• 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.

Changing Environments

If the Saugus River could talk, what a story it could tell. In the seventeenth century the river was one of the key features that allowed for an Iron Works to be built on its banks. But there were other environmental factors that made the iron works successful here: huge tracts of forested lands, the presence of bog iron ore and gabbro, the lay of the land, and closeness to the ocean and major shipping ports. Over the centuries dozens of industries made their mark on the local landscape, but none has had the lasting impact of the first.

Though the Saugus Iron Works operated for only a short time, its mark can still be seen today. Remains of waterwheels, furnace stones, machinery parts, and the slag pile are all evidence to the legacy of the first heavy industry in the country. As you explore the park and learn of the people, technology, and the effect an iron works had on the early colonies, notice that it’s still continuing to leave evidence for all to learn from even today.

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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.