Union Mills Homestead and Grist Mill - Firebacks

Union Mills Homestead and Grist Mill, located just north of Westminster, Maryland, has been an operating mill since 1797 and still sells it's stone-ground cornmeal, wheat and buckwheat flour. For six generations the Shriver family had saved a treasure trove of kitchen items. These stove plates, later used as firebacks, are of heavy cast iron and protected the back of a hearth. The writing on the left: Got ist ein rechter rich. 1753. The right says: George Ross George Steven. Maryan Furnace. William Thompson. Further examples and the following information on Stevenson, Ross and Thompson's Mary Ann Furnace may be found in Mercer's 'The Bible in Iron.'

Mary Ann Furnace was built in West Manheim, York County, PA in 1762-3 according. George Ross (1730-1779) signed the Declaration of Independence and lived in Lancaster. George Stevenson (1718- ) taught in New Castle, Del where Ross's father was Rector, and was deputy surveyor of Lancaster County. William Thompson (1736-1781) married twice, to sisters of his partners and lived in Carlisle. During the war he made Brigadier General. The furnace produced five and six plate stoves, and in 1765 was making ten-plate or 'New fashioned stoves'.

Union Mills Homestead and Grist Mill.
Union Mills Homestead and Grist Mill. Md.Historic Trust

Brief history of 18th Century firebacks
Firebacks. pictures
MD Catoctin Iron Furnace. Thurmont
PA Cornwall Iron Furnace. Cornwall
PA Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site.
Blast Furnace Animation.

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©2006 Patricia Bixler Reber

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