We want to congratulate Walt Landgraf and Fred Warner for their participation in the Iron Masters Conference at Saugus Massachusetts on May 6, 2000. A total of nine historians and archeologists from around the country were invited to present papers at the conference, which is held by the Iron Masters group of the Society of Industrial Archeology . The Historical Society is proud that not one but two of our members made the cut for this important conference.
Walt presented a paper documenting Richard Smith's forge at Colebrook. This has been an exciting subject as a great deal of information has only recently been uncovered showing just how important this site was. Not only was this forge a very early (1770) and very large site, information has come to light indicating that it was one of the first sites to produce steel in the colonies.
Fred presented a paper on the restoration of the Beckley Iron Furnace in Canaan. He has worked hard on this important project, and has documented the discovery of an unusual air ventilation system found in the base of the furnace.
Congratulations to Fred and Walt for their role in the Iron Masters Conference and their work in advancing the knowledge of the iron industry in northwestern Connecticut.