Rufus Fuller & The South Kent Ore Bed

Warren and Litchfield Ironworks 1818 to 1822

Thanks to Howard Whitney of Warren we have been given notes on some of the ironworks gathered by him in his research on the Petersville Ironworks of Warren.

Woodville – Commings Forge

Originally built by Pratt and Hitchcock in the 1780s, the forge came under the control of Elias Guthrie by 1797, and was referred to as Guthrie’s forge until taken over by Commings. The Commings/Cummings Forge was located in the vicinity of the junction of present day Route 202 and Route 341 (1988). In 1810, Abel Clemons of Litchfield sold to Israel Stone of Litchfield one third of a forge, about a half mile from Forbes and Adam’s Slitting mill. In 1810, Levi Hoyt purchased from Jacob Commings one sixth of a forge a quarter of a mile below Forbes and Adam’s mill. In 1815 Jacob Cummings of Washington bought five sixths of a forge about 80 rods south of Forbes and Adam’s Slitting mill, together with a coal house from Israel Stone of Litchfield.

Woodville – Forbes and Adam Slitting Mill

Samuel Forbes, iron master of Canaan, around 1794 began buying up interests in a Grist Mill, called Landon Mill, on the Shepaug River a little below old Mt. Tom Bridge, with dam and water privilege. By 1798 Forbes had a slitting mill in operation at the same place where the Grist Mill formerly stood. The mill was managed by John Adam, Jr.

After Samuel Forbes’ death, the property fell to several inheritors, and was sold to John Adam of Litchfield, who in turn on October 21st, 1836 sold it to Frederick Chittenden. That same year Chittenden sold half of a rolling mill, sawmill, store and barn in Woodville to Isaac Toucy of Hartford. This sale included some of the Forbes property.

Milton – Simmons Forge

Simmons Forge in Milton was started by Ebenezer Marsh and Abner Land, both of Litchfield. It was known as Marsh Iron works and located in Blue Swamp on a stream flowing into the Shepaug River. Built around 1781, the terms to use and occupy were for 999 years. John and Solomon Simmons bought the iron works from Marsh, together with a dwelling house and a coal house in November of 1787.

In January of 1790 Elisha Forbes bought of John Simmons in the Blue Swamp, one acre of land, bounded east on Simmons, with intention of building a forge.

Guerdon Grannis bought of Solomon Simmons, one eighth part of the forge which was the same part Simmons had purchased of Seth Bishop on September 17, 1804, together with a coal house. In October 1807, Chauncey Dennison sold to Eri Grannis one eighth part of the forge known as Simmons Forge, with one fourth part of a coal house known as Landon’s, also one eighth of anvil, hammer and tools, reserving use to May 1st, 1808. In 1809 Elisha Glover purchased of Thomas Grannis one eighth of the Simmons Forge in Milton and later in 1834 sold his right to Job Simmons.

Hicks Smith owned land around Simmons Forge. In 1814, he purchased from Samuel Gilbert the dwelling in Litchfield standing on land of Smith. It appears he worked for Simmons.

Warren – Hayes Forge

Eri Grannis sold to Justis Sackett, Elijah Hayes, Sherman Hartwell of Warren, and Alanson Swan of Litchfield, a water privilege on the west bank of the Shepaug, together with land required for the purpose of building and erecting a forge, coal house, etc., in the 1820s.

Stephen Wedge lived not far from the Warren road to Milton, and at one time owned one ninth of a forge south of the dwelling of Eri Grannis, with the middle small coal house. His estate sold to George F. Grannis his share of the forge operated by Hayes, Grannis and others in November of 1831.

Warren – Peters Forge

This forge was built by Abijah Pratt in the early 1790s, and had a number of part-time owners, until Eber Peters gained full control. The mill burned down October 15, 1815, but was rebuilt by Peters and called Peters Forge until its closing around 1860. It was on the west bank of the Shepaug, about one mile north of Woodville.
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