Become A Junior Ranger

Greetings Junior Rangers,

Welcome to the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site!

You’re about to embark on a very important mission: to become a Junior Ranger! Junior Rangers are very important to our National Parks. As a Junior Ranger you can help park rangers with their jobs. Park rangers at Saugus Iron Works are responsible for the entire park. They’re responsible for natural resources like the trees, the river, wildlife, fish and wetlands; and they’re responsible for cultural resources like the artifacts, the reconstructed industrial site, and the Iron Works House. Park Rangers are also responsible for the people who visit the park – like you and your family.

A Junior Ranger has to learn about Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, share this knowledge with other people, and teach others how and why we should care for our special historic places. As a Junior Ranger who cares about the Iron Works one of your most important jobs is to help preserve it for the future. Have fun!

The Rangers at Saugus Iron Works


How Do You Become A Junior Ranger?

Junior ranger kit in front of historic building
Junior Ranger Kit in front of the Forge at the Saugus Iron Works

NPS Photo/Mary O'Neill

If you are coming to the Saugus Iron Works be sure to stop in at the Visitor Center where a Ranger will swear you in as an official Junior Ranger and let you borrow an exploration kit that you can take with you as you travel through the park.

To begin your Junior Ranger journey now, browse through activities below that will help you understand more about the park, its history, and its natural and cultural resources that all Rangers are sworn to preserve and protect.

Choose at least one activity from each of the themes below. You can decide which activities you complete and the order you complete them in. Present your work to a Ranger at the Visitor Center to receive your badge and take the Junior Ranger pledge!


Transfer Of Technology

The people who worked at the Saugus Iron Works and the technology they used helped the iron industry grow and shape the world. The Saugus Iron Works hired skilled workers from England who taught other iron workers and colonists their trade. When the Saugus Iron Works went out of business, many workers started iron works of their own. As more and more workers became skilled and the industry grew, one important fact remained clear; it all started here.

Complete one of the activities below to earn your badge!

Iron Works Fun - Crossword Puzzle
Waterwheel - Maze
Life at Hammersmith - Word Search
Make an Axe - Forging with Clay
Make a Saw - Forging with Clay
Make a Nail - Forging with Clay


Building an Independent Economy

Early colonists wanted to be economically independent from England. Iron making was one way to supply a growing colony with goods needed to support the families, farming, and the economy. There were some products, like pots and pans, that were purchased by local people. Merchant bars, an iron product that blacksmiths used to manufacture their own goods, were sold in the colonies and around the world. Having iron here, and not having to import it from England, was a major factor leading to our eventual independence.

Are you as dependent upon iron today as the colonists were in the 1600s? You might be surprised. Complete one of the following activities to earn your badge!


Many Cultures

The Puritans who founded the Saugus Iron Works believed in social and religious unity. But to make their vision a reality, they had to bring together people of different skill levels, ages, classes, and cultures. As a result, the Iron Works represented a characteristic that would become symbolic of the United States: diversity.

There are many stories that can be told of the people at the Iron Works. Found at the Iron Works are stories of English workers who spent years laboring in the intense heat of the forge, Scottish prisoners of war endlessly cutting trees for charcoal, Puritan townspeople who were forced to accept outsiders into their tight religious community, and Native Americans who welcomed iron into their culture, changing their way of life forever.

Can you find information on all these people? Complete one of the following activities to earn your badge!


Changing Environments

If the Saugus River could talk, what story would it 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. Other factors were huge tracts of forested lands, the presence of bog iron ore and gabbro, 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.

Remains of waterwheels, furnace stones, machinery parts, and the slag pile are evidence of the legacy of the first heavy industry in the country, and are reminders of how industry continues to impact the environment today.

Complete at least one activity in this section to earn your badge!



To preserve something means to protect, care for, maintain, and save it for the future. Have you ever saved a ticket stub, birthday card, or souvenirs from a trip? When you save something that is special to you, you are a preservationist! Part of a Park Ranger's job is to ensure that the special places we protect will be there for you when you grow up, and for your children when they grow up. This is called stewardship.

You can help by being a steward. These next few exercises will show you how. Remember, you need to complete at least one in this section to earn your badge!

Last updated: September 3, 2017

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Mailing Address:

244 Central St
Saugus, MA 01906


(781) 816-7299

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