Sloane Stanley Museum

Kent Furnace, Kent, CT


Begin a the traffic light in Kent; drive north on Route 7 to mile 1.0 and turn left across the railroad tracks to the entrance of the museum.


The deposits of iron ore at Ore Hill in Kent contained limonite. The ore was higher in phosphorus and therefore somewhat lower in quality than that of the Salisbury mines. Much of its iron ore went to produce pig iron at the Kent Furnace and other ironworks.

The museum displays include a model of a working blast furnace and iron artifacts, along with artist Eric Sloane’s superb collection of early American tools and implements.

From the parking lot walk down the hill to the Kent Furnace. The large arch on the west side led to the casting shed in front. Walk northwest from the furnace on a small path through the brush to the remains of the stone-lined race from the site of Pratt’s Dam across the Housatonic River.

Also here, just north of the ironworks site, is the Connecticut Antique Machinery Museum.


1826 -- the Kent Furnace is put into blast on the east bank of the Housatonic River about one mile north of the present Kent village center. It was first known as Sand Plain Furnace, then Stuart and Hopson’s Furnace and later Kent Furnace. It came to be one of the most successful furnaces in the Salisbury District.

1846 -- a hot blast system incorporated at the Kent Furnace.

1892 -- Kent Furnace closes after 67 years of production.

1998 -- the bonding commission allocated $200,000 dollars for preservation work on the furnace.

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