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BLH: Clove Furnace Letterbox Hybrid

Hidden : 11/15/2016
2 out of 5
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

The cache cannot be accessed from the New York State Thruway. Access may be found via Arden Road, turning from Rt. 17.

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​The Clove Furnace, one of many blast furnaces in this iron ore-rich region, opened in 1854, producing some 5,000 tons of iron by the following year—and 101,000 tons in the decade between 1871 and 1881.  Iron produced here was used for the manufacture of stoves and other hardware.  The furnace was shut down in 1885 and now serves as headquarters of the Orange County Historical Society.  The restored stack, spillway, and other buildings provide a rare glimpse into an important 19th century industry in the Hudson River Valley, the grounds are open to the public during daylight hours.  The adjacent museum, open weekdays (closed on weekends) explains the iron-making process and offers displays about other aspects of Orange County history.

Blast furnaces of the 17th-18th centuries generally consisted of a vertical shaft lined with refractory stone and supported by a brick structure.  The top of the furnace was reached by a bridge, sometimes from an adjacent hillside . From there the furnace was charged with ore and charcoal, usually with a small amount of limestone as a flux.  The base of the shaft narrowed like a hopper (the 'bosh'), so that the charge descended gradually into the lowest and hottest part of the furnace (the 'hearth').  At the base of the stack were a blowing opening and the casting opening, leading to structures known as the blowing house and the casting house.  The blowing house provided a blast of air delivered through a pipe called a tuyere from a pair of large bellows, which were operated by a water wheel.  In the casting house slag and periodically molten iron were removed as accumulations at the bottom of the furnace.  The metal was typically run off into channels resembling suckling 'pigs', hence "pig iron".

​The cache is a standard letterbox hybrid, in addition to the logbook there is a separate notebook for stamping.  Please keep the unique stamp and inkpad with the cache. 

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Yrsg bs gur jnyy naq hc.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)