|Area 0.6 acres (0.24 ha)|
NJRHP # 2775
Designated NJRHP January 1, 1977
|NRHP Reference # 77000919|
Added to NRHP July 6, 1977
|Location Belvidere and Washington Avenues, Oxford, New Jersey|
Oxford Furnace is located in Oxford Township, Warren County, New Jersey, United States. The furnace was built in 1741 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 6, 1977.
Oxford Furnace was a furnace used for smelting iron located in Oxford Township, in Warren County, New Jersey, United States. Built in 1741, it was the third furnace in colonial New Jersey and the first constructed at a site where iron ore was mined. The first two furnaces (Tinton Falls and Mount Holly) extracted ore from bogs in South Jersey, impure deposits called bog iron.
The furnace was built by Jonathan Robeson and Joseph Shippen, Jr., both of Philadelphia, and owned by the Shippen family who lived nearby in Shippen Manor. A grist mill was built adjacent to the furnace in 1813. In 1835, it was the site of America's first successful use of the hot blast, in which preheated air was blown into the furnace, cutting production time.
Oxford Furnace operated the longest of any of the colonial furnaces, not being "blown out" until 1884.
The nearby Methodist Church was built from the old grist mill in 1913. A restoration of the furnace occurred between 1997 and 2001.
Though worn down by time, much of the site still stands. Oxford Furnace is listed on the State and the National Register of Historic Places.
Notable residents of Oxford Furnace include George M. Robeson (1829-1897), Union Army general during the American Civil War, and United States Secretary of the Navy during the Ulysses S. Grant administration.