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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Manufacturing at Early Providence Forge

Iron-Manufacturing in the Colony of Virginia.

To the Editor of the Dispatch:
My attention was directed a few days since to a crude memorial of iron-manufacture in the Colony of Virginia, a rude and irregularly cast specimen of pig-iron about two feet in length and weighing probably  about one hundred pounds- now on exhibition at the door of Kelly's Junk-shop, on Nineteenth Street. Its origin is denoted in raised letters as follows: "B. Grimes [some vague lettering: probably & Co. Va.], 1758."
About June 1, 1870, a freshet, induced by heavy rains, overflowed and cut the dam of the "Old forge," on the Jones branch of the Chickahominy river in New Kent county, uncovering what was once a "forge or smelting furnace," which, according to tradition, had been burned, and the site covered with earth on the approach of British soldiery during the Revolution. Among the debris were found six pigs of iron, one of which, having been brought to Richmond, was inspected by me. It was marked " B. G.: 1741," and may have been from the same furnace as the pig mentioned above. The forge in New Kent county now known as Providence Forge appears on Fry & Jefferson's map of Virginia as "Holt's Forge." Tradition assigns to Colonel William Byrd (the second of the name in Virginia) the credit of erecting and first operating the furnace at Providence Forge.
The name Grymes is one of early seating and much prominence in Middlesex county. Who among the readers of the dispatch knows aught of the furnace of B. Grymes, when erected and where, how long operated, and from whence it supplies of iron ore were obtained .
Faithfully yours. R. A. B.

RICHMOND, July 19, 1882

- The Daily Dispatch. (Richmond, Va.)July 20, 1882

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