Nestled in an area rich with iron ore, abundant woodland for charcoal, limestone, and waterways to provide power, lies Joanna Furnace -- a historic remnant of Berks County's thriving early iron industry. Unlike today's corporations with their large buildings and complex hierarchies, the 19th century iron industry at Joanna Furnace was the product of rugged individualism. From the semi-wilderness of Robeson Township, in 1791, Joanna Furnace was started by Samuel Potts, Thomas Rutter III, Thomas May and Thomas Bull. The furnace was named in honor of Pott's wife Joanna Holland Potts. Joanna's owners included Thomas Bull, Thomas May, Samuel Potts, Thomas Rutter III, John Smith, Thomas Bull Smith, Levi Bull Smith, William Darling and L. Heber Smith. The furnace "blew out" in 1898, after L. Heber Smith's death. Joanna was a cold blast, single stack, charcoal iron furnace most of her life. Water powered until the mid 1850's, Joanna used steam power after that. Under the guidance of the ironmaster (after 1800, one of the Smith family) and founder/keeper (or manager), guttermen, fillers, and potters worked in twelve hour shifts tapping the iron twice daily. The average blast was one year, but some blasts lasted two or three years. During a blast, the fillers and guttermen worked every day of the month, including Christmas and New Year's Day. Woodcutters, colliers (charcoal makers) and teamsters added to Joanna Furnace long and productive life. The Charcoal Barn was rebuilt, after an 1856 . . .