Peter Grubb was only 19 years old when he arrived in what would become present day Cornwall. An immigrant who discovered three hills of magnetic iron ore in 1737 through prospecting, Grubb later purchased a total of 442.5 acres. By 1742 he had erected a furnace to produce the ore and named it Cornwall after his father’s birthplace.
Cornwall Furnace, now a historic landmark, operated for 236 years and was renowned as one of the most productive iron ore mining operations of all time, attracting collectors from around the world. The industry founded by Grubb went on to produce munitions and iron products utilized from the Revolutionary War to westward expansion, and even as late as Vietnam.