ASME-Landmark:Ringwood Manor Iron Complex


The Ringwood Manor Iron Complex was a prominent property in the early development of the U.S. iron industry. The Ogdens of Newark, New Jersey, built the Ringwood Company's first blast furnace in 1742. The second furnace, built in 1762, has two stones that remain on display today.

In 1964, Peter Hasenclever acquired the iron works for the British-owned American Company in 1764 and rebuilt the complex, probably introducing cinder-iron processes to the colonies. Robert Erskine became the new manager of the iron works in 1771.

Three years later, the colonies began to react to the attempts by England to raise money through oppressive taxation. In April 1775, hostilities were opened between England and the colonies. Although Erskine outwardly sided with the colonists, believing their cause to be just, he raised an Independent Company of Militia to protect the ironworks against anyone, and informed the American Company that he would do everything to maintain the integrity of their vast American holdings for them.

During the war, the iron mines, furnaces, forges, and stamping mills of the Ringwood Manor Iron Complex supplied many of the needs of the American Revolutionary Army. After providing much aid to the colonists, Erskine contracted pneumonia and died at Ringwood 2 October 1780. The complex, later acquired in turn by the Martin Ryerson family (under which Hasenclever's furnace and forges were dismantled), Peter Cooper (1853), and Abram Hewitt (1857), operated until 1931. See ASME website for more information