The Cornwall Iron Furnace is decking the furnace halls in preparation for the new “Christmas at Cornwall” event.

The event takes place on Saturday, Dec. 7, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and wrapping up at 4:00 p.m. It includes horse-drawn wagon rides down Boyd Street and to the end of Miners Village, with guides on hand to show off the historic points of interest in the furnace’s operation, as well as other related landmarks.

The furnace itself will also be host to activity. Geologist Michael Weber will be there to discuss what kinds of minerals were found while the mine was in operation. There will be craft projects for young children, and the museum store will be open. A local craftsperson will also be selling handmade kitchen items.

Across the street at Cornwall Manor, there will also be a number of activities going on. The Freeman Community Center will be filled with carolers, cookies, and gift-wrapping in the morning, and the stable will house a model railroad display of the Cornwall area.

Tours at the Manor and the Furnace will show visitors through parts of the Buckingham Mansion, the Sarah Coleman greenhouse, the old Paymaster’s Office, and a private home in Miners Village. It’s rumored that Santa Claus himself will make an appearance at the Paymaster’s Office.

If Kris Kringle isn’t exciting enough for you, be on the lookout for an appearance by the grumpy Belsnickel, a Pennsylvania Dutch figure who has his roots in Germany and only gives gifts to the well-behaved children of the world.

The Belsnickel as illustrated by R. D. Dunkelburger. (Berks History Center)

Tickets are on sale now: $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens and AAA members, and $4 for children ages 13 through 17. Children 12 years old and younger will be admitted for free. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the Visitor Center on the day of the event. Light refreshments will be available, but if you’re hungry you will probably want to grab a meal beforehand.

The Friends of Cornwall Iron Furnace, the nonprofit hosting this event, notes that the furnace traditionally operated day in and day out, even on holidays like Christmas, and this new event is being held in recognition of the tireless labor of the furnace workers.

For more information on this and future events, check out the Furnace’s website or call (717) 272-9711.

Josh Groh is a Cornwall native and writer who began reporting for LebTown in 2019. He continued to regularly contribute to LebTown while earning a degree in environmental science at Lebanon Valley College, graduating in 2021. Since then, he has lead conservation crews in Colorado and taken on additional...


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