The National Park Service (NPS) invites the public to celebrate an “Iron Plantation Christmas” and stroll through 100 years of American Christmas’, at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. This free event will take place on Saturday, December 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature Christmas as celebrated during the 18th and 19th centuries at Hopewell Furnace.
Hopewell Furnace Site Manager David Blackburn encourages visitors to experience the simple elegance of Christmas through the years during the event. “This is an opportunity for today’s public to travel back in time and witness Christmas at different periods of the furnace’s history” he said. “The company store will be open for business and the park’s buildings will be staffed with employees and volunteers bringing the village once again to life” he added.
Visitors will find nearly a century of Christmas illustrated through a series of recreated holiday scenes, dating from 1795 to 1880, inside the park’s historic buildings. Visitors will be able to discover the variety of customs, foods, and traditions of the holiday season from different times during the furnace community’s history. Participants will include Der Belsnickel, a mischievous version of Santa Claus with a commitment to justice. He rewards good children with candy and naughty children with switches.
Along with the regular program of historical Christmas activities, costumed volunteers will present a special program of 19th century holiday caroling at the park’s Bethesda Church. This is one of only a few days of the year when the historic church is open to the public. It is located one mile east of the main iron furnace community, on Bethesda Road. Programs at the church will be held at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00. Directions to reach Bethesda Church will be available at the park’s visitor center or by contacting the park at (610) 582-8773.
There is no admission fee for visitors to the park or to this special event.
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site preserves and interprets an early American industrial landscape. Showcasing an iron plantation and its surrounding countryside, the park’s facilities are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. During the summer season (June – September) it is open seven days per week. Hopewell Furnace is located five miles south of Birdsboro, PA on Route 345. No entrance fee is charged. For more information stop by the park’s visitor center, call 610-582-8773, visit the park’s web site at: www.nps.gov/hofu, or contact us by e-mail at: [email protected].
Visitors with specific needs may contact the park for assistance before their visit.