The 18th Century At
The sixth iron working venture started no earlier than 1749 when Archibald Cary inherited the property from his father. According to Robert Brock (1937:12) Cary started an iron works to produce bar iron from pig. This finery forge operation has a varied history. Hatch and Gregory (1962:280) using unattributed sources, state that the forge was unprofitable and the land soon returned to grist milling. However, they go on to cite other referenced sources that argue for continuous operations through to 1781 when the structures on the property were burned by Benedict Arnold. Hatch & Gregory (1962:281) cite a 1769 visitor who had seen the operating iron works, and a 1779 visit by a British POW relates that the iron works at Falling Creek were in use. The 1769 visitor published his book in 1784 and commented in margin notes that the works were destroyed in 1781 by the British. It appears that the assertion that the ironworks were unprofitable and turned to other operations including gristmilling can now be shown to be partially true. He probably shut down the forge and later started it for the American Revolution.
Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory showed two distinct cut episodes. The hardwood dates in the 1720's and 1730's corresponds to the first building of the forge in 1750 and the second set of hardwood dates in the 1760's and 1770's corresponds to a rebuild done for Cary's "Wheelhorse of the Revolution" sobriquet for his Revolutionary War efforts.
Cary Forge Skull
Cary Forge Skulls In Situ
Cary Forge Skull Detail