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Woodstock Iron Mines

Charles Jackson, the State Geologist for Maine, was the first to report deposits of iron near Woodstock. New Brunswick’s Provincial Geologist Abraham Gesner saw them in 1841, and by 1847 the York and Carleton Mining Company was formed. The first iron was produced in 1849 and formed into a single horseshoe that was sent to Lieutenant-Governor Edmund Head. The company had ups and downs in production of iron but finally met its demise when a bridge in Grand Falls made from Woodstock pig iron collapsed in 1858. Pig iron is the product of the blast furnace. The high carbon content pig iron makes it very brittle. It is intended to be re-melted and refined to produce steel, or iron ingots.

Iron works began again in 1861 as the Woodstock Charcoal Iron Company under the direction of Norris Best. Mr. Best from Sheffield, England knew how to manufacture iron and within a year the company was once again selling pig iron from the Woodstock iron deposits. By 1863 Woodstock had a busy iron industry with forty miners hauling ore from open pit mines to the blast furnace and as many as seventy-five men cutting wood to produce the charcoal needed to smelt the ore. The company went into receivership in 1867 and Best went bankrupt. Later attempts to revive the mine were never successful.