You may not know this, but Saugus, Massachusetts is home to the nation’s oldest iron works. In 1645, Richard Leader sailed from England and set up shop on the Saugus River and one year later opened for business. The iron works created horseshoes, saw blades, nails, wagon wheels, other tools, and was considered to be state of the art (for the mid 17th century). However, despite success and acclaim it was forced to close in 1670 and was lost as nature slowly grew over the site.
But interest in the history of the site remained and in 1948 an archeological dig began to unearth the iron works. Today, the site exists as Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, and is under the operation of the National Park Service. This picture was taken in 1954 when the newly discovered and restored mill opened to the public for tours.
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Photo: National Park Service