Laurels Forge History

“Laurels Iron Works – In 1793 a double forge and sawmill were erected on the Buck Run, about a half mile from its junction with the West Branch of the Brandywine near Laurel Station, by Samuel, William, and Jesse Laverty, which were later acquired by Joseph Pyle,
who, in the early 1840s, sold his interest to Hugh E. Steele and Joshua Edge for $12,500. According to tradition a forge had existed on this site during the Revolutionary War, and the oldest part of the ironmaster’s residence was built of logs plastered over… From 1856 and for approximately 20 years Laurels was operated by Hugh E. Steele. A plate rolling mill had been built, and during this period there were rolled here plates for the Monitor of Civil War fame, for the first locomotive that crossed the United States from Atlantic to the Pacific, and for the first American steamship to enter a Chinese port.” – From Historic Mills of Pennsylvania
Some of the original stonewalls remain, but nothing of its former glory. The dam is washed out, though the embankments remain.
    “If we entered the house by the front door, we found ourselves in a rather broad hall extending across the house to another door that open upon the sloping, south lawn. An open stairway, with a banister whose spindles were white and hand rail brown walnut, was almost in front of the entrance. The staircase was lighted by a large window, on a landing half way up the flight… At the left, a door opened into the parlor, a somewhat formal room, rarely used except for company. Its woodwork was white and everything was always very much in order… [Sitting room, across the hall] was a large, low ceilinged room in the old part of the house – that built of logs plastered over and dating from before the Revolution, when it was the home of the owner of the forge that preceded the rolling mill. The sitting room was lighted by four long, French windows, two looking out upon the
front porch and two giving an attractive view of the lawn, slopping up to the knoll which we called ‘the Rocks,’ overlooking the mill dam and the Lower Garden at its brink…” from Loraine Stone McKinstry, 1928. Laurels: A Leaf from Chester County’s Past.