Effort underway to restore Swatara Furnace

First step is undertaken to eliminate danger from the PG Twp. site

By Rob Wheary, Staff Writer

ROB WHEARY/Staff Photo Parkway Tree Service owner Benjamin Fodor swings from branch to branch to make his next cut of the sycamore tree standing near the Swatara iron ore furnace. With the tree being too unsteady to climb, Fodor used a crane to get up near the top of the tree and lower the larger branches down to the ground to avoid any damage.

PINE GROVE TOWNSHIP – Several environmental and historical groups have joined forced to help restore and preserve an 185-year-old structure, the last one of its kind seen in Schuylkill County.
Recently. members of the Oak Grove Sportsman’s Association, the Old Forge Fishing Club, Pinegrove Historical Society and the Friends of Memorial Lake and Swatara State Parks joined forces with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Lebanon City Authority for an effort to preserve the Swatara Furnace.
The group’s first effort came on May 20 when a crew from an Ephrata tree service company came to the site near the Lebanon Reservoir to remove a threat to the furnace structure, a large sycamore tree standing next to it.
“The tree is about 85 to 90 feet tall and very unsteady,” a local historian said. “If we get a bad storm and the tree blows the wrong way, the furnace could be damaged.”

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