• Saugus Iron Works Panorama

    Saugus Iron Works

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

Building an Independent Economy

The Saugus Iron Works reflected the desire of the early colonists to be economically independent from England. The colonists found, in iron making, a way to supply the growing colony with all the iron goods needed to support the people and industries that were making it successful. On site you will find both finished and unfinished goods that were sold from the iron works. There were some products, like pots and pans, that were purchased by the local people and others, like merchant bars, which were sold to blacksmiths, both in the colonies and around the world, to be made into usable products. Having iron here, and not having to import it from England, was a major factor leading to our eventual independence. Are you still as dependent upon iron today as the colonists were in the seventeenth century? You might be surprised. Complete one of the following activities to earn your badge!

Did You Know?

Saugus Iron Works NHS - blast furnace, forge , slitting mill, warehouse and dock seen from Saugus River

In 1634 author William Wood described the Saugus River, "These flatts make it unnavigable for shippes, yet at high water great Boates, Loiters, and Pinnaces of 20, and 30 tun, may saile up to the plantation". The Oxford English Dictionary uses Wood's description to help define the word "lighter".