Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site


In operation from 1646 to 1668, the Saugus Iron Works was the first successful vertically integrated iron mill in North America, supplying tools and utensils for the Massachusetts Bay colonists. The site provides visitors a unique insight into 17th-century engineering and design methods, iron-making technology and operations, and the critical role that the engineering of iron-making played in the nation's history. The open-air museum features working water wheels, a reconstructed blast furnace, a forge, and a rolling and slitting mill. Artifacts uncovered during archaeological excavations include a 500-lb hammer used in the original forge.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Industrial & Manufacturing
Topic(s):Technology/Materials
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The Saugus Iron Works began in 1646 with an English investment totaling more than $165,000 by present standards. Many of the workers were Scots who had been taken prisoner of war in Oliver Cromwell's victory over the army of King Charles II in 1650. They were sold to the Iron Works as indentured servants and were freed after working 7 to 8 years.