Where Adventure and History Mesmerize: Freedom Falls / Rockland Furnace

By on November 1, 2016

Awesome waterfall and an ancient ? Together? Relatively easy access? Yes, this is the place for you to go and explore!

The waterfall is commonly known as , and the furnace is called (41° 14’ 39” N, 79° 44’ 48.5” W).

Although located on private land, Freedom Falls and Rockland Furnace are well-known and heavily-visited by locals in the region. On any given day of the year, local photographers frequent this gorgeous location always seeking the next fabulous shot of the falls…snow and ice-covered in the Winter, brilliant green and fresh in the Spring, refreshing in the Summer, and golden and tranquil in Autumn…each season totally has its own charm here with the Falls and the Furnace.

Taking the time to learn the of the Furnace makes your visit here even more fascinating.

Many years ago, in the first half of the 19th Century, there was a village there called Freedom. Very little is known of the village except that there was a grist mill, and by the 1830s, also an iron furnace. The furnace was built in 1832 by Andrew McCaslin, who later became the Sheriff of . It was a water-powered charcoal furnace.

In 1837, 40 workers were listed as employed by McCaslin. An old newspaper account tells that Andrew McCaslin loaded a barge with pig iron from the furnace and started for Pittsburgh with his wife and several other persons. A few miles downstream the barge overturned in some rapids and McCaslin and his wife were drowned.

Later the furnace was operated by Rockwell, Dempsey and Week, William Spear and E. W. and H. M. Davis. The Davis brothers operated the plant until it was blown out in 1854. Whispered stories relate that eerie things happen to those folks who dare to linger after dusk and into the darkness…voices echo off the water, shadows creep around, and rocks roll behind you as you walk along. In the heyday of this furnace, an acre of hardwood trees per day were cut and hauled to turn into charcoal to heat the furnace hot enough to make the  into pig iron to haul downriver to Pittsburgh. It consisted of a stone structure approximately 25-feet tall that remains in amazing condition. Close beside the furnace is the wheel pit and mill race, all just downstream from magnificent Freedom Falls. By the time the railroad came through, the nearby village closer to the river became known as Rockland Station; I suspect that is when the name Freedom started to go away, but the name of the waterfall stuck. 41°14’13.15″N 79°44’52.70″W

For another excellent article and gorgeous pics by Cross Adventuring’s own photographer, Mike Henderson, check out his article on BygoneHighways.com


Rockland Furnace

Rockland Furnace











About Tambra

Tambra Warner Sabatini is the “Adventurer-in-Chief” of Cross Adventuring, which encompasses her vision for a better approach to our lives and where adventure and whole life mastery merge to transform us individually and within our communities. She believes that we must regain our passion and ability to design personal lives that are truly fulfilling and leave a positive legacy for our children and our world.

Tambra is a devoted entrepreneur with a heart for sharing and leading others outdoors into life-transforming adventures. After a decade-long stint with the Federal Government as a paralegal, she began her entrepreneurial adventures. A series of major life transitions were kept in perspective through expanding her adventuring activities into ultra-endurance events and teaching her love for outdoor recreation with school children and adults through one-on-one coaching and group classes and include cross country skiing, geocaching, kayaking, windsurfing, ultra trail running, backpacking/fastpacking, and the list expands frequently.

She is a prolific Indie Publisher of her own and her client’s books. Check out her Amazon Author Page for her latest releases, including Adventure Foods.

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