Local Area Activities
Historical Educational/ The Great Western Iron Works
This limestone slab furnace is all that's left of The Great Western Iron Works. It opened in 1855 & within 34 weeks produced 1,350 tons of iron. The production of 445 tons of iron required twenty bushels of charcoal, 800 pounds of ore, & 80 pounds of limestone.
Symbolic of the county's industrial heritage. Before the Civil War, the county was recognized as one of the few industrial areas in the rural south. Stewart County residents built communities around these furnaces, with most of the residents depending on the furnaces for income. The last iron furnace in the county ended operation in 1927.
The Great Western Furnace, production ended only a year after it started. In 1856 its owners put it up for sale. Advertising it for sale as, the furnace, 4 yokes of oxen, 12 wagons & gear 1 set of carpenter's tools, 1 set of blacksmiths tools, 2 extra steam engines, & 80 likely & valuable Negro men, experience furnace hands.
Educational/Historical - The Homeplace
This farm was originally part of a Revolutionary War land grant, issued as a Land Warrant. The owner Mr. Colants took possession of the assigned 40 acres on 12/1/1808. The hollow where the Homeplace now stands & worked their land holdings for the next 10 yrs.
Farmers were fortunate to be located near the major mode of transportation of the day, the river. They lived between the Cumberland & Tennessee Rivers, this area is known as the Four Rivers as it is also between the Ohio & Mississippi. This crossroads had a significant impact on farm life. News & goods usually reached farms within a few weeks & sending farm raised produce & livestock to market was convenient.
It is a working history farm. Most of the crops & livestock are historic varieties from the mid 19th century.
When you visit you will see the menfolk at work with their oxen, harvesting & curing tobacco, repairing a roof & you may even lend a hand at the walking plow or help repair a fence.
Educational/Historical - The Surrender House
It was here at The Surrender House on Feb. 16, 1862 following a council of war with Brig. Gens. Floyd & Pillow, Brig. Gen Simon B. Buckner surrendered the Confederate defenders of Ft. Donelson to Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant, USA. The two senior Confederate generals, having abandoned command, escaped Lt. Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest, refusing to agree to the surrender, led his cavalry regiment and a number of infantrymen out of the defenses without losing a man or meeting opposition.