East Penn Forge

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The forge was established by Stephen Balliet (1781-1854) and Samuel Helffrich in 1828[1]. The land for the forge was purchased in East Penn, Carbon County, near Pennsville[2]. After Helffrich's death in 1830, Balliet purchased his share in 1832, bringing his land total to around seven hundred acres[3].

Samuel Lewis 1805-1897 was the manager of the forge and the Lehigh Furnace from 1828 to 1832[4]. Charles H. Nimson, husband of Elmira S. Hallman, who was the granddaughter of Stephen Balliet (1753-1821), purchased the forge from the Balliet estate in 1857[5] and was listed as an ironmaster in the 1860 census[1][6].

Forge Statements

In an 1850 survey of the ironworks in Eastern Pennsylvania, two forges were listed as being operational in Carbon County[7].

In 1866 it was reported that the "Pennsville" Forge had four forge fires (though only one was in use) and two hammers. The forge was driven by water[8]. In 1849 the forge made fifty tons of bars. In 1850 the forge employed twenty-four men and boys and a total of four oxen, horses, and mules[9]. The lives of the Balliets and other owners varied from the Lives of Workers. In 1855, the forge made eighteen tons of blooms and twenty-seven tons of bars[10].


  1. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 722
  2. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 722
  3. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 722
  4. The Allentown Leader 1897, 1
  5. Mathews and Hungerford 1884, 723
  6. United States Census 1860
  7. Convention of Iron Masters 1850, 135
  8. Lesley 1866, 172
  9. Convention of Iron Masters 1850, 138
  10. Lesley 1866, 172

Reference List

  • The Allentown Leader. 1897. The End Has Come. Samuel Lewis, Pioneer Iron Master, Passes Away, July 31, 1897.
  • Lesley, Peter. 1866. The Iron Manufacturer’s Guide to the Furnaces, Forges and Rolling Mills of the United States; with Discussions of Iron, Etc. New York,: John Wiley [2].
  • Mathews, Alfred, and Austin N. Hungerford. 1884. History of the Counties of Lehigh and Carbon, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: Everts & Richards.