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Robert S. Peabody MuseumArchaeologist Discusses Historical Iron Factories

Although the iron industry in Massachusetts has reached a stalemate since the close of the 19th century, Sara Wermiel, an industrial archaeologist who spoke at the Robert. S. Peabody Archaeology Museum this Tuesday, hopes to spread awareness about it in order to preserve old factories from this historic industry. Wermiel focused on Wareham and Bridgewater, two of the major Massachusetts cities where iron manufacturing dominated. Wermiel’s passion for Massachusetts’ former iron industry is evident. “I guess what impresses me about the 19th century, and it’s sort of true about Massachusetts in general, is that we don’t have a lot of natural resources here… [Iron workers] were using their brains and their resourcefulness to create products,” said Wermiel in an interview with The Phillipian. On a national level, few iron factories still stand today. In Massachusetts, however, the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site remains intact and helps local citizens better understand the story behind the former iron industry.