On the Trail of the USS Monitor

Commemorating the American Civil War

The USS Monitor was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy during the American Civil War. It is most famous for its participation in the Battle of Hampton Roads in March 1862, where the Monitor fought with the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia (the former steam frigate USS Merrimack). This was the first-ever battle fought between two ironclads and a turning point in the Civil War; one that changed the history of naval warfare worldwide.

This tour will take you to the history and Civil War involvement of the Crown Point community; where the iron ore was mined that was used to fabricate important parts of the ironclad USS Monitor. Two iron companies operated in Crown Point during the Civil War: the Hammond's Crown Point Iron Company, with a mine and blast furnace at Hammondville, and the firm of Penfield & Harwood, with a mine at Hammondville and a bloomery forge and separator at Ironville.

In addition to plating for ships, Crown Point iron was used in making railroad equipment and other Civil War products. Wagons hauled smelted iron from the Crown Point Iron Company furnace and Penfield forge to Hammond's Wharf on the shore of Lake Champlain. From there, the iron traveled by canal boat to the Albany Iron Works in Troy, New York, for fabrication.

Using the map and site descriptions you can explore the rich history of Crown Point's iron industry and involvement in the Civil War. You will trace key steps in the process of building the USS Monitor, which began in the depths of a mountain in Crown Point and ended with the launch of the completed hull at the Continental Iron Works shipyard in Brooklyn, New York, in 1862.

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Hammond's Wharf

Hammond's Wharf at Monitor Bay Park

Hammond's Wharf was the shipping point for Crown Point iron products.

 

 

Sugar Hill Manor

Sugar Hill Manor B&B

Former home of the Col. Elmer J. Barker, a volunteer in General Hammond's Company H, 5th NY Volunteer Cavalry.

 

 

Charles F Hammond Home

Charles F. Hammond Home

A central figure in the region's iron history, C.F. Hammond was the Crown Point Iron Company (CPICo) iron manufacturer.

 

 

 

Hammond Corners & the Corner Store

Hammond Corners and the Company Store

Business Center of the CPICo.

 

 

 

Crown Point Civil War Memorial

Crown Point Civil War Memorial

C.F. Hammond commissioned the Soldier's Monument on the village green to honor the 67 local men who gave their lives in the Civil War.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crown Point First Congregational Church

Crown Point First Congregational Church and Ancient Graveyard

This church was attended by many local men who served in the Civil War, and their families and others who supported that war.

 

 

Forest Dale Cemetery

Forest Dale Cemetery

Site of the General John Hammond Monument and a Civil War graveyard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Factoryville and Crown Point Center

Factoryville and Crown Point Center

This route to Ironville passes through these two small communities, which were a source of manufactured goods and agricultural products during the Civil War.

 

 

Hamlet of Ironville

Hamlet of Ironville, Penfield Museum (9a) and Civil War History Room (9b)

The Penfield Museum at Ironville is the central interpretive site of this tour. The museum was the former home of the bloomer forge iron manufacturer Allen Penfield and his son, Major James A. Penfield of Company H, 5th NY Volunteer Cavalry, which is featured in the museum's Civil War Room.

 

Iron History Walking Tour

Iron History Walking Tour of Penfield Forge Site

A self-guided tour map, available at the museum, is keyed to interpretative signs along the route and provides a detailed description of how wrought iron was made in the mid-1800s 

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