Birdsboro typifies the insular world of the early iron industry in the arc of villages that connect west to Cornwall in Lebanon County. Its founder, William Bird, whose house is now the police station at 200 Main Street (1751 and later), was the father of Marcus, who established the nearby Hopewell Iron Works on PA 345 on the border with Chester County. In 1796, the ironworks was purchased by the Brooke family. The early history of the region's iron industry can be seen at Hopewell Furnace in French Creek State Park (off PA 345, 5.4 miles south of Birdsboro), which, together with the Cornwall Iron Furnace in Lebanon County ( LE2), is among the best-preserved early iron complexes. In Birdsboro, Mill Street is the site of the immense post–Civil War brick foundries and erecting sheds of the Brooke Iron Works that were the basis of the village's economy until the 1970s.
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