1940 Main St., Churchtown (Narvon). 484-797-5302 or historicpooleforge.org.
Eastern Lancaster County is home to spectacular farms and scenery, but it’s also where you can find a beautiful slice of the area’s rich iron-making heritage.
Historic Poole Forge, nestled into the hillside along the Conestoga Creek, is the sprawling plantation of Cyrus Jacobs, one of the wealthiest and best-known ironmasters in Lancaster County. In the late 1700s into the mid 1800s, Poole Forge fashioned pig iron into charcoal blooms and bar iron that were distributed to Philadelphia and Reading. (Parts of the estate also were farmed, providing Poole Forge another plentiful source of income.)
Spread out over 26 acres, the well-maintained property includes the Ironmaster’s mansion, the Paymaster’s house, tenant houses and a spring house, all of which still sport much the same materials and appearances as when they were first built more than 200 years ago. The plantation also features the original lime kilns, plus a covered bridge that dates from 1859.
Historic Poole Forge hosts many events throughout the year, such as an Easter-egg hunt, a trout derby, a car cruise and seasonal plant swaps – and this month, it features one of its most popular events: Christmas at the Ironmaster’s. Visitors can view holiday trees and settings decorated by more than 30 diverse local businesses and organizations, which this year includes Churchtown Inn Bed & Breakfast, Garden Spot Village, September Farms, Lancaster County Master Gardeners and Native American Education, to name a few. Their displays will be up for vote for the People’s Choice Award.
Christmas at the Ironmaster’s also offers self-guided illuminated tours of the property, a visit from Santa in an antique sleigh, a chinese auction and holiday refreshments. New this year will be whimsical, gnome-inspired displays in the gardener’s portion of the spring house.
Christmas at the Ironmaster’s will be held December 5-7 & 12-14. Hours: Fridays, 4-8 p.m.; Saturdays, 12-8 p.m.; Sundays, 12-5 p.m.
Tickets are $5 per person; admission is free for children ages 12 & under.