Production of iron was one of the earliest forms of manufacturing west of the Appalachian Mountains and Fayette County, Pennsylvania was known to have more than 20 iron furnaces by the mid 1800s. The charcoal fired Wharton Iron Furnace was built along Chaney Run and constructed by U.S. Representative Andrew Stewart beginning in 1837. Iron was produced in it between 1839 and 1873, including cannonballs for the Union during the civil war. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources restored the Wharton Furnace in 1962, and made it accessible to visitors by building parking and a small bridge over Chaney Run. The Wharton Furnace is located on Forbes State Forest, Pennsylvania land along Wharton Furnace Road (PA Route 2003), and is about two miles south of Route 40.