• Saugus Iron Works Panorama

    Saugus Iron Works

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

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  • Park Closed for the Season

    The park will be closed from Nov 1st, 2013 to Spring 2014. Visitor information is available online, via facebook.com/SaugusIronNPS or by calling the Salem Visitor Center at (978) 740-1650.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where did the ore come from?
The iron ore used at Saugus was "bog ore". Bog ore is a sedimentary rock that forms in the still waters of bogs, marshes, swamps, ponds and shallow lakes when dissolved iron in the water precipitates and settles to the bottom accumulating over time. It contains 30 - 50 % iron. Bog ore is thought to be the first iron ore mined by humans during the Pre-Roman Iron Age. It was the primary iron source mined during the Iron Age, the Viking era and in 17th and 18th century colonial America.

Bog ore was mined locally on the adjacent farm of Adam Hawkes and other nearby locations in Lynn, Wakefield and Reading, as well as more distant locations. Vagueness of citation in the historic documents makes precise identification of mining localities nearly impossible Another rock called Gabbro or "rock mine" was used as a "fluxing agent" to draw away the impurities in the bog ore. Gabbro, a coarse grained basalt containing calcium and magnesium, was mined in Nahant.

Are those the original buildings?
The blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, warehouse, and dock area are all reconstructed on original sites and are based upon extensive archeological excavations done between 1948 and 1953. Hundreds of court records, inventories, and accounts of the original iron works were also consulted to produce a full-size (albeit, conjectural) model of the seventeenth century iron works. The "Iron Works House" is a timber framed, 1680s mansion house, still standing on its original location. It was constructed about a decade after the iron works ceased production.

Is there a gift shop or book store there?
Yes, there is. The Saugus Iron Works cooperating agency is Eastern National. Many items are also available on their eParks web site.

How far is it to the airport?
Logan airport is about nine miles away and is typically about a twenty minute ride. If you are looking for a place to visit on your way to the airport, stop by!

Did You Know?

House Door Knocker

To help understand the exact age of the Iron Works House the National Park Service recruited the help of dendrochronologists. These scientists drilled out small sections of the framing of the house. By looking at the width and pattern of the trees growth rings and comparing it to other trees of the time it is now believed that the house was built around 1688 or 1689.