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The Joppa Iron Works also known as Patterson's Iron Works was started around 1817 by Joseph and Edward Patterson of Baltimore who were the brothers of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte - who was the sister-in-law of Napoleon I of France. Built on the "Long Calm" portion of the Big Gunpowder River in eastern Baltimore County, MD this facility was started as a slitting and nail producing company. Located approximately .75 of a mile below the Maryland Route 7 this facility eventually had six puddling furnaces, one heating furnace, and 37 nail machines with all of the machinery being water-powered[1]. The Joppa Iron Works were on the Great Gunpowder not quite a mile from its embouchure and near Divers Island. They were operated up to the commencement of the civil war and their product was well known in all the markets. They consisted of a large rolling mill nail works and forges. First-class vessels came up the river to the island and the embankments for the wharves are still visible. Where the main channel of the Gunpowder once was and where sea going ships rode at anchor is now a corn field on the Mount Peru estate. One rolling mill an immense stone structure abandoned more than twenty years ago still stands and is almost covered by the rank luxuriance of the Virginia creeper. The works were owned and operated by that Patterson family of which Madame Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte was a member, who sold the whole tract of one hundred and thirty four acres known as Bald Hill to the city of Baltimore for water privileges for twenty thousand dollars. The city resold it and it is now the property of Levi Furstenburg. —History of Baltimore City and County[2], John Thomas Scharf, 1881 There are few remnants of the iron works that remain except for a large flat area where the business stood. Prior to the original dam being built at the Loch Raven Reservoir in 1881, the water depth at the Joppa Iron Works site was much deeper facilitating shipments in and out of the area by deep-water vessels. As late as the 1970s, an old ship's mooring ring was able to be seen in the area. Remnants of slag from the furnaces can still be found in the area. The Joppa Iron Works eventually closed around 1865 with the death of Edward Patterson. The Loreley Distilling Company eventually purchased the property and distilled whiskey on the site after Prohibition, and eventually sold to the Frank L. Wight Distilling Co. - part of Heublein Inc. The distillery was then purchased by Hiram Walker & Sons of Canada and subsequently shut down when production moved to their Peoria, Illinois facility. In 1970 this property was acquired by the Department of Parks and Recreation of Maryland and is now part of the Gunpowder State Park. Literature John W. McGrain, "From Pig Iron to Cotton Duck Volume 1" Page 212-214 (Towson, MD 1985) External links lower Gunpowder Falls history at Baltimore County Public Library References ^ p212, "From Pig Iron to Cotton Duck" Author John W. McGrain ^