Strolling around the serene landscape of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, you’d almost expect to see a horse pulling a cart of charcoal, to come around the side of a building, or see the ironmasters children running about the yard. Today, Hopewell, considered one of the best-preserved iron plantations in the nation, appears to have just been put to sleep, ready to rise another day to make iron. There are 14 preserved structures including the ironmasters mansion and the blast furnace, in which the original waterwheel that once relentlessly powered the furnace bellows, still turns. Put into blast just before the American Revolution in 1771, the iron plantation was instrumental in aiding George Washington and the Continental Army to win the war. It was originally surrounded by the heavily forested land that now makes up French Creek State Park, replanted with timber after being clear cut to fuel the furnace with charcoal. Start your visit in the theater in the Visitor Center by watching the very well done 15-minute history of the Hopewell Furnace community. You can also take the self-guided walking tour of the iron plantation complete with the audio “Voices of Hopewell” which brings the villagers who lived and worked here to life. Stroll up into French Creek State Park on any one of the many trails that lead up into the Park. This location is open for touring on regularly scheduled hours.