The cultural and natural resources within Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site are important in interpreting the story of how 17th century European settlers adapted their lives to succeed in the building of Colonial America. Today, these resources are under constant threat.
The Saugus River is perhaps the most significant natural and cultural resource within the historic site, and, in turn, the most sensitive resource to environmental change. Water pollution, human development, and the introduction of non-native invasive plants and animals have changed this unique river over the last three and a half centuries. Park staff at Saugus Iron Works are working closely with other government agencies and local organizations to monitor the health of the Saugus River and its watershed.
Did You Know?
Colliers were skilled workers who created charcoal. To make this fuel, large mounds of wood were created and then allowed to slow burn from the inside-out. This process could take anywhere from ten to fourteen days, and required constant vigilance from the collier. If the mound were to burn too quickly the colliers would be left with nothing but a pile of ashes.