This month’s Dutch Oven Gathering will be special. Instead of setting up behind the Tenant House we will be next to the colliers directly in front of the anthracite ruins. We will be able to see the “Lighting of the Pile”.
Hopewell Furnace’s volunteer colliers will be performing a week-long charcoal “burn” demonstrating the historic means of making charcoal as practiced at Hopewell when it was an operating furnace. For over one hundred years Hopewell’s furnace ran on the fuel harvested by wood cutters and processed by colliers on the surrounding hillsides. “Light off” will be on Saturday, May 9 at 10:00 a.m., “rake out” of the resulting charcoal will take place at 10:00 a.m. on May 16. On the days in between the pile will be tended to as it converts wood into a charcoal state.
For this DOG there are some special logistics instructions we MUST follow:
1. All vehicles must park in the upper parking lot at the visitors center.
2. If you can arrive before 9:00 AM your vehicle will be allowed to be escorted to the DOG area. ALL VEHICLES MUST BE REMOVED FROM THE HISTORIC AREA NOT LATER THAN 9:00 AM.
3. If you arrive after 9:00 AM, no problem. Park your vehicle as instructed above. Go to the Visitor’s Center and ask the Ranger or Volunteer on duty to call Randy on the radio. Randy or Kathleen will meet you at the Visitor’s Center with the electric cart to ferry your equipment to the DOG area.
4. No vehicles are allowed in the historic area until after 4:00 PM.
5. If you want to leave earlier, we can ferry your equipment back to your vehicle in the Visitor’s Center parking lot.
6. There will not be a fire pit available for this DOG. Ground fires are not allowed. Please bring a fire table if you have one. If you do not have a fire table Randy will have extras available (Well, a couple extra and two of the short ground tables). Also bring a coal bucket to collect spent charcoal.
I would also suggest to pack light although I’ve noticed that most of you are very good at that already.
I will also ask the park staff for some furnace charcoal if you would like to try your hand at using this heat source this weekend.
Here’s a map to help out in identifying where to park and where we will setup.