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Saugus Ironworks NHS

The early Puritan settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony undeniably needed an ironmaking factory. For those colonists, the first order of business was to build houses and plant crops. Essential to those tasks were iron tools and utensils: axes, saws, hoes, nails, pots, and kettles. Most colonists brought some needed tools and utensils with them. As the population grew, however, so did the need for more iron products. For more than 20 years this need was met by the Saugus Iron Works. Ironmasters recruited skilled and unskilled workers from the ironmaking regions in England. These men were well acquainted with the white-heat of the blast furnace, the clanging noise of the great hammer, the hard work, and the need for constant alertness in this dangerous workplace. They knew how to endure the grueling motions that tore at their muscles, the suffocating smell of the molten metal, and the deafening atmosphere. The reconstruction of the Saugus Iron Works helps us to imagine the daily life of these early European settlers.