Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site evokes the character of a working, water-powered, iron-making plant from the early Massachusetts Bay Colony. Visitors can tour three mill buildings where an elaborate system of waterwheels and sluiceways powers 17th-century engineered mechanical equipment.


Explore the Iron Works

  • fire burns and sparks in raised stone fireplace with various tools for ironmaking nearby
    Saugus Blacksmith Shop

    Blacksmiths around Massachusetts forged wrought iron and steel into finished tools and hardware.

  • path leads to stone and wood structure with bridge on top and open-air covered shed at bottom
    Blast Furnace

    The original blast furnace roared to life in 1646, lit with a 3000 degree fire that was kept burning 24 hours a day for months at a time.

  • Large iron balance suspended from a wooden tripod in the center of the shed.
    Casting Shed

    Located alongside the furnace, a clay plug was knocked out of a dam, allowing molten iron to flow into molds in the sand floor.

  • large single-story wooden building with white chimneys and water wheels on either side of entrance

    Visit the Forge where bars of pig iron created at the Blast Furnace were changed into a new kind of iron usable by blacksmiths.

  • view of outside from inside house through a stained glass window with diamond pattern
    Iron Works House

    Check out the only original structure at Saugus Iron Works that survives from the 1600s.

  • Marsh habitat on the bank of a river with trees and plants.
    Jenks Blacksmith Shop

    In 1646, the iron works permitted Joseph Jenks to establish a blacksmith shop on the tailrace of the blast furnace.

  • park ranger talks to a group of visitors in front of artifact display

    Step back in time to learn about artifacts found at the original iron works and how water wheels were used to power machinery.

  • light purple cone-shaped flower with many others behind it
    Nature Trail

    Explore the wilder side of Saugus Iron Works! Bordering the Saugus River, see a variety of plants and wildlife on the Nature Trail.

  • building interior with wooden machinery used to reshape iron
    Rolling and Slitting Mill

    Advanced technology for its time, workers in the Rolling and Slitting Mill created semi-finished products for blacksmiths.

  • wooden dock over a river with trees on the riverbank reflected in the water
    Saugus River

    Take in views of the Saugus River used by iron workers to run water wheels and power machinery in the buildings.

  • wooden dock overlooking a raised mound covered in grass across a river
    Slag Pile

    From the earliest production of iron at Saugus, workers dumped waste material from the smelting process into the Saugus River.

  • a one story wooden building next to a wooden dock with old boat tied up on a river
    Warehouse and Dock

    Discover one of the first construction projects at the original iron works that provided a vital link between water and land.

Last updated: February 16, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

244 Central St
Saugus, MA 01906



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