him, in this endeavor. If left to nature, I would assume this cemetery will soon be in the woods in less then a decade.
From "downtown" Templeton, PA, at the Post Office, drive ¼ north on the main street, out of town and on the first bend, before the church, turn left onto the new river road. Continue up this road, along the Allegheny River, for 0.9 miles, to the bridge across the Mahoning Creek. (Do not cross this bridge) Just before the bridge, turn right…drive 50 yards…and turn left, to take the road, upstream, along the Mahoning Creek. You will pass numerous houses, cabins and campsites, along this road and within a mile and a half, the road will take a sharp bend, to the right, uphill and away from the Creek. About ½ miles from this bend the road levels off a bit and if one drives slowly and looks carefully to the right, you will see a private driveway and a house. The cemetery sits, to the left and behind this house and is not visible from the road. (If you get to a small field, on your right, you missed this driveway) Pull in and ask the homeowner about the cemetery, but if no one is home, drive past the house and up the mowed grass trail to the first right turn in the mowed grass. Turn here and the cemetery is 100 yds in front of you.