A visit this week by Jim Chard at the Marmora Historical Foundation resulted in his donation of a Marmora artifact that some would describe as "just a lump of rock". But close inspection reveals that it represents a moment in time when the life of the Iron Works came to a halt, never to fire again. On one side of the specimen are the remnants of the slag from the last firing - coarse and black, with still a little iron present, as our spherical magnet indicates in the photo below (right). On the other side are some fire bricks, the only remains we have of the furnace itself. Lucky for us, Jim knew what he had found.
It was 1821 when Charles Hayes built the massive structures that billowed smoke over the whole village day and night, siphoning off the metal from the ore. It was 1824, when he gave up trying to make the failing project work, and went back to Ireland. Several attempts to profit were made thereafter, and finally in 1856 the operation took its final breath and the great water wheels came to a halt.