Marshall Historical Society

The First Forge at Forge Hollow
The Waterville Times, July 19, 1895

In the obituary notice of H. B. Titus in the Times of last week the writer says that Billy Titus was the originator of the blast furnace in Forge Hollow, etc. This is incorrect as the first forge that was built in Forge Hollow was erected by Daniel Hanchett about 1800. It was located a short distance down the stream from the caves and was known as the upper forge and Mr. Billy Titus purchased an interest in it and it was run by Hanchett & Titus. Titus sold his interest in this forge to Ansel Skinner.

In 1825 Andrew S. Pond, a brother-in-law of Marinus Hubbard built the blast furnace, forge and dwelling house, which he afterwards sold to Billy Titus. Pond went to Utica and built the vulcan works.

At this time Forge Hollow was a prosperous village and my informant, J. J. Hanchett, says he remembers seven stores that were doing business there. Hanchett & Skinner were running the upper forge, Hanchett a machine shop where the late G. D. Phinney had a shop, Titus and sons the blast furnace, forge and foundry, and Hunkerford & Daniels the lower forge.

Besides the manufacture of stoves, plows and other agricultural implements, iron for gun barrels was made for Mr. E. Remington of Ilion.

As the iron industry depended upon charcoal as the fuel, when the country became cleared of its woodland the industry began to languish and was soon discontinued. There was a time when every available water privilege on the stream that passes through this settlement was in demand but today there is not a single one that is used.

Seventy years ago where there was a throng of hardy workmen mingling about the flashing forge fires, none remain, and the hills that once reverberated with the thud of the forge hammer are now undisturbed. What was once the busiest place in the Town of Marshall has become so abandoned that the citizens do not want to go there even to vote.

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