John Pritiskutch Reproductions

History of Lebanon County - Lebanon Furnaces

The following is reproduced from the 1875 Atlas of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania

Among the industrial establishments of Lebanon, none hold a higher rank than the Lebanon Furnaces, owned and operated by Hon. G. Dawson Coleman, President of the State Board of Charities. Although situated outside of the Borough limits, within the boundaries of the Independent District, which owes much of its importance to the enterprise and assistance of Mr. Coleman, it is nevertheless a part of Lebanon, which would be sadly missed were it to be removed from its vicinity. It is to this magnificent property and the amount of business there transacted each year, that Lebanon owes much of its substantial prosperity. By its proximity, Real Estate has more than doubled in value in the portions of the town adjoining it, and the Merchants of Lebanon possess a trade which is sadly crippled when the Furnaces are out of blast. While this property has always been valuable, it has become still more so by the constant improvements which have been made from time to time, until today it is one of the most valuable and beautiful estates in the whole country. In addition to these fine furnaces, with their attendant dwellings and other attachments, Mr. Coleman has a beautiful and costly mansion, with ample and lovely grounds, beautifully laid out in drives, walks, &c.; Green and Summer houses, with comfortable and commodious Lodges and out-buildings connected. Also, one of the finest farms in the county, with buildings which are a model of excellence for farm convenience, and in the thorough finishing of which no expense has been spared. This farm is supplied with some of the most costly stock in the United States.

An excellent composition sidewalk and road makes a beautiful walk or drive along the bank of the Union Canal, from this estate to Lebanon.

Mr. Coleman has valuable property in other sections, and is a partial owner in the far-famed and invaluable Cornwall Ore Banks. The beautiful Chapel near the Furnaces is a gift to the community, and is one of the most beautiful and tasty in Lebanon. A fine building in the Independent District is a gift to the Young Men's Christian Association, and the poor have occasion to be thankful that God's great wealth is in the bounteous hands it is.

We copy from that excellent paper, the Philadelphia Evening Telegraph, the following brief sketch of Mr. Coleman, which shows the esteem in which he is held, not only in Lebanon co., but also throughout the whole country:

"Mr. G. Dawson Coleman, who succeeds Mr. Harrison as President of the State Board, is a prominent Iron manufacturer, and was born in Philadelphia, January 12, 1825. He graduated from the Collegiate Department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1843. Upon attaining his majority he entered into the manufacture of Iron, and erected furnaces at North Lebanon, Pa. He has given for years, except on the occasion of two visits to Europe, his entire attention to the Iron business. During the rebellion he largely contributed to the support of our troops in the field, expending over $10,000 in the equipment of a single regiment-the 93d Pennsylvania. He is also prominent as an agriculturist, having a large farm, and one of the largest dairies in the State. Mr. Coleman is interested in the manufacture of Bessemere steel, and is a large stockholder in the Pennsylvania Steel Works. He has been for some time President of the First National Bank of Lebanon. He is a citizen of the best repute."