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Willsboro Iron Works Site

Historic Districts and Sites

The Willsboro Iron Works of George Throop and Levi Higby began as the old Anchorshop in 1802, fabricating anchors for large ships. A blast furnace, forge, and foundry operated along the Boquet until around 1881. An 1876 "Map of Willsborough" shows the use of water power below the dam at the height of water power there. However, an advertisement for the sale of the forge property works in the May 12, 1881, Essex County Republican, also lists 14 houses for workers, a large amount of wood and coal, about 150 acres of land in a high state of cultivation, several thousand acres of land in neighboring Lewis well timbered, and seven coal kilns well stocked with about 4,000 cords of wood. A more complete list of Noble iron holdings held with Willsboro forge published in another advertisement--three full columns of small print long--listed water rights owned, iron mines, forges, sawmills, roads, etc. Another interesting side note connected with the Willsboro forge was a lighter (a type of barge) called the Old Anchorshop by local residents long after the forge had stopped making anchors for the U.S. Navy (around 1802-1815).