Musselman Vesta Iron Furnace Center Wins Social Studies Award

Musselman Vesta Iron Furnace Center has been awarded the 2020 Outstanding Social Studies Program from the Pennsylvania Council of Social Studies (PCSS). PCSS promotes quality Social Studies education from kindergarten to higher learning by:
1. Advocating the Social Studies at all levels of education in Pennsylvania.
2. Promoting the analysis, dissemination and evaluation of Social Studies materials.
3. Examining and recommending certification requirements for teachers.
4. Assisting educators in organizing local Social Studies councils for professional development.
5. Cooperating with schools, districts, intermediate units and other interested parties on Social Studies projects.
An exemplary Social Studies project is a currently implemented Social Studies project, e.g., unit of study or a simulation unit, of outstanding quality that is based on a sound and professional framework. The Social Studies project will encourage
Articulation of creative ideas and thinking
Balance of content
Innovative and creative teaching techniques and materials
Display of thinking skills and processes
Involvement of students, community, and teacher(s)
Since the start of the 2002 restoration of the Musselman Vesta Furnace office building, Rivertownes Pa USA has been teaching students and adults the history of the Lancaster County mid-18th to early 19th century iron industry. The history of the iron industry was the initiative of the late Dr. June Evans, a retired anthropology and archaeology professor from Millersville University.
The Center has written a number of guides, including a docent’s guide, an Iron Industry Walking Pocket Guide, student handout, and a walking tour handout. These guides facilitate and lead the public in the understanding of the influence that Lancaster County had on the American Industrial Revolution.
America’s new industries needed machinery and parts…parts and machinery needed iron…and the new hot-blast anthracite fired furnaces along the Susquehanna River helped provide iron.
In addition to the handouts, Rivertownes conducts tours through the furnace ruins. When the Center is not open, self-guided panels are spaced through the complex. The interactive HO scale diorama, inside the Center, depicts the furnace complex. Using the Sanborn Insurance Map, the Furnace has been modeled. The PowerPoint presentation allows visitors to see and hear about the furnace and its workers.
The program, “Iron Along the Bend,” has been presented to home school students, local third and fourth classes and at local high school history classes and library.